“Likewise you younger people, submit yourselves to your elders. Yes, all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility, for “God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble.” Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you. Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world.”
I have learned a lot in my time as a Christian. I have made mistakes, wasted time, but I have grown steadily with each shaky step. In the conduct of my Christian life, I have found that four things have assisted me in living a life of fruitfuilness. The passage I read this morning had lots of notes on it, as I was careful to jot down what I needed to know. Bernie the baby Christian was quite wise.
The first thing I circled was the importance of submitting myself to my elders. I have had the blessing of being surrounded many great saints in my time in the faith. People who have gone before me, who have dealt with all the issues that would have to confront in my future. I learned much from them. I also have found that submission to my fellow believers is also essential.
We are part of one body, and thus, part of each other. In the body of Christ I am accountable to my fellow believers, and my actions can influence others to live in Christ or fail. Just as I look to those who have gone before me, others are watching me. I am not living in Christ in a vaccuum, and I must remember that.
Submission to the authority of others can be very humbling. In my spiritual life, I have seen the greatest growth and blessing when I have had others to hold me accountable. I have had men who ask me the hard questions. They ask me what I am reading in the bible, have I prayed, and how is my walk. They also ask me what I am looking at, what I have allowed to enter the eyegate of my mind.
We tend to fall back onto the notion that it is ones own business what one is doing. That is the value of the flesh. In the body of Christ, the mission is to spread the Gospel by the power of the Holy Spirit and strength of the testimony. Sin saps the power and can destroy the story of God’s grace. Accountability helps us to root out the sin areas, and also builds in us humility. I have found that pride is at the root of my sin.
I also cast my cares on the Lord. Yesterday I wrote of how the Lord captured my heart, and established Himself in my life. He is my first and only love. Through the many trials I have learned to cast all my cares on Him, to seek Him early, to lean into Him in the darkness. He has demonstrated His faithfulness time and time again. In these perilous times, it is an assurance of hopeful things to come, either in world, or the next.
When I say sobriety, I am not referring to the opposite of drunkeness, but a seriousness. A deliberate conduct of the Christian life. In that sobriety, we are vigilent, constantly looking for the evidences of the evil one. The devil goes about like a hungry lion looking to devour our testimony, to damage our witness. I can tell you that the evil one has many of his people in the church pews. They are tares sown in amongst the wheat. By the power of the Holy Spirit, I know who they are. I leave them be, in the hopes that God will break their hearts and draw them unto salvation. I am burdened for them and I pray for them.
Brothers and sisters, you can go forth seeking the Lord and living an empowered life in Christ. I can tell you that it is a great thing to have the peace and tranquility of heart of one whose eternity is secured.
Go forth today and tell someone about Jesus. Tell of His sacrifce, of His forgiveness, of the future you have in Him. Our world is changing, and not for the best. Time is short, much shorter than we can imagine.
“Onward and upward your course today
Seeking new heights as you walk Jesus’ way
Heed not the past failures, but strive for the prize
Aiming for goals fit for His holy eyes!”
THE PRAYER CHAIR IS OPEN! Send me your requests!