Friday, January 5, 2018

The Problem With Having More Than One Bank Account

Jesus answered him, "Where I am going you cannot follow Me now, but you shall follow Me afterward." —John 13:36

{CHAMBERS} “And when He had spoken this, He said to him, ‘Follow Me’ ” (John 21:19). Three years earlier Jesus had said, “Follow Me” (Matthew 4:19), and Peter followed with no hesitation. The irresistible attraction of Jesus was upon him and he did not need the Holy Spirit to help him do it. Later he came to the place where he denied Jesus, and his heart broke. Then he received the Holy Spirit and Jesus said again, “Follow Me” (John 21:19). Now no one is in front of Peter except the Lord Jesus Christ. […] Jesus is now asking for an internal sacrifice and yielding (see John 21:18).[…] There was no part of himself he would ever rely on again. […] No matter what changes God has performed in you, never rely on them. Build only on a Person, the Lord Jesus Christ, and on the Spirit He gives. All our promises and resolutions end in denial because we have no power to accomplish them. […] There is now only One who directs the course of your life, the Lord Jesus Christ.”

{ELGIN} We have several bank accounts.  One is for our personal business, one is for the ministry, and another is a temporary account we set up in Texas while we are here serving on mission.  We use each account depending upon what the source of the money we receive is or what the expense is.  That is much the same that most Christians live their lives.  They have a spiritual account and a carnal account.  Oh “carnal” is such a harsh word isn’t it?  Maybe I should have used something softer.  Something that suggests that what’s been deposited in that account is not all bad.  That maybe true by the world’s definition of good and bad, but not God’s.  Sorry, had a squirrel moment!   Back on point …. Our new life in Christ is transformational, “the old is gone, the new has come” and demands that we always deposit to and draw from our spiritual bank account for everything.  But we don’t do that do we?  Instead we live the best we can and if we have to we get out our spiritual “checkbook’.  If this analogy or parable is too obtuse, let me be plain.

From observation and personal experience, I have come to inescapable conclusion that most of us trust in our flesh and our culture more than God.  We believe that we can live two lives.  Our natural one and our spiritual one.  Our natural one for most things and our spiritual one for special occasions.  In fact … that is heretical thinking.  In fact, we are supposed to crucify our natural one and live fully by our new, spiritual nature.  (Galatians 2:20) The reason, I believe, that we have this problem is that we are not disciplined in our pursuit of a deep relationship with the Father. We don’t spend much time each day focused on the spiritual.  One of my favorite verses is (Joshua 1:8-9) “Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”

In computer programming we would call that an “if-then” statement.  If you do this .. then this will happen.  For most of us .. if … is a big word for only having two letters!  And that is where most of us fail.  If you don’t do the “if” then you won’t experience the “then”. It’s up to each one of us.  I can only encourage you … and you can only encourage others.  Actually “only” is a poor choice of words because we are admonished to encourage each other.  (Hebrews 3:12-13) “See to it, brothers and sisters, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called “Today,” so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.” Maybe it’s time to close one of your accounts for good … you only need one after all … your new one. 

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