By God builds His temple with living stones
Are we dedicating or hesitating?
I attempt to keep my eyes and ears open to learn about the Holy Spirit and human behavior. In my spiritual journey, the situations I’ve encountered through counseling and teaching have graciously allowed me to see the importance of walking in humility through the awareness of God’s presence. I’m not implying that I’ve arrived at a spiritual plateau where God and I float through the clouds together, but I do believe we can be as close to Him as we desire to be. To be honest, the more I discover about His written and specific will, the more I realize I have hardly scratched the surface of pleasing Him. I’ve learned that our rebellious human nature loves being independent while God is constantly trying to reveal to us how the meaning of life is doing His will. He desires that we snap out of our defiant trance and allow Him to transform our thinking so that He can use us to accomplish His desires.
I’m sure that some of you comprehend what I mean when I declare how difficult it is to keep our carnal will under subjection to God’s still small voice. Even though many do not have a clear understanding, there is a huge difference between religiously knowing about God and knowing Him personally. We realize that it’s possible to drift away from God and fall into a backslidden state but it’s also a reality that we can be deceived about what it means to be born-again. Most everyone has a knowledge of Bible stories but many do not have the burden or discipline to pray, have never studied the Bible, nor have they witnessed or shared their testimony with anyone. These individuals appear to have everything under control until they are facing a serious crisis and their world is turned upside down.
When someone contacts me for prayer and counseling, the first question I ask is if they can remember a specific time when they surrendered their life to Jesus. Most responses are related to being baptized or attending church as a child. It seems that some individuals are ashamed and avoid talking about how they have never lived for Him and now feel guilty to call upon Him because they need His help. Yes, there are times when even the strongest follower of Christ are shaken to their core but generally speaking the reason why people do not have spiritual security and discernment in times of tragedy is because they have drifted away from Him. If we communicate with Him in the good times, we will also be more likely to know what He is saying when facing a battle. If we do not have an intimate relationship with Christ in our daily prayers and worship, how can we expect to know what to do when the bottom drops out? When we are constantly talking with Him, praying, and worshiping Him every day, when adversity comes we will not need to search for Him. We are already with Him.
There are levels of advancement with God and He desires that we keep moving closer to Him throughout our earthly existence. Following Jesus includes the responsibility of being a soldier who fights a spiritual war against the kingdom of darkness. If we are not brokenhearted about the world’s blatant disregard for the Bible and the lack of a reverential fear of God, then we have already fallen into a state of lukewarmness.
Yes, it’s hard to be different from the culture and to separate ourselves from sin, but learning how to develop a passion to obey Christ is the only way to be filled with His hope and joy. If we refuse to nurture our holy covenant vow with God while we are living on the mountaintop, we will not have enough time to build an intimate relationship with Him when we find ourselves in a dark valley. This is the danger of not taking advantage of making Him our highest priority today because when we are knocked down to our knees tomorrow it’s too late to start building a foundation of faith. The majority of those who are in shock from a crisis become so overwhelmed with confusion and fear they cannot concentrate on anything except their agony. Today is the day to know God personally so that when troubles come (and they will) we can trust Him and hear His voice within the peace and confidence of the Holy Spirit.
Dr. Holland is a Christian minister, community chaplain, and author. Read more about the Christian life at billyhollandministries.com.