Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Re-Evaluating Our Christian Walk

There are times when we need to re-evaluate our lives as born again believers and make the changes necessary to strengthen our relationship with God.

I think this is a subject we can all relate to. There are times in our Christian lives when we need to stop, think about where we've been, where we are, and what we hope to accomplish in the future.

Knowing where we've been, and reflecting on the road that has lead us to where we are now, is a morale booster, but we can't live on past glories. The point to looking back is to check our progress and give us the opportunity to make any course corrections that are needed in order to continue moving forward. Of course, this needs to be done through prayer, through the leading of the Holy Spirit, and through the wisdom that the Lord has blessed us all with.

The older I get, the more I realize just how important it is to use my time wisely in order to accomplish what the Lord has sent me here to do. God created me to exist at this particular point in time in order to complete specific tasks. As I get older and time grows short, I understand more that my time here on earth is valuable and I need to ask myself whether there needs to be a course correction. Am I accomplishing all that I can for the Lord?

I woke up from a dream a little while ago. In this dream I was helping a brother who had turned away from the church body. I felt the power of God flowing through me as I counseled him. In my dream, I brought his plea before the pastor in order to create reconciliation between him and the person I was counseling. Long story short, I found myself begging with the the pastor to listen to reason. When I woke up from the dream, I understood even more how some of the decisions I have made in the past few years separated me from the church body and from the work that the Lord had planned for me to complete.

I began thinking of how many opportunities had been wasted apart from the body, and how much time had been used for other things, sin being chief among them. Although I've repented, I still find myself separated from the body of believers that I was born to be a part of. Phone apps, world news, social media sites, online videos... all of these things had taken the place of my relationships within the body of Christ.

I have come to terms with the fact that even though the structure of the modern day church doesn't reflect how the early church operated, I need to be okay with that, because even in such a setting, God works through His body of believers. I don't agree with some church traditions, but it's the best system we have in this modern age, and to abandon it wouldn't be wise. Yes, God has brought me full circle on this issue. Because of this, I believe it's my responsibility to work within this framework to complete the work that the Lord has for me. 

Right now I have a fire in my heart that says I needs to move forward. I need to link arms with those brothers and sisters that are truly serious about their relationship with the Lord and who are in it for the long haul. We need to stand side by side at the front line, put our shields up and advance together, step by step, into the enemy's territory. We can't be looking back and patting ourselves on the back for the amount of territory with which the Lord has blessed us. We just need to focus on what lies ahead and constantly move forward. There will be plenty of time to look back at the efforts we put in to the battle once the battle is over and we're home with the Lord.

The church has always been filled with social butterflies, chatterboxes, gossipers, the uncommitted, the "religious," etc... We won't ever find a church body where we won't find at least one or more of these types of individuals, but we can't let that divide us or stop us from encouraging one another. We can't let that stop us from fellowshipping with one another. We can't let that stop us from praising and worshiping God as a body. Whether we gather together in a church building, at someone's house, walking on the beach, driving in a car...wherever, we need to operate as one body in support of each other and encourage one another to continue the race, growing in wisdom, knowledge and understanding of God and His word. 

If going to an organized corporate church is too much for you right now, think about checking out a few online sermons through church websites and apps. Keep tabs on local full gospel churches through their websites as well. Remember, you can visit a church without making a commitment to that church.

Join me and really commit to making some of the tough choices to help refocus our relationship with the Lord. The less time you spend with Him, the more time you spend in the world. You may want to consider...
  • Uninstalling games on your electronic devices and fasting from playing videos on your gaming system. 
  • Limiting the amount (and type) of television and video that you watch. 
  • Limiting the amount of news that you take in on a daily basis. If you're checking out 20 news sources 3 times a day, cut it down to your top 5 and check it once a day (at the end of the day).
  • Limiting your time on social media. Even Christian social media can be a time eater, so be careful.
Instead, you may want to consider...
  • Praising and worshipping God through Christian music.
  • Chatting or texting with your Christian friends about positive and spiritual things instead of spending time with worldly friends talking about worldly things.
  • Picking an interesting topic and search the Bible for correlating scripture. Then memorize one of those scriptures (admit it, you're going to choose the shortest, and then pick another topic to study.

These are just a few basic suggestions to get you to think about the things in your life that change and which will enhance your relationship with God and draw you closer to Him. And what does it say in James 4:8a? It says that if you draw close to God, He will draw close to you. That's an awesome scripture to stand on, and an easy one to memorize ;)

Consider whether the skills you have can be used to glorify God. If you're a creator, then why not use your skills to create something for God? The skills with which the Lord has blessed me have allowed me to create this very blog site. If you have a great voice or play an instrument, make some noise to the Lord at church, online, or in your local community. If you have technical skills, then make His presence known online or use your skills to help the church.

Just as we evaluate other things in our lives, our spiritual walk with the Lord deserves even more attention. You may come to realize that the Lord is leading you in a totally unexpected direction, and that it may be time to re-evaluate and plan for the direction you see the Lord taking you. 

I pray that your walk with the Lord grows daily and that you will make an effort to draw closer to God so that He can fulfill His half of His conditional promise and draw closer to you. May we all be more like Jesus every day, and may we all rejoice in His presence together on that great and glorious day when He returns to take us all home.

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Repent and be forgiven! Believe and be saved!

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