Confidentiality for Pastors - A New Pathway to Spiritual Equilibrium
Polluted Praise
Note: I delayed the writing of "Polluted Praise" for so long that I managed to write two versions of it having forgotten about the first one that I had not yet published. Consequently, we now have two versions of "Polluted Praise". I hope you enjoy both versions!

Matthew 15:8
This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me.
Matthew 23:28
Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.

Version 1

When we praise the Lord it should come from a pure heart overflowing with love for our Creator. Sin in our lives hinders our praises to God to such a degree that our praises have become polluted by sin. 

Praise means we worship the Lord, that we acknowledge his greatness, his I Am ness, his authority as our Father and Lord over our lives.

A problem arises because sin, like dirty cloaks, can stand between us and our relationship with God. Not that we, as Christians, are sinless, but deliberate and persistent sin in our lives and carrying that sin into the presence of a holy God borders on arrogance. 

It's one thing to be in the new process of transformation from the power of this world in order bring our bodies under submission to the Holy Spirit, by exercising control over sin because we live to please God and not ourselves, and another thing entirely to have been "saved" for years and still drowning in a continuous whirlpool of perpetual sin.

We want to please God because we love him, adore him and honor him with everything that is within us. Acknowledging him as our Father, our God and our Savior, showing reverence to him as obedient sons and daughters should.

Obedience to the Word of God that clearly tells us what we should and should not do is the primary focus. Our eternal lives are at stake. The question arises then about the relevancy of our eternal lives. How important is it to us? It should be all important, superseding anything or anyone else.

If there is a sin we are committing that will keep us from heaven's abode it should be an easy thing to cast it aside as an irrelevancy in our lives rather quickly, because that clinging sin will never ever be worth the sacrifice of our eternal lives in the presence of God.

An eternal hell is the only other option. There are no gray areas in between. There is no purgatory. There are no second chances. We can either make the decision to be holy according to the Word of God, or we can turn away from God and wallow in sin, eventually dying in sin and reaping the consequences of sin; spiritual death and eternal hell.

Postponing setting our spiritual house in order is like playing Russian roulette with our eternal lives. We are here today and gone tomorrow, like grass that is cut down and soon withers away. We don't know the day or the hour when our lives will end. It's not a game of chance where you may lose a few coins. It is an eternal life that is at stake. 
While it is true that we are all growing to perfection, there is a difference between making a daily effort to become more like God, and living our lives in a perpetual sin state because of something we enjoy doing, or some places we enjoy going, knowing that it is undermining our relationship with God.

Therefore, if we allow ourselves to get to the point where we weary God by continuing to offer him impure praises, having failed to make the sacrifices in our lives to turn away from sin, and offer pure sacrifices of praise to God in lieu of a stink in his nostrils, then we put ourselves in the position of slowly going down in the quicksands of our own perpetuated demise. God is long-suffering, but if we try to "play" God past his weary barrier, we might find ourselves cut off from all opportunity to inherit the Kingdom of God, liken unto Satan, the fallen archangel.

A life burdened by sin is an unsavory smell in God's nostrils that he turns away from because God is holy and he hates sin, so why adorn ourselves in the thing that he hates, and come boldly draped in the fragrance of sin before the God who has the power to put a period to our existence in finite time?

God does not ask a hard thing of us. Within the framework of living a life presentable to God, we will find peace and joy. When we get to the other side of sin, it's then that we realize how foolish and destructible it is to us. 

Sin is physically, spiritually, psychologically, and emotionally harmful to our well-being, which is why God warns us against it. He did not create us with a space inside of us where sin can reside. Consequently, like cancer cells multiplying, sin can only kill us by little and little. 

It takes root in our souls and systematically seeks only one thing, that being to destroy our eternal souls, which wrecks havoc on our temporal bodies, because there is nowhere within where sin can reside and not be a destructive force.
We were created by God, who is Love, with no habitation for sin to dwell in us. Sin is an alien construct, originating with Satan, who has become the great sin peddler. 

