Wednesday, April 4, 2018

What To Do When Your Spiritual Life Is Disordered And Unfocused

Indeed the hour is coming…that you will be scattered… —John 16:32

{CHAMBERS} “Jesus was not rebuking the disciples in this passage. Their faith was real, but it was disordered and unfocused, and was not at work in the important realities of life. The disciples were scattered to their own concerns and they had interests apart from Jesus Christ. After we have the perfect relationship with God, through the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit, our faith must be exercised in the realities of everyday life. […] … our faith is sustained only by feelings and by blessings. But once we get there, no matter where God may place us or what inner emptiness we experience, we can praise God that all is well. That is what is meant by faith being exercised in the realities of life. […]  Are we prepared to let God do what He wants with us? […] Until Jesus Christ is truly our Lord, we each have goals of our own which we serve.”

{ELGIN} A disordered and unfocused spiritual life.  That is more normal than we would like to think.  One of the things I see missing in the Church today is discipleship. People hungry to know more about God .. more interested in fellowship .. hanging out and having a good time … feeling good .. than drawing close to Jesus.  This is not a new problem.  Going back a few years, about 1980, Martie and I had just arrived in Savannah, GA – Hunter Army Airfield.  Our first assignment out of flight school.  We got connected to a local church right away.  Well, I was invited to a men’s gathering .. a super bowl party. I confess that I have never been passionate about football, but saw it as an opportunity to get to know the men.  As the evening wore on, I started talking about faith and Jesus, to which one of the men replied “Hey we came to watch football, not talk about Jesus!”  “Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks.” (Luke 6:45)  I had misunderstood the purpose of the gathering.  It was not because of our love for Jesus, but our love for football.  Obviously I have not forgotten that lesson.  (I found another group of men, BTW.) 

(Proverbs 27:17) “As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.”  You cannot sharpen a steel blade using clay.  That is what I was trying to do at that gathering.  If you don’t seek out like-hearted people … people who have put Jesus first … people who have made growing in their faith  a priority, you should not expect to grow in your faith.  A couple more verses to cement the point.  “Bad company corrupts good character.” (1 Corinthians 15:33) People often compromise their faith to gain acceptance from friends, family, and co-workers.  “A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.” (Ecclesiastes 4:12) You cannot grow on your own .. you need the influence of other Christians in your life.  Dr. Howard Hendricks spoke at a Promise Keepers conference in 1993.  He said we all need a Timothy, someone into whose life we can build, a Barnabas – someone who will keep us spiritually accountable, and a Paul – someone who is building into our life.  Do you have those people in your life?  You need to more than you might think.  Pray about it ands then step into it when God brings those people into your life. If you really care about your faith .. you won't regret it.

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