Examine yourselves to see if your faith is genuine. Test yourselves. Surely you know that Jesus Christ is among you; if not, you have failed the test of genuine faith. 2 Corinthians 13:5 (NLT)
Our spiritual life is a fourfold life. 1) I listen to God speak. 2) I tell God about my life and ask Him for â€˜stuffâ€™. 3) I look at my life and, with the Holy Spiritâ€™s help, turn from sin and keep to Godâ€™s plan and path. 4) Praise and thanksgiving every day for all things.
Too often I would prefer to â€˜forgetâ€™ that #3 point. Even when point #3 shows itself in point #1 and #2, I want to ignore Godâ€™s leading.
How many times have I listened to strong, toe-stepping sermon and knew it was meant for someone else?! Or if I felt a bit of pain in my toes, I pulled my feet back and did not look at the truth too closely! Do I sit quietly and listen to what God has to say? Do I allow Him to bring His principles, laws, precepts, commands, statutes, and ordinances to my mind? And then do I meditate on them or do I quickly dismiss them as old and not part of the grace theology that I prefer to meditate?
How much of my prayer life is about my wants and needs? Have I reduced God to a vending machine or spiritual Sugar Daddy? While God is my Father and wants me to come to Him for everything, He wants to have a relationship first and that is about conversation which means there is talking and listening! My prayers would go so much better if I remembered that I have two ears and one mouth!
I have shared here that every night I go to the Lord to review the day. That is when I get quiet and allow God to shine His light on the day and allow His Spirit to convict (not condemn) me. It is the time each day to repent; to ask forgiveness; and turn to God in all things. It is time for reconciliation. I do not want to fail the test! Jesus is about second chances and I do not want to miss that or refuse the opportunity. Praise and thanksgiving flows freely when it does not have to go around obstacles or becomes a trickle because of the wall of sin that I have built.
Dear brothers and sisters, I close my letter with these last words: Be joyful. Grow to maturity. Encourage each other. Live in harmony and peace. Then the God of love and peace will be with you. 2 Corinthians 13:11 (NLT)
Jesus lives in me. Am I offering Him a clean house in which to dwell? Do I daily have the Holy Spirit sweep out everything that is not pleasing to Him? Look at the list that Paul gives:
Be joyful. Do not let lifeâ€™s circumstances dictate how I live. The joy comes from knowing my Hope.
Grow up! I am a disciple in the Army of God. I have passed boot camp â€“ on to Servant School!
Encourage others. Live in harmony and peace. Jesus was a servant of all. He washed Peterâ€™s feet and Judasâ€™. He stood before Pilate and said nothing. He is my example.
And the promise: God will be with me with His love and His peace. All that I need.