My heart has been heavy from the issue of Christian behavior, actions, deeds. (You know the "walking out your faith" thing before the world) I have blogged around the topic, but I sense that I just can't get a full grasp of it. I am hoping that even as I blog today, it will become more clear to me.
So today I feel weepy as I ponder this. I am saddened by it. (As you read this, you may say what is "it") It is the missing hope, it is the misrespresentation of Christ, it is condemnation of the body toward itself, it is being in the word and church to impress God or others instead of seeking Him, it is the missing compassion, love, kindness, gentleness and self control in believers, it is the missing passion for the Lord, His people and the lost world. It is the missing glorification of God from the body, it is the missing gratitude of God, the missing exaltation of Him. Are we drawing attention to our knowledge of the Word, our good works, our church, or are we drawing all attention toward God, who He is, what He is doing, and what He has done??
I am saying this not to beat anyone up. I don't believe that it is done intentionally, but it is done out of desire to do the right thing. It is done typically out of a lack of understanding. I am in no way looking down my nose at anyone, but lump myself in the category as guilty too. Any of our religious acts are of no real value apart from God. (they are garbage and filthy rags)
Here is what I believe is at issue: we are in need of revival as the universal body. We need to know how much we need God daily. We need to become aware of our neediness. We need to become aware of how hungry and thirsty we are for the Spirit of God in our lives. It is when you eat all the wrong foods and drink all the wrong things, we may feel VERY full but we will still be starving for nourishment. We may be drinking liquid but it is not a liquid that will quench our thirst.
The actions of doing religious do's and don'ts is not going to produce the fruit and will not satisfy the soul. That is conformity and will not bring about the transformation that comes from walking closely, dependantly and completely surrendered to Christ. He wants to use us and equip us for good works, and in doing so, we will be made holy and set apart for our godly purposes. (obey the leading of the Holy Spirit and the commands as He prompts)
In 2 Timothy 2:20-22, the Word describes the difference between a clean, special instrument and an unclean or dishonored instrument. But as you read the scripture, I sense that it is all about the use of that instrument that makes it one or the other. In Romans 6:13 we are to offer ourselves to God to be used as instruments of righteousness.
Follow these links to look at the verses and even compare in various translations
|Such a practical picture of God's love on a needy world|
So we need to stop trying to be an instrument of righteousness, which according to Isaiah 64:6 says are filthy rags. (see also Philippians 3:8 ) Instead we need to be surrendered vessels available to walk in fellowship with our Creator. So that when we do this, we, by His use of us, are made Holy, sanctified (set apart for a special use) and a sweet savor to those we encounter.
Lets study the Word of God under the inspritation of the Holy Spirit. Inviting the Spirit to inspire us, feed us with spiritual nourishment. So we will know Him more. Ask Him to reveal Himself to us through the study of the Word. We do not need to manufacture a form of godliness by our own strength and conformity, but allow Him to carve out in us our godly character and transform us in the image of Christ.
Perhaps as we the body begin to do our part, which is to surrender to His hands for His holy use so we become those instruments of righteousness as His slave, then the lost and dying world will see Christ in us and begin to recognize just how hungry and thirsty they are. The world doesn't want what the Christians have because it is a conterfeit version, and the world recognizes it more than those of us who are in the body.
It seems in many American churches today, because we live in a time where many of our true physical needs are being met (even many of our wants) so we are clueless of our spiritual poverty. Hard times of any kind seem to help awaken us to our spiritual needs. Nothing like a hardship to bring us back to the basics of our faith. Not one of us would ask for hardship, but it is in those difficult trials of life where, because of our humaness, we become pliable and available. This is when we tend to be more ready to turn our ears back toward the only One with the answers. The only One that can transform us and make a difference. The only One that can make us truly righteous instruments.
So today as you read this, if you find that you have been "doing the church thing" apart from God, and you sensed that something is missing, just confess it and ask for the Lord's help. Welcome Him back into your life's activity. Tell Him today that you are available for His use. (simple surrender) see: 1 John 2: 1 and 2
If we fall short, it is not for our condemnation. We have Jesus as our advocate pleading on our behalf to God. So in this, if we have offered our bodies to sin in order to be used as instruments of unrighteousness, confess, and Jesus is there as our advocate and faithful to forgive.
Apart from Christ, we can do NO-THING. But in Christ all things are possible. Surrender to Him, seek His will, and walk daily in fellowship with Him. That is it.
Have a blessed blessed day.
I pray today that my fingers were used by God's Holy Spirit as instruments of righteousness for His glory to convey these words to us all. If any of this was just of me, may they be discarded with the garbage! AMEN!