Thursday, March 8, 2018

Don't Deceive Yourself - Your New Life In Christ Is Not Fire And Forget

I have been crucified with Christ… —Galatians 2:20

{CHAMBERS} “To become one with Jesus Christ, a person must be willing not only to give up sin, but also to surrender his whole way of looking at things. Being born again by the Spirit of God means that we must first be willing to let go before we can grasp something else. The first thing we must surrender is all of our pretense or deceit. […] Along each step of this process, we will have to give up our claims to our rights to ourselves. Are we willing to surrender our grasp on all that we possess, our desires, and everything else in our lives? Are we ready to be identified with the death of Jesus Christ?[…] If you are faced with the question of whether or not to surrender, make a determination to go on through the crisis, surrendering all that you have and all that you are to Him. And God will then equip you to do all that He requires of you.”

{ELGIN}  After we are born again, as we live our new lives out, we are faced with the temptation to continue in some of our old ways. You know the ones .. the ones that the Spirit says to abandon, but our devotion to them keeps us from giving them up .. we cling to them … perhaps even try to hide them from God, like Adam and Eve thought they could hide behind the bushes when God came to see them.  The problem is, eventually, we see those things as acceptable Christian living .. but what we really done is compromised our faith and hindered our relationship with the One that made being Christian possible to begin with.  The thing that will help you examine your life .. if you are so inclined … is the Word of God and the conviction of the Spirit that results.  But even then, when you see the Truth and are convicted in your heart over your disobedience to that Truth, you are faced with a decision to yield to it, confess and repent, or to continue in it.  The story about the rich young ruler in Jesus is told in Matthew 19, Like 18, and Mark 10.  It must be significant, you think?  Anyway .. this guy had decided what it was that he needed to do to have eternal life, but Jesus said “Sell all you have and give it to the poor.”  In other words .. “you love the treasures of this world more than you love God, give them up.”  Maybe you are not rich … but what is it that you love more than God? Nothing you say? What is it that you are still hanging to that is contrary to the “right you know to do”.

Our faith requires constant care and attention.  There is song [Bless Thou Fount] that goes “Prone to wander, Lord I feel it.  Prone to leave the God I love.  Take my heart Lord, take and seal it.  Seal it for Thy courts above.” In the Army there was a missile that could be fired from a Cobra Helicopter called a TOW missile.  TOW stands for Tube-Launched, Optically Tracked, Wire Guided.  Once you fired the missile you had to track it – guide it – until it hit the target.  Failure to do so meant you would miss the target.  The next generation of missiles called Hellfire missiles were “fire and forget”.  Once you fired them, they followed a laser to the target, you didn’t have to sit and wait for the missile to hit the target. My point?  Our faith is more like the TOW than the Hellfire.  We can’t just launch our faith and then move on with life, our faith … your faith … requires constant attention, like the TOW missile, until we hit our target which is Heaven.  I am not suggesting that you are going to lose your salvation … but you will miss the life God intends … and that should matter to you.  I want to encourage you to think about it and then pray about it and then do something about it. 

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