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“...and you have perseverance and have endured for My names sake, and have not grown weary. But I have this against you, that you have left your first love. Therefore remember from where you have fallen, and repent and do the deeds you did at first; or else I am coming to you and will remove your lampstand out of its place-- unless you repent.” (Rev. 2:3-5)In a day and age where the allure of the world no longer creeps in from every angle but rather is blaring evident from the moment we wake up until we lie down at night, living in the world but not being of the world is an ever increasing challenge for today’s believer. The temptation to compromise, even just a smidgen under the guise of well God will forgive me is unfortunately the hallmark of far too many people of God. Pastor and author Greg Laurie, in his book The Great Compromise, addresses this issue of compromise within the church, strongly encouraging the reader to resist the urge to follow the world’s ways while holding firm to faithfulness and holiness.As noted on the cover of this great book, “We want it both ways. We want the excitement of a secular culture, but we want the benefits of the Christian faith.” In an effort to address the issue of compromise, Laurie divides his book into three parts: 1) The Force of Compromise; 2) The Faces of Compromise; and 3) The Fight against Compromise. Each section then further elaborates on each specific element of how compromise can be so alluring, what compromise looks like in our daily life, concluding with a number of practical and biblical methods to wage war against this pattern of behavior.While this book was penned in the 1990’s, many of the issues Laurie addresses remain valid today and to some extent are even more pressing. One issue Laurie comments on is the attempt to recreate God in a way that makes Him comfortable. With a God on display that does not require any level of obedience and that is more of a “homeboy” or “pal”, compromising truth for the lies of the world suddenly becomes a bit easier. Laurie rightly notes “At the expense of reverence for His sovereignty, we have made God over into a comfortable pal, a “user-friendly” God who makes allowances for our sin and excuses for our backgrounds – a non-judgmental God who will easily adapt to our chosen lifestyles and give us “brownie points” for doing a good turn now and then.” This user-friendly or seeker sensitive approach as it is now known, waters down the message of the gospel which calls us not just to be saved, but also to live a life in obedience to God’s word and to rid ourselves through the power of the Holy Spirit of the leaven that continues to reside within us. Another area where compromise looms large is the belief among many in the church that they will never succumb to the wares of the devil because they have treated him as nothing more than an angry red man with a pitchfork and horns instead of understanding his desire to steal, kill, and destroy. Laurie correctly points out that in the last days, “we will see an increase of demonic activity….What else but a tremendous outpouring of demonic activity could be responsible for the horrendous perverse wickedness that is present on earth today?” Satan is a well versed liar and through the art of compromise, he seeks to lure believers into thinking they can have their proverbial cake and eat it too. Laurie reminds the reader there are four things Satan does not want us to know: 1) He is dramatically outgunned; 2) He’s been conquered; 3) His power is limited; and 4) He can’t be everywhere at once. This is vital information and Laurie reminds us that despite these aforementioned facts, Satan is still a formidable foe that must be taken seriously. Laurie aptly states “We must never underestimate the devil, for if we do, we do so at our own peril. Yet we must at all times be aware that for believers, he is a defeated foe.”In part 2 of his book, Laurie addresses areas of our life where compromise is most existent. First he addresses the issue of temptation, the avenue by which Satan tries to lure us into compromise. Temptation most often is focused on our minds and “The devil knows that if he can get our minds to dwell on certain sins, then it will be just a matter of time before those sins are acted out.” This appeal to fleshly desires is what got Adam and Eve in trouble in the Garden of Eden and it is what continues to trip us up even to this day. The lust of the eyes, lust of the flesh, and the pride of life are the three tools of the trade for Satan to try and trick us into compromising our faith. God has not left us without a weapon against those tricks of the enemy. Laurie ably comments “the best defense to warding off attacks of the Temptor is a good offense. And there is just no better offense against the enemy known as “temptation” than the proper knowledge and use of the Word of God.”Another area Laurie address is that of idolatry. For many, idolatry is an issue of a by-gone era when people physically bowed down to a golden calf or statue of a god or goddess. Far be it from me to do such a thing many say to themselves while forgetting that anything that takes the rightful place of God in their life is an idol. Laurie mentions a number of modern idols to include: 1) other people; 2) possessions; 3) ourselves; 4) our appetities; 5) our children; 6) television; and 7) money. All of these are not evil in and of themselves; however, if given the wrong stature in our lives, they can become temptations for idolatrous behavior.Two final areas Laurie addresses that people find themselves compromising in are adultery and immorality. Ours is an age where the promiscuous is portrayed as the positive. Sex and the pursuit of it find its way into seemingly every aspect of life as after all, sex sells. Pornography and images of a perverse sexual nature are no longer just the back room fare of a few dirty old men. While many may not commit actual physical adultery, longing or lusting after another woman in their heart according to the words of Jesus, constitutes committing adultery. The lure of this lust of the eyes and lust of the flesh is a strong one. The lure of immorality in our day and age is quite hard to escape. Laurie outlines the fact that adultery and immorality damages your relationship with our spouse, with your children, the body of Christ, your witness to others, and most importantly, it is a cosmic crime against God. To fight against such temptations, Laurie provides four valuable steps: 1) Walk with God; 2) Walk with your spouse; 3) walk in the counsel of the godly, and 4) count the cost of that behavior.The final section of this book is focused on the fight against compromise; something Laurie rightly notes is a cosmic spiritual battle. He comments that many believers are paralyzed by fear, unwilling to enter a fight they are engaged in whether they accept it or not. Hearkening back to earlier comments he made at the outset of this book, Laurie reminds the reader to pay attention to the end of Scripture, namely the fact Satan is a defeated foe. This should provide us with great confidence tempered with the recognition we are in a battle for the ages. This Christian walk is a marathon and thus we must do what the Apostle Paul admonished us to do, that of running this race with a focus on endurance. Laurie states “To win, we must run fast. We must run hard. We must run long. And we must run all the way to the end.” To run this race and to fight this battle, God has equipped us with special armor. As we continually don this armor, Laurie reminds the reader to constantly stay focused on Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith. “When you look at Jesus, your problems fall into the right perspective. They no longer loom over you so overwhelmingly. Get your eyes off them and fix them on Jesus. He will never leave you nor forsake you. He will see you safely across the finish line of this race that is actually a spiritual battle.”Jesus reminded his disciples that in this life we will have trouble. With that said, he did not stop there. He went on to state “But take heart! I have overcome the world.” In The Great Compromise, Greg Laurie takes the reader through a valuable journey through what compromise is, what it looks like, and how to fight it, providing a number of key biblical concepts to fighting the good fight. Temptation appears fun for the moment but its end is the way of death. Believers must reject the lures of Satan knowing the ways of God bring life to those who obey God’s word. I encourage anyone struggling with areas of compromise in their life, to take heart the timely principles outlined in this book.

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