Those who offer to God polluted praise are those whose hearts are unengaged with the heart of God, and they are merely trifling with God's affections; a very dangerous thing to do. It is like playing toss ball with a live explosive. Sheer stupidity! We cannot say that we love God and disobey the commandments he gave us to live by, like a disobedient young man who wants the blessings of his parents, but does not honor or respect them.
He goes and comes when he wills. He does not do his homework and is failing in all his classes. He indulges in drugs against his parents dictates, ignoring all the discussions about the addictive consequences of using drugs. He hangs out with his like-minded peers, who are deeply entrenched in the ways of death. He is a perpetual fornicator, engaging in unprotected sex, ignoring the warnings his parents gave him. Yet if you would ask him if he loved his parents he will quickly say that he does. 

But it is a polluted kind of love because he clings to the things that is abhorrent to his parents, disobeying them at will. His love is not perfected towards those who brought him into the world, those who are taking care of him, providing a loving home for him to live in, food, clothes, essentially everything he needs to sustain his life, yet he disrespects his parents via disobedience. If we honor and respect our parents then we submit to the rules of their house.

Love is more than words. It is action, doing what pleases whom we love. If we say we love God, how is it that simultaneously we do the things which he hates, that is detrimental to our own well-being? Eventually, just like the disobedient young man, we will reap the consequences of bad behavior one day, except we learn through pain and sufferings endured because of bad decisions, and come to realize that God wants only the very best for us.

He wants us to be spiritually, physically, emotionally and psychologically, healthy. If we walk in the pathway of righteousness set before us by God, and eschew the pathway of evil constructed by Satan, we will find ourselves in a place of security with the very heart of God. If we walk in the pathway of evil instead, we will find ourselves in death's grip along with a whole host of God's disobedient children acting in a willy-nilly manner; doing whatsoever they feel like doing, disregarding the unseen yet approaching consequences of their bad behavior.

Praising God with their mouths, but their heart is far from him. Because if the love of God is perfected in our hearts we would obey God at all costs. This would be our supreme goal, to please the Father and allow him to direct our paths, instead of going our own way and ending up in sure turmoil and chaos. 

If we offer up to our Father God the pure sacrifices of our heartfelt praises with obedience to his Word as our foundation, then blessings will surely overtake us according to his Word. When we disobey the Word of God, his blessings flee from us, on the other hand, if we obey the Word of God his blessings are attracted to us. It's an easy choice to make. 

If we have allow sin to take root in our lives, in the empty void of where God's blessings are supposed to be, we will collide the curses of God for doing evil in his sight. No matter which way we turn or how far we travel, his curses will find us and hem us in, cornering us, trying to get us to turn from our wicked ways and re-establish right relationship with him.

It is his profound love that seeks us out and like a Father, and disciplines us with the negative consequences of our sins, in an effort to bring us back unto the everlasting folds of his love.

Version 2

I think that often times human beings have a tendency to forget that there is nothing, absolutely nothing that God does not know or is aware of at all times, that nothing escapes his notice, not a thought nor intent of our hearts. There are no secrets that we can, with all our might, hold back from God because he knows our beginning and he knows our ending; our first and last breath in the space he created and called time.

Consequently, when we praise him he is aware of our true spiritual, physical, emotional and psychological condition. He is aware of all of who we are, every thought we have ever had, is before him. Every deed we have ever done, whether good or evil, is before him.  

Therefore, our praise is polluted before him if there is sin in our lives, like cloaks, sin drapes over us hindering our praises to him. God desires pure praise from the hearts of his children. We can only offer him pure praise when we love him more than our own lives, when we have given our all to him on the altar of sacrifice; our mind, body, soul and spirit. When we hold onto nothing but him, letting go of all things, all relationships, and placing them in right order where God is always first in our lives. Anything or anyone that trespasses over into first place then becomes an idol in our lives, superseding the dominion, presence and love of our divine Creator, Father and God.

Then the fragrance of our praise becomes intermingled with the beginning sounds of the death of our eternal souls. Until we obtain right order in our lives we cannot please a jealous God. God blesses us with things, with relationships, but not for it or them to take his place in our lives. One of his scriptural names is Jealous!

