One of my favorite Bible stories is that of a man of God from Judah whom God sent with a word to Jeroboam at Bethel (1 Kings 13). After he had delivered the word which the LORD gave him, King Jeroboam volunteered to entertain him with food and drinks but he instantly objected, since God's instruction to him was that he shouldn't eat, drink or go back through the path from which he came (1 Kings 13:9).
On his way back an old prophet from Bethel had heard of his coming, so he charged towards him and met him sitting under an oak tree. He told him almost the same words King Jeroboam told him, "Come home with me and eat bread". The man of God answered with the same reply he gave Jeroboam.
But what caught my attention was how the young prophet quickly changed his mind and accepted the old prophet's offer because of a lie he should had quickly discerned. Or maybe he did discern?
1 Kings 13:18(KJV) "He said unto him, I am a prophet also as thou art; and an angel spake to me by the word of the LORD, saying, bring him back with thee into thine house, that he may eat bread and drink water. But he lied unto him".
But the answer is simple: the young prophet lacked strong moral principles. I believe he knew what was right but choose compromise instead. Lack of strong moral principles makes people lower their standards, bring themselves so low to the point of settling for what they shouldn't and even disobeying God in the process. The result can be devastating, just like in the case of the young prophet (A lion tore him apart on his way back).
Looking at the lives of most heroes of our faith, we can always point out one spectacular thing concerning them: they were people who could never settle for anything. Self-disciplined, full of integrity. They didn't live a life of 'anything goes'. I can use Apostle Paul as an example again and again. From his writings, one can easily tell he was very principled. That is one of the factors which guaranteed the impact he had on the early Church and the world in his time. He wasn't someone who could be manipulated to disobey the voice of God to obey that of an angel.
Being a Christian is one thing, having strong moral principles is another. Principles are basic. They act as one of pillars that sustain successful Christian. Any Christian who lives a life of 'anything goes' is like a man who built his house on sinking sand. No matter how Spirit-filled we are, if we can't say either a 'Yes' or 'No' to certain things or people and stand by it, we are in danger!
The devil won't come directly to say, "go marry that brother who gambles, drinks and smokes", instead he'll bring an hypocrite who is so holy on the outside but someone else in secret. The old prophet using the "I am also a prophet as thou" phrase to deceive the young prophet should tell us that we shouldn't be carried away by titles and outward form of godliness. No matter how spiritual they look, if they throw a suggestion to compromise at us, we'll do ourselves much good to object.
The enemy will often come with a,
* "love your neighbour as yourself" (even when that neighbour strives to lead us into sin).
* "you've been in this relationship for a long time so why not try sex just for once and see how it feels?"
The word of God says our body is the temple of the Holy Spirit(1 Corinthians 6:19-20).
There will be subtle temptations to apply a little worldly standard here and a little there in our ministry. There will always be subtle temptations to allow people who we should never allow into our lives. But we shouldn't forget there are always consequences attached to compromise. Friendship with the world is enmity with God(James 4:4).
Samson is another example of a man who was full of the Anointing but lived a life of 'anything goes.' And we can recall how he ended up.
Daniel did not operate in the level of Anointing Samson did but he couldn't for once imagine himself compromising even with the smallest things. He had strong moral principles on which his life was based; something which Sampson lacked.
Daniel 1:8 KJV
But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king's meat, nor with the wine which he drank: therefore he requested of the prince of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself.
If Joseph was like Sampson, I wonder how his life would had turned out to be after he might had sinned with Potiphar's wife.
The Holy Spirit will enable us lead our lives based on the principles we already set out to adhere to. He won't be the one to set out principles for us and run our lives on them. Every Christian who is serious about their life, relationship with the LORD and ministry should never settle for anything less than God's standards. It must be either God's standards or Nothing!