Recently, I have been faced with some difficult things. I am most certain I am not alone, as Elijah felt he was when he retreated to the cave. Prayer and thanksgiving have kept me going in the middle of such worldly turmoil.
When we hear believers judge, gossip, stir up trouble …
When we see believers be ashamed of their faith, not wanting to impose it on anyone …
When we assume we are of one mind and one spirit with other believers yet they live their lives as though Jesus was not a part …
I will not attribute the current atmosphere on social media and within church walls to the election or Covid.
Let’s call it what it is: the devil, the accuser, the father of lies.
Let’s put all our negativity at the feet of Jesus.
Believers are no better than anyone else:
This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus (Romans 3:22-24).
If we make judgments of others, we are participating in sin.
If we talk behind someone’s back, we are participating in the division the devil desires.
If we post biting words toward another person or group, we are not setting ourselves apart, rather joining in the rapid moral decline.
If we don’t turn to Jesus who opens the narrow path to the throne of God … and pray for our fellow believers who stray, what will happen to our hearts?
Billy Graham, in his archived sermons, talked frequently about the hardening of our hearts. According to Reverend Graham, once hardening takes place it is very difficult to hear and respond to the truth of Christ. Based upon my observation the past few years, the latter applies to both believers and those who have not accepted Christ as Lord and Savior.
In the life of a believer, what does Jesus expect?
Love Him and obedience to His teachings (John 14:23).
In the life of a believer, God is waiting for us …
to glorify Him every day, not just on Sunday.
to share His good news when He presents us divine opportunities, not just online.
to grow and mature spiritually, not only by memorizing Scripture but spending time in prayer to receive His shaping of our inner lives in Him.
to surrender as often as possible any inkling of pride, not just at quarterly Communion.
Do you sense a stretching beyond yourself?
Knowing His ways are higher means I have to lower myself to know Him. The more childlike I stay when going to my Father in heaven, the more likely I am to remain humble:
Oswald Chambers wrote about believers who seek to be noticed:
“If we are not looking for halos, we at least want something that will make people say. ‘What a wonderful man of prayer he is!’ or ‘What a great woman of devotion she is!’ If you are properly devoted to the Lord Jesus, you have reached the lofty height where no one would ever notice you personally. All that is noticed is the power of God coming through you all the time” (My Utmost for His Highest).
It is work to lay down your pride every day. It is humbling when His Spirit convicts you of leaning into your own strength, but I am so thankful to be taught and brought out of the trough of self-glorifying sin.
Believers, no matter the size of your faith, don’t wait. Go to Jesus now. Talk to Him about wanting to please Him more and more because you love Him. We don’t all have spiritual discernment, that takes time to finesse in your walk with Him.
However, you can find an accountability partner, someone whom you trust, to call you out and point you to Jesus. You can order Oswald Chambers My Utmost for His Highest. He does not mince words. This is my second time going through it. I am receiving convictions and growing which didn’t prick me the first time through. All glory to God!
You can also discipline yourself by seeking a mentor, a discipleship group, or joining an online Bible study. There are so many resources. Jesus makes sure there is a place for you to come as you are, where the subject matter will add to your faith and grow your hope.
In the life of a believer, we are to encourage others to set their feet back on track with Jesus. If we stick to His truth and leave our emotions out of it, usually that goes pretty well.
Either way, it is our duty to speak to brothers and sisters in sin (Matthew 18:15-17).
In the life of a believer, we will have trouble. We will experience hurt, tragedy, and watch some of our loved ones refuse a relationship with Jesus.
In the life a believer, we need other believers to stand with us, to encourage us, to lift us up when the howling wind knocks us down.
Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18).
Just.don’t.give.up. Jesus didn’t. He went to the Cross, knowing all sin would be laid upon Him, that He would struggle to breathe, that He would die.
The life of a believer is going to be hard when the world hates Jesus.
Hard but not impossible because we have Him in us. Thank you, Lord!
Dear sisters and brothers, if you would like me to pray for you or someone in your midst, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If God spoke to you here, you are welcome to share in the comments or email me privately.
Thank you again for all who have followed this blog. I usually post on once per week on Saturday’s, but my husband and I were away.
So today’s post is technically last week’s 🙂
All photos in this post are from Pixabay.com.
Be blessed as you seek His face.
Be strong as you receive His truth.
Be sober and alert, for we are not without an enemy.
In His love and for His glory,