The Key Victuals For Consistent And Effective Christian Life.
Let’s start with the following questions:
1. Can you say in the last 5 -10 years you have had significant growth in your spiritual life?
2. Can you say your spiritual life is growing or dwindling?
4. Can you say your faith is increasing or reducing?
5. Has the period of your devotion increased or reduced in the last few years?
If any of these is applicable to you, it is high time we all take a critical look into it. Naturally, you will expect every believer to grow as he learns more in the kingdom, but there is this irony that many believers stop growing when they gets a bit of God.
Let’s review what a believer need to do daily to maintain his standing before God:
1. Always Examine Yourself, Don’t Wait For Pastor Or Sermon To Examine You Daily: Examine yourselves to see if your faith is genuine. Test yourself. Surely you know that Jesus Christ is among you; if not, you have failed the test of genuine faith. 2Cor. 13: 5(KJV) examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates? Many times, we progressively dwindle into spiritual coldness when we do not examine ourselves daily if we are in the faith. Being in faith is not measured by going to Church or being a worker. It is to examine if you still have the full knowledge of God and his presence with you just as you did before. Do you still trust him to answer prayers, do you still believe in His promises, do you still set to live all your life for Him. Also, have you examined your time commitment to God in fellowship and devotion, if you don’t examine this, you will dwindle. The disciples averted what would have been the greatest spiritual coldness of the century by examining themselves, don’t wait for someone or situation to examine you, daily examine all your spiritual vital signs and see if you are still in faith. Acts 6: 1-4 …there arose a complaint against the Hebrews by the Hellenists, because their widows were neglected in the daily distribution. Then the twelve summoned the multitude of the disciples and said, “It is not desirable that we should leave the word of God and serve tables… but we will give ourselves continually to prayer and to the ministry of the word.” If not that the Apostles examined this and took a decision, it may have been a dangerous situation for them. It would’ve actually ended that matchless move of the Spirit and His work in that dispensation.
Question: What are the other things to examine if we are still in faith?
1. Our ability to hear from God: Great! Actually this is one great area I check, when it has been long you heard from God, is enough reason to stop all you are doing and examine yourself. God want to speak daily to His children but when the last time God spoke to you was a month ago, then there is a challenge. So when you don’t hear God clearly or at all, it is time to review your spiritual life.
2. When we spend more time on supportive/supplementary tasks and services than God himself. Many times like the Apostles, when we begin to grow in leadership we spend more time on Administration of the people than on Fellowship with God.
3. What level of newness of revelation do I get from the Scriptures? Or does it look same to me as it was 5 years ago. Freshness of revelation in the light of God’s word is key to growth. The revelation of 5 years becomes a bit dimmer if no fresh revelation comes to illuminate it.
4. How easy is it for God to get my attention? Do my thoughts feel so much at home with the physical issues or does it spontaneously switch to divine discussions especially when I’m alone?
5. Our consistency in observing family worship/digging the scripture.
What I notice sometimes is that, if you are not careful, many of our quiet time and family devotions lacks light and revelations but we still keep doing it to keep traditions and to raise ego to our friends about our morning devotion. While this is good we must know when it has lost light and revelation. Many of the children that became thugs today do have devotion even for 20 years in their home. What happened that the effect of daily prayer and altar cannot lighten their heart? We must also know when the altar is becoming a ritual rather than daily light and revelation.
The challenge today is that despite knowing all these issues, many of us still prefer to forge ahead with less of God, than to do as the Apostles did. The Apostles removed all distractions and concentrated on the major and left the minor. The church system is not being helpful in this. There’s always scheduled activities and programs that keeps you busy but undiscerning of one’s spiritual deterioration or stagnancy.
Questions: Like the Apostles did, what would be the minor issues that you think several of us need to leave today to focus on God?
Moses said, if your presence wouldn’t go with me, carry us not from hence. He would not continue to pursue the very reason for which he was apprehended, if God’s presence and fellowship is not secured. Moses realized that he is just human and cannot do anything unless God leads the way. He wasn’t interested in progress or anticipated success and acquisition of the Promised Land if He ever lost consciousness of steady progress in God’s nearness and fellowship.
One of the thing we must do is that, anything we do where His presence is not found, it doesn’t matter who is involved, the effort is a wasted one. Run from too many activities and run into so great a fellowship and koinonia with God.
Issue as big as refusing to honor invitation to minister because of your insistence on God and Him alone is a demonstration of our preference for God. How great is this especially if you know that God is not leading you or you have left Him in secret but want to go and show stuff in the public.
Let’s know something that, it is very easy for the place where we use to meet God to become a place where we can no longer find Him, but because we were meeting God there before we keep the ritual and traditions but we have lost the spirit. That’s very scary. God does not change and He is still God.
Question: Is it the place that change or we are the one that change if God is no more revealing himself? And, are we to change the place or to examine ourselves?
God was always in the Holies of Holies but even with the Holies of Holies still physically present, He left when His service was abhorred. The priest still continued the services in the Holies of Holies despite the missing presence of God. We have several activities we do today that had brought revival in time past but the spirit has left the activity, but we still keep the tradition. Very dangerous.
God calls our praise and worship noise when it is missing the vital elements of true righteousness. Amos 5:21-25. We have replaced His missing presence with theatrics (“vain-janglings” to use KJV terminology).
God is not a God of place but a God of person. God is a God of Spirit and not a God of Tradition. The problem with this generation is that, we hold our denomination so dear to us and care less about His presence. May God open our eyes.
Not locations alone as stated but other traditions and practices that we keep upholding even when we all know God is no longer present. Some people after they have picked up a handkerchief that was taken from a “Man of God”, it doesn’t matter what God is demanding at that particular moment, they just follow the ritual. We must be flexible about doctrines and instructions of men and hold on tight to God’s word. How long shall we all continue with such rituals and tradition just to please men and keep organization.
Consistently be on God’s side on every matter rather than rationalizing and trying to defend some men or denomination or even generalized ideas that can change any time.
As believers we must consistently check the voice and the heart of the spirit on all our service and fellowship to be sure God’s presence is there, else, it is a waste of time.
Question: I have heard it from elders in the denomination I attend that “Godly Tradition Sustain The Gospel” and that explicit obedience to our leaders is also key in the service of the Lord. What then could be done in a situation where you are to obey though you are not convinced by the Holy Spirit if I may say?
The Spirit that confirms you as a child of God is greater than the view of any man. Your greatest witness on any issue is the Holy Spirit, others are to validate.
The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God. Roman’s 8: 16. The founder of same denomination might have decided not to obey his previous denomination when he saw the light of the gospel. Why should he be permitted by God not to listen to men but God but now, you are not allowed?
Whoever says what is contrary to Scripture must not be listened to. That was the error the young prophet committed in 1 Kings 13. No anointing or works or signs or wonders is greater than the revealed Truths of Scripture. Also, as many as are led by the Spirit of God (not some men or traditions) are the children of God. That’s the hallmark of a child of God and we ought to walk as such.
We are not to do evil to any man. In fact, we should not even speak evil of any man. Titus 3:2. So the principle is still valid. It doesn’t remove the need to obey when we know God is leading on an instruction from a leader. That does not mean we don’t address issues, though. Our greatest challenge today is our comfortability with a service without the spirit, a fellowship without the glory, a koinoinia without His presence and a saint without true Holiness. And all the council of elders agrees we can continue, don’t rock the boat they say, just keep the name and keep the emblem.
If we would make impact in our generation we must all call ourselves to self examination: What am I doing that is not adding value to my spiritual walk, how much of His presence am I walking with daily, can I reach the spiritual desire of God for me with the way am going. Think on these things!