Let me pose a question. You have two glasses. One contains pure clean water, the other holds foul sludge. If you pour the dirty water into the clean, the bad water contaminates the pure. But if you pour the clean water into the foul, does it purify the dirty water?
Ok, silly question. Either way you go, the bad always befouls the good. The prophet Haggai posed a similar question—
This is what the LORD of Hosts says: Ask the priests for a ruling. “If a man is carrying consecrated meat in the fold of his garment, and it touches bread, stew, wine, oil, or any other food, does it become holy?”
The priests answered, “No.”
Then Haggai asked, “If someone defiled by contact with a corpse touches any of these, does it become defiled?”
The priests answered, “It becomes defiled.”
Then Haggai replied, “So is this people, and so is this nation before Me”—this is the LORD’s declaration. “And so is every work of their hands; even what they offer there is defiled. (Haggai 2:11-14)
The Jews had been restored to the land following their captivity but were disobeying God in that they were focused upon building their own houses while neglecting the rebuilding of God’s house, the Temple. Their sin defiled the good they sought to do. God was displeased even with their sacrifices because their sin.
So it is in the life of a church. All the good things a church seeks to do—missions, evangelism, prayer, giving—are all odious in the nostrils of God if at the same time the church is disobeying God in some aspect of church life. The sin, the disobedience, befouls all the good that the church seeks to do.
What will happen at Calvary if our new pastor arrives, opens his Bible, and shows us we have failed to obey God in some way? How will we respond? Will we be thankful for a new pastor who understands that the blessing of God is contingent upon obedience in every area or will we chafe at the idea that we need to change? Let’s decide this issue now. Let’s set our hearts toward obedience now, before he arrives.