Wednesday, May 28, 2014

True Christianity?

            Let’s take a self examination test. Answer each of these questions honestly in your mind, then count up the results.

1)      Do you view yourself as a true Christian?

2)      Do others view you as a true Christian?

3)      Does God view you as a true Christian?

4)      Do you take your relationship with God seriously?

5)      Are you happily satisfied where God has placed you?

6)      Can others see that you are satisfied?

7)      Do you have a peace that you are where you need to be in God’s will?

8)      Do you have a constant joy in the Lord?

9)      Do you have a regular, every day time with the Lord?

10)  Do you love to hear, read, and talk about the Lord?

11)  Is your main focus in life to be all that God wants you to be and no less?

12)  Are you fully surrendered to God?

13)  Are you committed to serving the Lord no matter the cost?

14)  Does your life reflect the love of God in every thought, word, and action?

15)  Can you honestly say that you are different and closer to God now than you were a year ago?

*If you have answered “yes” honestly to all these questions, then you may count yourself as perfect and in no need of counseling or training. (Just kidding!)

It’s rather eye-opening isn’t it? The last question especially. I went through several years of not knowing if I was indeed closer to God than the previous year or not. The Lord has changed that these last two years and I am able to answer with joy, “Yes! God has drawn me even closer and shown me more lessons than ever before!”

These questions are just a few of the several that we could ask, but it’s enough for us to realize that there is still several things that must take place in our lives for us to be all that God wants us to be. Hopefully through the time of this newsletter, several of these questions and more will be addressed. I pray that you glean from it and that the Lord will maybe use you in its message.

The question I want to address is, “Do you take your relationship with God seriously?” Now, I’m not trying to force you to “get it right” or embarrass you. I did not take my own relationship with God seriously until I had been saved nine and one-half years. But I believe that you will not become the person God wants you to be, unless you are serious about the things of the Lord and His Word.

I had asked Jesus to come into my heart and save me, and I believe he did, but other than praying and reading the Bible, that was it. I mean, sometimes the Lord would show me something, and I would try to do better or change, but things weren’t the way they needed to be.

After I turned sixteen, I tried to make my relationship “serious”, but the motive I had was because others were doing it, and I didn’t want to be any lower than they. My life from then on was a mixed up mess and jumble of emotion, tears, anger, confusion, and honest searching for, I didn’t know what.

Two weeks after I turned eighteen, I stood up to myself and asked the question, “What is my life for anyway? What is it that I’m living for?” After earnest searching and prayer, the answer crushed me. I was living for myself. There was no goal but to do what I wanted to do and have others do the same, which wasn’t really a goal at all. There was not point to my life, and I didn’t know why I was on this earth. I had nearly turned my back on God. I hated to face the reality, but I realize now that God had to bring me to that breaking point before He could ever use me for anything good.

I had to give up everything I wanted and was to God, and completely open myself up to Him. His life-searching light revealed a mess of a life that could be made good by nothing but total surrender and serious living for Him. I argued with my flesh.

The hot-headed rebel in me would bluntly tell myself that this would be too hard and painful. But deep down inside I was hurting and I knew that nothing but to take this step would help me. I finally surrendered.

“Okay Lord, now what?” was the first question from my bruised and bandaged heart. The first thing He showed me was the necessity of a serious relationship with the Lord. 

"But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” –Matthew 6:33

Our lives reflect what our heart and mind’s focus is intent on, and if I spend time daydreaming about things I shouldn’t and holding feelings I shouldn’t hold, my life will reflect a life that is sinful and wrong. But if I spend time looking to God and to His Word, my life would then reflect the Life that is the ultimate example.

 “The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single(focused on God), thy whole body shall be full of light. But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness!” –Matthew 6:22-23

I had to pray for a desire to have a serious relationship, because I honestly didn’t. The Lord dealt with me about having a regular quiet time with Him. The first few weeks were the hardest, because reading the Bible had always been boring, and I never could pray for more than two minutes, even if I prayed for everyone I knew. But by Christ’s strength I doggedly kept on and then little by little, an amazing and wonderful light started to gleam through my heart, warming it to the desire to want and know more. 

Before I knew it, I honestly wanted to be like Jesus, and honestly wanted to spend time reading the Bible and praying. I never though I’d want to spend and hour or two just going through that boring book with all those long words, but God placed the desire in my heart, and then, after that point, God began to show me a little at a time what I was, and what He wanted me to be. My Bible now is my greatest treasure, and my relationship with God something I now cannot live without.

Dear girls, I pray that you would not let yourself wait as long as I did to begin taking that wonderful relationship seriously. God will not force Himself on you, just as He did not force salvation upon you. You must give Him the freedom to create a relationship between you and Him. As soon as you allow God to form your heart in a perfect, love-filled bond with His, you will wonder at your ever being so stubborn and resistant to Him, and will find nothing but the Lord will satisfy you.  “For he satisfieth the longing soul, and filleth the hungry soul with goodness.” –Psalms 107:9

P.S. Life won’t be perfect from now on though! I’ll write more about that later!

Posts from the Past
Every Wednesday I post something that I have written in the past. It may have been written a long time ago, or a very, very long tim ago! :-D So please forgive any mistakes!

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