When we come to know Christ, we tend to watch other Christians to find out how to live this life of faith. The problem is, even mature Christians can do things backwards – substituting what seems right for what the Bible actually says is right.
I offer seven things for you to consider – are we doing these things man’s way or God’s way?
- We think we need to know the Word of God – when we need to know the God of the Word.
Knowing Him in a vibrant, intimate way is a different kettle of fish from just knowing about Him. My continual prayer is that this blog will help you know and experience Him in a deeper way
And this is eternal life, that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent John
- We think we need to move God – when we need to jump in to where God’s already moving.
We don’t need to get God on board with us, we need to get on board with Him. Just like the angel stirred the water in the pool of Bethesda, and the one who stepped in was healed, so we’re meant to step in to what God’s already stirring. I love this prayer by Norman Grubbs: “Good morning, Lord! What are You up to today? Can I be a part of it? Thank You. Amen.”
For an angel went down at a certain time into the pool and stirred up the water; then whoever stepped in first, after the stirring of the water, was made well of whatever disease he had.
- We think we need to make the Gospel message acceptable – when we’re only asked to make it available.
We make a grave mistake when we try to make God’s word more palatable to the lost. Our only responsibility is to share the Good News and let God take care of the rest.
You are required to believe, to preach, and to teach what the Bible says is true, not what you want the Bible to say is true.
- We think doing God’s will is hard – when it’s not doing God’s will that’s hard.
When we fight God’s will for our lives, we lose the strength of Christ, who’s yoked with us, and is meant to pull the load for us (Matt. 11:30). Psalm 40 says of Jesus that it was His delight to do God’s will. We’ll find the same thing true when we stop fighting God.
For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome.
1 John 5:3
- We think we must invite Jesus into our life – when it’s Jesus who invites us into His life.
When we’re born again, our old man is put to death and our new life is “hidden with Christ in God” (Col. 3:3). The Greek word for hidden means, concealed, laid up in heaven, or removed from view. When we accept His saving grace, we leave our own messy unclean life to join His sparkling clean heavenly one.
You died, which means that your life is hidden with Christ, who sits beside God.
- We think humility is thinking less of ourselves – when it’s thinking of ourselves less (C.S. Lewis). We do God no favors by thinking of ourselves as “less than.” He values us so much that He paid for our redemption with His Son’s life. We’re meant to understand and embrace our value, but at the same time focus ever more on Him and ever less on ourselves.
He must increase in importance, while I must decrease in importance.
- We think peace comes from an absence of trouble – when it comes from the presence of God. When Jesus left this earth, He gave us His most priceless possession – peace. I love how Matthew Henry describes Jesus’ last will and testament. “His soul He committed to His father; His body He bequeathed to Joseph to be decently interred; His clothes fell to the soldiers; His mother He left to the care of John; but what should He leave to His poor disciples that had left all for Him? Silver and gold He had none; but He left them that which was infinitely better, His peace.
I give you peace, the kind of peace only I can give. It isn’t like the peace this world can give. So don’t be worried or afraid.
*Contemporary English Version, Second Edition (CEV®) © 2006 American Bible Society. All rights reserved.
**GOD’S WORD® is a copyrighted work of God’s Word to the Nations. Quotations are used by permission. Copyright 1995 by God’s Word to the Nations. All rights reserved.