Joyful are people of integrity, who follow the instructions of the Lord. Joyful are those who obey his laws and search for him with all their hearts. They do not compromise with evil, and they walk only in his paths. Psalm 119:1–3 (NLT)
The introductory verses in Psalm 119 describe a path of success for anyone following God. Simply put, it is wholehearted obedience and allowing no compromise with evil. The way is not always easy; it can be challenging to find traveling companions.
Being full of joy is the outcome for those who pursue God’s paths. It says they do not compromise with evil, but that does not mean they are not pressured and harassed along the way. The world portrays the joyful pilgrims as weirdos, freaks, and misfits.
The Solitary Path
Those who stand their ground and do not compromise with evil find little acceptance in this world. A. W. Tozer describes the way our relationship should be with this world:
We are sent to bless the world, but never are we told to compromise with it. Our glory lies in a spiritual withdrawal from all that builds on dust. The bee finds no honey while crawling around the hive. Honey is in the flower far away where there is quiet and peace and the sun and the flowing stream; there the bee must go to find it. The Christian will find slim pickings where professed believers play and pray all in one breath. He may be compelled sometimes to travel alone or at least to go with the ostracized few. To belong to the despised minority may be the price he must pay for power. But power is cheap at any price.
We do a disservice to new converts when we do not tell them about the cost of following Jesus. If we tell the whole truth, we may find that fewer people accept our invitation, but those encouraged to “count the cost” will be more likely to finish the journey.
No Deconstruction Necessary
What do people do when they find the way of the cross to be too difficult? Few people would be willing to come right out and say that it is too difficult or no longer desirable to walk with Jesus. Instead of just giving up and abandoning the faith, they shift the blame by “deconstructing their faith.”
Deconstructing faith is a concept that is foreign to the Bible. The Bible tells us to examine our faith: Examine yourselves to see if your faith is genuine. Test yourselves. Surely you know that Jesus Christ is among you; if not, you have failed the test of genuine faith. 2 Corinthians 13:5 (NLT)
We are to contend or fight for the faith: Dear friends, I wanted very much to write to you concerning the salvation we share. Instead, I must write to urge you to fight for the faith delivered once and for all to God’s holy people. Jude 3 (CEB)
The problem with deconstructing faith as it is practiced by many today is readily apparent. First, in the process, uncomfortable or embarrassing things are abandoned. For instance, the exclusivity of Jesus as the only way to salvation is problematic in deconstruction. They add tolerance and acceptance of things that God hates.
But the most significant problem of all comes, if it occurs at all, when someone tries to reconstruct their faith without the blueprint and template that God has provided in his Word. In rejecting the absolute truth of Scripture, reconstructed faith is no longer saving faith.
For God’s call on our lives is not to a life of compromise and perversion but to a life surrounded in holiness. 1 Thessalonians 4:7 (TPT)
Compromise in some circumstances may result in a win-win, but when we compromise God’s truth, we will only lose. We have heard of pastors discovering a “new interpretation” of Scripture when a son or daughter announces that they are in a relationship not sanctioned by God. God’s truth does not change.
We must not only be concerned about the present circumstances and whether the world will reject us, but eternal destiny as well. Esau compromised his future by satisfying his present desire for his future birthright. When those who compromise years of faithful devotion to God for peace and present relationships, what are they sacrificing? Mark Hitchcock, in “The Coming Apostasy: Exposing the Sabotage of Christianity from Within,” observes:
A consistent mantra of contemporary apostates is their concern that Christians today will be hated or doomed to irrelevance if we stand for the truth. If we want to win the world, we have to tell them what they want to hear, caving to their cravings, compromising our convictions so that others will be more enticed to join us. The most important virtue is not offending anyone. But if that’s our goal, we have to raise the question—what are we converting people to?
Moses had an eye toward eternity. He chose faithfulness, including its consequences, above the fleeting pleasures of sin. (Hebrews 11:24-26) Compromise never works out the way we hope it will.
Ezekiel 33 illustrates the responsibility of those that God calls to be watchmen. Where are the watchmen today? Those who are alert and see the mounting attack of the enemy? The watchmen’s job is to warn people of the impending disaster. They must choose to pay attention to the warning.
In 1 Corinthians 5, Paul deals decisively with immorality in the church. Even though he is not present, he serves as a watchman. He tells us that it is not our responsibility to judge those outside the church, but those who profess Christ must not live compromised lives. Sin in the church must not be tolerated, much less accepted, or even worse, celebrated. Paul spoke plainly: Boasting over your tolerance of sin is inappropriate. Don’t you understand that even a small compromise with sin permeates the entire fellowship, just as a little leaven permeates a batch of dough? So remove every trace of your “leaven” of compromise with sin so that you might become new and pure again. 1 Corinthians 5:6–7 (TPT)
Watchmen often stand alone. Recalling Psalm 119, they must have integrity, zeal for God’s things, and a willingness to stand against the flow of culture without compromise, knowing they will have to answer God.
 Mark Hitchcock and Jeff Kinley, The Coming Apostasy: Exposing the Sabotage of Christianity from within (Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale, 2017), 73.