Are you restricted?

2 Corinthians 6:11-18 (NKJV)  “O Corinthians!  We have spoken openly to you, our heart is wide open.  You are not restricted by us, but you are restricted by your own affections.”

Christians talk a lot about freedom. Unfortunately, the ungodly kind of "freedom" is rebellious and builds a wall between us and God. Do you find yourself hindered in your relationship with God? Do you find yourself hindered in your relationship with God-ordained authorities in your life? If so, then there is a problem. Paul said that the Corinthians had become restricted in their relationship with him because they had become unequally yoked together with unbelievers.  What does it mean to be "unequally yoked"? It means to be in an ungodly relationship or partnership with someone who is not in agreement with God and His Word. Paul’s heart was “wide open” to the Corinthian saints. God had put him in their lives to help them grow in their relationship with God.  However, Paul detected an obvious wall in their heart toward him. No matter how much he longed to fulfill his God-ordained role in their lives, he could not as long as their hearts were closed to him. What happened to that open heartfelt relationship they had once enjoyed? The problem was that the Corinthians had allowed ungodly relationships to form with unbelievers--those who do not believe and obey God's Word. Paul described the condition of the Corinthian believers. They were:

  1. Unequally yoked together with unbelievers. They were aligned with others in opposition toward God and His Word.

  2. In fellowship with lawlessness. They were in fellowship with those who pursued a freedom without rules or order.

  3. Having communion with darkness. They enjoyed an environment void of the light of God's truth.

  4. In one accord with Belial ("the lawless one"). They were in unity and agreement with those who live according to what is right in his own eyes rather under the authority of God.

  5. Having part with unbelievers. They participated in the sinful activities of others.

  1. In agreement with idols. They put other things before God

What was Paul's solution to remove this restriction in their heart?  It was to “Come out from among them and be separate.” If we want to restore our relationship with God and God-ordained authorities in our life, we must separate ourselves from the corrupting influence of anyone and anything that pulls us the other direction.