2 Corinthians 3:5 (KJV): “Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God.”
While studying abroad I took a Biomedical Ethics course and I absolutely loved it! I was able to concentrate on medicine and philosophical ethics at the very same time. During the course we focused a lot on the physician/patient relationship and a very important aspect was the competency of the doctor. Even after medical school physicians have the duty to remain abreast on latest epidemics, resources, treatment etc. so that they may be able to provide the best care for their patients. I often think about the position I was in when the Lord began to draw me nigh and I remind myself that I need to have a growing passion and zeal for the Lord each day that I serve Him.
2 Peter 3:18 (KJV): “18 But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.”
I don’t know any Christians who consciously agree to become slack in their walk with the Lord. However, I believe that we all have been guilty of at some point saying, “Oh, I’ll read the Bible later,” “I’ve prayed about that a long time ago,” or, “I already know that.” While we may have prayed about something many weeks, months, years ago; that doesn’t mean the Father doesn’t want us to remain fervent in prayer about it. When we first receive salvation we are usually in bad condition and we yearn for God to give us peace, to give us a breakthrough but once some of our strongholds are broken reading the Bible can “Come later.” There is always something to be aware of as a vessel for the Lord. Especially in the last days we are always to be aware of the seducing spirits and the anti-Christ, which are trying to exalt itself against the knowledge of Christ. How can we be His soldiers if we don’t know the tactics and resources of the enemy? How can we remain competent and effective for the Father if we are still holding onto yesterday’s prayers and this morning’s Bible reading? We have busy schedules, sure we do but as soon as we put life before God, we become ineffective. God isn’t overbearing and He allows us to take care of business as long as we have everything in its proper place.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (KJV): “16 Rejoice evermore.17 Pray without ceasing.18 In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”
As humans we want to be comfortable. We love to be comfortable actually,which I know to be true for myself firsthand. I hate discomfort but I have learned from the 20 years that I have been alive that I have always performed best when I was uncomfortable. Moving to new locations and attending new schools usually produced some of the best aspects of my life. However, I also noticed that when I had done particularly well in a semester, the semester following became a “comfortable semester” and my grades showed. To anyone who watches the pattern of my grades will see that in the beginning I’m excited and do well then comfort sets in so I become LAZY, then I become anxious to do well again, then grades improve and the cycle continues. For many years I couldn’t understand why I would operate that way but I now understand that it is simply because I am human. Whether it be in the realm of academia or relationships, comfort is bad business. When entering a relationship individuals go the extra mile to woo the other individual but the moment they feel as if they are “accomplished” their comfort kicks in. This is when many individuals become upset with their spouses because they feel like they are no longer with the person that they married. Women sometimes marry a man who they believe will always send them flowers when appropriate and who will spend hours looking for the most extravagant restaurant to dine at. Men sometimes marry women believing that their wives will work effortlessly to surprise them with their favorite dish and who will spend hours in stores finding cute things to add to their well furnished homes. Certainly many things come with marriage and not all things will remain the same but I am simply mentioning how comfort and ultimately laziness can cause someone to quickly become disgusted. This goes way beyond spending money and eating but even concerning the small things, like saying I love you?
1 Peter 1:25 (KJV): “But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.”
If a couple can become exasperated because of comfort how do you think God feels? When we tell Him we no longer have to bind and rebuke that demon because we are “Through with that?” The Bible tells us that Satan comes to tempt in seasons and while Christ has delivered many of us from many forms of bondage we should never stop praising Him nor should we believe that we are invincible. The moment we think we are humble it is then that we have lost it. We should be confident and rest assured in His deliverance but we also should never be comfortable and let down our guard. We should never be so holy that we cannot take constructive criticism or be open to hear a word from a brother or sister in the Lord. Scripture makes it clear that the journey with Christ requires us to be competent each day, each hour, each minute, each second.We need to grow in His glory daily and the only way we can do that is if we constantly thirst for His living water.
Luke 9:23 (KJV): “23 And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.”
Whenever I read a verse and I see something that mentions daily or every I try to make a mental note of it. When I received salvation I wasn’t sure how often I should pray a certain prayer or enter His gates with praise. How often should I thank Him for deliverance? How often do I need to read the Word? When someone asks me a question? How often should I pray and talk to the Lord? Every chance I get.
Lamentations 3:22-23 (KJV): “22 It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not.23 They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.”
We are called to be the salt of the Earth but if our salt loses its savour, what can we preserve? Satan is always lurking and sin is always knocking at our doors. How can we stand it without constantly renewing our minds? The life of a Christian is dangerous because if it weren’t then we wouldn’t need the Father and His protection. How can we be vessels if we leave our crosses at home? God tells us to pick up our cross daily; it is no good in our attic. We are to be living testimonies. The Lord’s work in and through us doesn’t stop when we get saved, it is simply that it then becomes alive. I can tell all of you about the story of my salvation but I too have stories up to this day about the mighty works of God. The Father is always prompt and ready to do work. God always knows about our current situation and He is always a step ahead of us, why are we still trying to identify with yesterday? The same way we find refuge in the Lord’s competency, we too need to offer Him our lives as a living sacrifice so that we may be competent and faithful in Him. Not that we can do that on our own, as we already agreed that we are naturally lazy individuals. Too much danger to be comfortable. Too much work to be done to be comfortable. Too much praise to give to be comfortable. Too big of a God to serve to be comfortable. While I tend to lean toward comfort by nature, I am willing to be uncomfortable for Christ. God takes us from glory to glory but while that journey takes place we must earnestly pray that our competency in Christ doesn’t get lost in translation.
Romans 12:2 (KJV): “2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”
Father, we thank You for our salvation. We come to You asking that You may keep us on our toes, always finding ways to better please You. We are naturally lazy beings, not wanting to remain uncomfortable. However, our walk with You is important and we are willing to be uncomfortable so that we can produce Your fruit. Salt without savour is good for nothing other than to be trampled underfoot. You have been too good to us and You never deserve lukewarm vessels. You were never lukewarm to us. When we need You, You’re there. When we call, You answer. Lord, please help us stop sending You to voicemail because we think we know “the message You’ll leave.” Please allow us to pray against all sins and all wickedness in high places because while You are constantly delivering us, Satan and his angels are always trying to find ways to bind us again. When one demon is gone another is waiting to be addressed. When one battle is won another is waiting to be fought. We are Your soldiers Lord, please train us to keep our boots on and our guns aimed while in war; even after a win. There is no place for feelings in the Kingdom and “feeling” strong in the Lord and “feeling” like we are past that point are not attitudes we should have. We should always look for ways to better go toward the mark for the prize of God that we have been called to in Christ Jesus. Amen.
Matthew 5:13 (KJV): “13 Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.”