As someone who enjoys reading, feeling secure and smart enough from the information I gain, I can honestly admit- it is possible for people to be knowledgeable and mistaken that for being spiritual. Throughout my Christian journey, God has been constantly revealing His love for me by rebuking and disciplining me whenever I’m off- track. Many times I’m not even aware of my spiritual condition until the Lord lovingly reveals it to me. This has been a defining year for me. The fact that I was able to exercise my spiritual, mental, social and physical dimensions regularly and consistently in wise and balanced ways, being fortunate enough to visit the country I’ve been dreaming to visit all my life, and also being able to read many books and sharing the knowledge I gain with those around me.
We have mistaken the blessing of God with our spiritual condition. We think that God is blessing us because we are very spiritual, and I admit I think like that at times too. When the blessing is rolling over on us we have no regard for our true spiritual condition because for us, those blessings indicate that we are on the right spiritual track. Yet God says in Psalm 62:10, “…Though your riches increase, do not set your heart on them.” It is very easy to be deceived. It doesn’t take the obvious “big” sins for the enemy to deceive you; he begins with the smallest of things, even one of the smallest organs in the body- your heart.
“See to it, brothers, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God.”~Hebrews3:12
We all know that the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour, but really, how well aware are we of that? The devil is not bothered when Christians put so much emphasis on worldly blessings but becomes threatened as soon as they take this whole thing of dying to self seriously, because he knows that that is the true Christian way. He seeks to blind believers by setting their hearts on worldly riches and pleasures while their hearts are supposed to be entirely devoted to God. “See to it brothers, that none of you has a sinful unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God.” A friend of mine Linda updated a Facebook status sharing how money is the only tool that can compete with God. She said that Judas loved God with all his heart but he was willing to betray Jesus for money, hence the bible says we cannot love both God and mammon. But what do we see all around us? In our churches? Within ourselves? The love for money prevailing over the love for God!
In my blessed state I continued to seek the Lord in His word and prayer, I know that this is the only way I am going to make it till the end, as a born again Christian believer. God always speaks to me through His Word and always answers me when I pray despite the spiritual conditions I’m in. He loves us so much that even when we do things out of selfish- ambition He’s always there as a Shepherd leading us through his pasture. When my motive for reading His Word is just to bash it out on people, or just doing it out of habit, He still lovingly reveals His truth to me. I am a Christian that errs. I become selfish, self-centered, prideful, and lustful yet God continues to be merciful to me and it’s all because Jesus is daily interceding on my behalf. I am not fornicating, but I’ve got issues in the heart- issues that only God knows of. Sometimes we see people raising hands in the church, dressed nicely, conducting themselves orderly but only God can see what’s in the heart. “Many a man of cultured intellect and pleasant manners is a polished instrument in the hands of Satan.”- Ellen G. White. A friend said to me recently, “I am taking this whole thing of dying to self seriously” and those words throbbed in my heart making me examine myself to see if I’m still in the faith. I recently also had a deep talk with my sister who’s to me not “so spiritual” and what came out of her mouth pierced my heart. She said, “I know it’s fine to be ambitious, to want to travel the world, to want to be better, but that means nothing because my heart is not right with God. I know the truth. I know that Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life but I just can’t bring myself to live for Him. It’s like seeing a cigarette box written “DANGER” but you smoke it anyway. I am so ashamed of myself because I treat God the way my boyfriend treats me, just come and go as I please- I know how bad that feels like, but I am doing it to God- yet His love for me is unconditional. I’m unhappy. I thought you being here would take my sadness away but I’m still the same and that’s because I am not right with God. I may post pictures on Facebook and instagram and pretend to have this perfect life, get 1000 likes, but what does God say about me? I thought I’d settle for a humanitarian kind of life, you know, do good, be good like Oprah, but that is not the truth, I know I have to live the Christian life. I talk myself into believing that I’m still young and I’ll live for God when I’m older, but I don’t even know where I’m going after I die. That’s the bitter thing about it- not knowing what God thinks about you.”
To hear those words from somebody like my sister who is well, “not so spiritual” as I am in my eyes made me realise that people know the truth and we are blessed enough as born again believers to walk in that truth, but we don’t even take it to heart. We play games, we focus on material things, yet there is more to all that!
“Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.”~ 1Peter5:8
The enemy is primarily after your heart. If he sees that your heart is not devoted to the Lord he will fill it with spirits of pride, lust, bitterness which will all eventually manifest in the physical. He is constantly prowling around looking for devout followers of Christ because he is less concerned about those, who like the world, are so focused on blessings. When Jesus appeared after his baptism, God spoke very fondly of him. He said, “This is my Son, of whom I am well-pleased.” He didn’t say, “This is my Son, of whom I blessed.” For many years Jesus had denied himself, resisted temptation, aiming to please God and he got the approval of His father! And God was very well pleased with him. Is God really pleased with us? Are we really denying ourselves, carrying our cross, and following Jesus?
I was walking to the gym yesterday and it’s quite a long distance so I get to talk a lot with the Lord. Mostly I tell him how I want to be blessed, the kind of house I want to live in, my husband this, my riches that. And I felt the Spirit of God saying to me, “Be led by the Spirit, pray in the spirit. Seek first the things of the spirit.” So I began praying in tongues until I felt my heart at peace. I didn’t know what I was praying for but I was assured that the spirit groaned and interceded for me when I had nothing spirit filled to pray. I would like to believe that the Holy Spirit was asking the Lord to open my eyes and remove me from the deceit I was in. Because as soon as I got up in the middle of the night things were different, the Lord flashed right before me of how earthly bound I was. Though I tried running away to social networks or books to read, I felt the Holy Spirit pushing me back to the hard truths- the reality of God’s Word. Scripture by scripture He was lovingly rebuking me, it always feels like hell but I’m grateful for it. The key is; while we look into the mirror of God’s Word, we see our real condition. One of the scriptures the Lord took me to and that pierced me the most was in Mathew 16: 23, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me: you do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men.” That was Jesus talking to his most loving disciple Peter! It made realize that Satan is not only hiding in other people, but can also hide in us too born again believers. He uses born again women to be a stumbling block to born again men who strive so hard to please the Lord, and he also uses born again believers to gossip and backbite other born again believers! “See to it, brothers, 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.”- Hebrews3:12-13
Brothers, let us repent from our selfish ambitions and focus on the kingdom of God. Let us look to Jesus as an example who denied himself but carried his cross faithfully till the end. Let us cease from talking bad about each other and rather carry one another’s back. Let us correct one another in brotherly love. Let us refrain from causing each other to fall. Let us walk in the spirit and be mindful of the things of God. Let us be brothers and sisters and sincerely love each other with the love of God!
“It used to bother me that the closer I drew to God in my walk with Him, the more sinful I felt. The closer I approach the Lord of light, the clearer I see myself. When the light of Christ shines in the darkness of our lives, it exposes our sin- not to discourage us, but to humble us to trust in Him.”~Heber