We live in a world where to have this or that thing or relationship places us in an envious position, at least, in the eyes of the world, but, in fact, are of very little consequence in the eyes of the Lord. What he desires from his children is to be their first love. We must then remember that everything and everyone that we see with our eyes will eventually pass away and the only thing that will remain and last forever is our relationship with God.

So we absolutely cannot put loved ones, or money (or the things that money can buy) first in our lives. It is a foolish thing to do because then we are putting our soul in jeopardy of eternal damnation, and nothing, absolutely nothing will ever be worth that!

To live and praise God and to strive to please him should be the primary focus of our lives, the central pivoting point of our existence. Otherwise, why are we here? Is it not to fulfill our purpose in life, the why of our creation in the first place, which cannot be accomplished without right relationship with God? 

It is only in and through God that we discover our purpose, only in and through him that we obtain the ability to carry out his divine will in the earth. Therefore, we must gather our courage and slip into the Holy Spirit letting it be our supreme cloak interceding on our behalf before God, and assisting us into becoming a delight unto our God instead of thorns in his heart; the unrequited love of God.

What then can children do who have forsaken their Creator Father who holds their very lives in the palm of his hands? God requires sincerity of heart. He wants your obedience based on the foundation of love wherein he has offered to the whole world, if they would but accept his profound gift of eternal life, the price being to die to our flesh in order to live with him in the spirit. 

This then is the sticking point, we want to hold on to the very thing that will destroy us, and the only thing that will give us the strength to let go is our perfected love of our Holy Father. As we grow in love towards God, our fleshly desires fade into oblivion as a non-issue because it becomes easier as time passes to perceive the wiles of the devil that traps us in his webs of deceit, and we begin to break free of the satanic holds over our mind, body, soul and spirit. 

To love God more than we love ourselves is our key to eternal life, if we would but turn the key in the lock of our hearts and allow his love to enter unabated, to fill us with his divine presence and make us into true children of God, the Kings of kings and Lord of lords, ruler one all that is and all that will be.

So it stands to an uncomplicated reason that the choice we should all make is to surrender our hearts to a God, who has more than demonstrated his unquenchable love towards us, when he sacrificed his only begotten son, the Lord Jesus Christ, on the cross of affliction, on a hill called Calvary.

The goal then is to arrive at a place in God called unpolluted praise, that place in the spirit where we are truly married to him, where our love knows no bounds, where nothing in our lives supersedes his holy will for our lives. We become in tune with God, aligning our whole selves with him, in sync with his purpose for our lives and in love with God, undistracted by the intricate death chambers of destruction that the world and all therein represents.

We then walk away from death and turn ourselves wholly into or onto the pathway that leads to eternal life in the presence of the Lord.  Our heart, our soul, our spirit and our body then becomes a cohesive unit of oneness directed towards pleasing our heavenly Father.

We then bury our yesterdays where polluted praise was an ongoing disaster waiting to happen, and we step into the newness of life, that place where our roads are straight and narrow, and it's alright if our decision to love God with our all has rendered us friendless and alone by the world's standards, because now that we have right relationship with God, all other things will be added to us now that we are in spiritual alignment with the one true God. 

All we need now is the patience to wait on God to move in our lives. We know that through our trials and tribulations that God is creating patience within us, so even though we are not where we want to be, the signs that we are moving forward towards our awakening dreams is our trials and tribulations. So fret not because of them, but know that they are but the catalyst that is moving us upstream in order to slip boldly into fulfilling our purpose driven dreams birthed from the authority of God.

So when it seems that we are surrounded by difficulty on every side and we are wondering where God is, know that he is in the midst of our troubles teaching us how to walk through them unscathed by fear, untouched by doubt, and undeterred by pain and suffering.

Polluted praise is a waste of time so we must shed the sin that is weighing us down, and hindering our relationship with God. There is no place formed in us naturally for sin to dwell, consequently, it is a destructive force and must be expelled from within us by the power of God, so that we can become our true selves and worship God in holiness, in truth, and in the perfected love of our hearts towards God, our loving and patient Father.
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