Do seemingly good causes, such as feminism, social justice, sustainability or racism facilitate or frustrate our ability to love God with all our hearts, minds, souls and strength?
Proverbs 23:7 says in the NAS, “For as he thinks within himself, so he is.” This means our identity drives our behavior. It means: how we see ourselves will determine the value system we let into our hearts, and it means: how we view life is determined by how we view ourselves – and even God.
In Matt 22: 36-38 We read someone asks Jesus: 36“Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” 37And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38This is the great and first commandment. 39And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
If we love God the most, then our primary cause should be the Great Commission, which is stated in Matt 28: 16-20 16Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. 17And when they saw him they worshiped him, but some doubted. 18And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
How many of us would agree that sharing Christ with others and promoting discipleship in Him is indeed the greatest endeavor to which we can attach ourselves? How can one disagree with this, when these are the actual Words of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ – the one we claim is our Eternal King, to whom we have pledged our loyalty?
Here is a litmus test to determine if we indeed are bringing all that we are to the Cross where it can be Crucified with Christ: If I mention a Bible verse, and you reply with a “but” and cite your favorite cause or issue – saying something like, “But there are issues of feminism, or social justice, or sustainability or racism that need to be considered, instead of replying with another Bible whose context supports your “But” – are you not placing your pet cause ahead of The Lord Thy God, whom you say is the first love of your life?
Is our love of the Lord subtlety being undermined by Satan, who has leavened our loaves with good sounding causes that may be violating Scripture? In Mark 8:5, Jesus “cautioned them, saying, “Watch out; beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and the leaven of Herod” (or the Herodians, who were religious people who supported everything Herod’s government perpetrated.)” Leaven is a pervasive influence that modifies and transforms our view of things. When we hear scripture, we need to analyze our “but’s” for they determine if we are walking in the Lord’s liberty or being manipulated to pursue a man-made cause that frustrates God’s grace in our lives.