The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace; the sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. (Romans 8:6,7)
There is always some risk when pulling in so-called “pop psychology” terms or methods when making a biblical point. This is especially risky as there are some people that do not always see the connection between the way that we think and the way that we live, perhaps forgetting Romans 8:6 that says in part “…the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace…”
That life and peace comes from living lives that are pleasing to God. And doing so requires action on our part: the Christian’s life is anything, but passive!
Living our lives proactively underscores the action part. We do not wait for things to happen although as I am about to illustrate there certainly is a reactive aspect that follows when we wait on God in prayer. So, let’s look at some steps on how to be more biblically proactive and less fleshly reactive in our Christian journey this year.
1. Prayer. We are to be proactive in our prayers. “Pray without ceasing” is a snippet of counsel given by the apostle Paul is his first letter to the Thessalonians. (1 Thes. 5:17).
When we read the fifth chapter of that letter — from verses 12 through 27 — the text is loaded with action: …admonish the unruly… …encourage the fainthearted… …help the weak… …rejoice always… …examine everything… Truly, we are to come to God first before setting out to do anything.
2. Application. The active Christian life is anything, but inactive. However, some people may not take action unless told to specifically do something. This is very unfortunate as it is through prayer (and when we are in a right relationship with God) that His will for us is made manifest.
You may have been seeking direction and not finding it. Perhaps there is an unconfessed sin that needs to be brought to light first? Actively search your heart and ask the Holy Spirit to reveal all. Confess your sin, ask God for strength to move on and if you have brought harm to someone else, ask for his or her forgiveness. Do not allow muck (sin) to distort your view of God.
3. Regeneration. At the very moment that we put our trust in God, He begins a transformative process to change us from fleshly people to godly offspring. Let us not kid ourselves here — the change is not immediate, rather it is a journey that will last your lifetime. The saying, “God loves you just as you are, but loves you too much to leave you as you are,” is an entirely accurate saying where new believers are concerned.
For seasoned believers, just as you may think that you have reached a plateau in your growth, you take a look up and realize that the mountain you started to climb is much higher than originally thought. This should not cause discouragement, rather it should encourage you to lean even more on your Savior’s arm.
Do your part — obey and walk — and God will do His part by enabling and equipping you. When you take your last breath on earth, you will take your next breath beholding the Savior’s face.
4. Evaluation. As a young believer, I misunderstood some things about spiritual reflection. Some of that misunderstanding had to with poor biblical teaching. One example was how Genesis 19:26 was interpreted and taught. The scripture reads, “But Lot’s wife looked back, and she became a pillar of salt.” I have heard it said that any sort of looking back at your life is wrong. Well, that sort of thinking is wrong. Lot’s wife apparently looked back longing for what she should have surrendered and in direct disobedience (v. 17) to the angelic messenger not to do so.
Sometimes Christians need to evaluate where they were and how far they have come. No, not to look with longing at what was left behind, but to see how far God has brought them.
The first chapter of Haggai offers a very good illustration of personal evaluation from God Himself. The children of Israel were not prospering and for an important reason: they were concerned with their own homes and had neglected rebuilding the house of God.
Verse 6 reads, “You have planted much, but have harvested little. You eat, but never have enough. You drink, but never have your fill. You put on clothes, but are not warm. You earn wages, only to put them in a purse with holes in it.”
Please do not take this scripture as a command for you to contribute to your church’s building fund although this could apply to you if you know God has spoken to your heart to do so. In context, the prophesy from Haggai to Zerubbabel, son of Judah’s governor, was to rebuild God’s temple. On a personal level perhaps there is something God wants you to take up or to renew this year.
Whether you realize it or not, this little “lesson” contains an acrostic — PARE — by taking the first letter from each word to explain to Christians how to truly be more proactive this year.
Within that lesson, God may be leading you to receive a much needed pruning this year, to transform you into a son of God. Pruning is not without pain, but when you allow God to have His way with you, then you will be made more useful in your service to Him.
Photo courtesy of Joseba Attard.
See Also — Catholic: A Term For All Christians?
Powered by Facebook Comments