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04 January, 2013

Choosing an Obedient Lifestyle!

Intouch magazine in by Pastor Charles Stanley September 2, 2008
Choosing an Obedient Lifestyle
Romans 6:16-18
Though God is sovereign and omnipotent, many believers don’t trust Him to guide them. Instead they think about obedience on a case-by-case basis, evaluating how the consequences of various choices might affect their life. But the Lord desires followers whose lifestyle is submissive—in other words, people who've made a deliberate decision to surrender to His will in every circumstance.

When confronted with the idea of absolute submission, many of us are assaulted by anxious thoughts: What if the Lord wants me to do something I can’t? Or, What if I don’t want to do what He asks? We fear we wouldn't have the strength, wisdom, or faith to carry out commands He might give. And we’d be right—if we relied upon our own resources. But if we commit to obedience, God equips us at the right moment to follow where He leads.”

If you noticed on a few occasions in my blog I said to you guys “there is a different Christian life other than the one most of us are accustomed to” The truth is even though I know it is true, but whenever I said those words I always felt uncomfortable because I was always afraid that some Christians would think that I am referring to a different Gospel. My problem was that I could never find the right words to describe what I am living in the Spirit and the life that I come to know as my regular daily life with Him.

I started reading the Bible from Genesis 1 yesterday January 3. As I made it to chapter 3:6, it dawned on me, all of the sudden there was a burst of light and I said out loud, “I got it” “this is what I have been trying to explain”. I realized all the time that I have been saying to you there is a different kind of Christianity in union with Him, the difference really lies in the life of Adam & Eve before their eyes opened and they acquired their own wisdom after their eyes opened. In Genesis 3:6 “the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it”. The only word that did it for me so vividly that I could grasp it with my spiritual eyes is the word “wisdom” even as I am writing this, I am hoping God would give my readers the spiritual understanding to see what I also saw.

Now I know it is more than living a life in the Spirit, even though living in His divine life is so awesome and so out of this world, so pure and so restful that man has not created a word that could describe this life fully. The ingredient that makes the Christian life we live through the eyes of God and through our own understanding, so different, is the absence of the worldly wisdom that was acquired by Adam and Eve after they disobeyed. The whole difference I have been trying to share with you in just in that sentence and it is so powerful to my soul.

It is powerful because this wisdom Eve was seeking after has brought us sin, blindness, spiritual death, limitations, barriers and heaviness of the life in the flesh, the bondage, the filth in our souls, the miseries etc. Imagine being able to let go of it?

It is funny though that I have a whole chapter in my book “Apprehended & Apprehending” dedicated to how the life we have in Christ, as we live in oneness with Him, feels as if He is feeding us His life like a mother feeding the growing baby in her womb. The baby is us, taking all that we need as we are fed spiritually by Him. I also shared how essential it is to keep growing in this manner with Him. Yet, I did not realize the discovery of this “different kind of Christianity” that I have been sharing with you is simply the continuity and the growth that I am experiencing with Him as I am being fed by Him.

On a side note the feeding tube is His divine life we acquire only as we live in oneness with Him. It is the abiding life. If you could only see the beauty of being connected to Him, then you would fully understand what we are told in Romans 8:39 “neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” It was only then God allowed me to claim this promise for myself.

Beloved, I still have such a long way to go. I am not sharing this with you to show off or make you feel bad. I answer only to God, and if this was my aim, then He would deal with me accordingly. But, understand that my blog is not to condemn, or censure you, and even though my words can be so bold sometimes and I have no shame of telling you bluntly what I see with the gifts of discernment and wisdom given to me by God. Believe it or not, my heart is full of love and I am hoping that God could touch few of you to teach you to live a better life in Him.

There are three paths for us Christians and we have covered them all in the Church with Christians in the pews and in the pulpits. There is a group that fall in the category pastor Charles Stanley referred to as having obedience on a case by case basis. If you belong to that group then you are waking once in a while in the Spirit and that is not good enough to live the abiding life and your growth is slow and limited. There is a small group living deliberately the surrendered life. The third path is for those sitting in the pews and in the pulpits thinking they have truly made a decision for Christ, when in reality they never believe but they are not wiser. Unfortunately, this group is really big, much bigger than the other two combined, hence, my ministry.

Right here on earth, we are expected to live the Christian life having acquired eternal life, and the Kingdom of God within. If we do not have them here on earth, then they are not ours for the taking when we die, it would be too late. The diluted Gospel tells us that we are going to be missing out on some crowns, yes that is true. But, that is only part of it. Before worrying about missing out on a crown or two wouldn't you like to know that you have the very basic? It is like fantasizing about a fancy wedding ball that you are going to, yet you have never managed to secure the tickets you need for admission. Furthermore, you have never been fitted by the groom, with the proper attire. For some of you missing out on a few crowns is the last of your problem. You need to re-prioritize!

I read a long time ago that Andrew Murray was crossing the streets, before he got to the other side, he stood there in the middle of the street quietly for a moment. Someone when he reached the other side, a man asked him why he stopped in the middle of the street. He replied young man I lost contact with the Holy Spirit for a moment and I had to regain it before he continues crossing the street. I wish I could say I am there. Often, I am aware that I lose contact with Him, but I wait a few hours and even a day or two before I go back and reattached myself to Him. I am indeed work in progress.

Quote from Andrew Murray

“The purpose of redemption is Possession, and the purpose of Possession is likeness to Him who is Redeemer and Owner, is Holiness.

The link between Redemption and Holiness is Obedience.

The life of Christ is the holiness of Christ. The reason we so often fail in the pursuit of holiness is that the old life, the flesh, in its own strength seeks for holiness as a beautiful garment to wear and enter heaven with. It is the daily death to self out of which the life of Christ rises up.”
Andrew Murray, Holy in Christ.