LIVE ON GOAL: Be prepared when it’s time to get up – Harlan Enterprise
By Billy Holland
In our modern world, we can agree that there is no shortage of information. We are constantly surrounded by voices who want to help us understand every topic under the sun, however, in our quest for accurate information we also realize that most of what we listen to, especially political news, is strewn with half-truths, speculation, and biased observations. The bottom line is that we know very little about the facts and rely heavily on outside sources to convey what they have heard to us. Imagine what we would know if there was no television, radio, newspaper, telephone, Internet, or any other type of media communication. Knowing about state, national or world events would be comparable to those that lived 200 years ago. Yes, we have certain beliefs about social and spiritual issues, but for the most part our views are not shaped by what we positively know to be fact, but rather by the trust someone has told us.
When it comes to our spiritual outlook, Christians have the Word of God and his Spirit speaking directly to us, as well as pastors and teachers giving us their interpretations, but again, we need to be discerning with knowledge. that we collect. I have a friend in his 80s who is known to say he listens to everything, but when it comes to politics and religion he keeps his opinions to himself. He believes that political and spiritual views are deeply personal and a sure way to provoke arguments, divisions and make enemies. This is true, but I also believe, especially from an evangelical perspective, that we should not be intimidated when God gives us the opportunity to share our faith. When it comes to divine appointments, it reminds us of St. Francis who said that we should “preach everywhere and only use words when necessary”, which emphasizes the need to demonstrate Christ instead of just talk about Him. Christians are not secret agents but are called to be ready and equipped to explain what we believe in and why even when it is not popular.
We are emotional beings but we cannot afford to be controlled by them and one of the most difficult challenges is to develop our spiritual discernment to the point where we know the difference between the voice of God and that of others, including ours. Have you noticed that when you feel the Holy Spirit beckoning you to say or do something, there are immediately resisting persuasions that try to talk you out of it? Without a doubt, powerful forces are at work to attack our thoughts and try to distort and control our attitudes, our emotions and especially our obedience to Christ. Fear wants to manipulate, but we have the choice to allow it to dominate us or we can resist it. Our trust in Jesus as our Lord includes inviting him to reign and reign in our mind and conscience. He literally wants to possess us, but without surrendering our will to Him, we cannot walk in covenant with Him. That is why we study the Word of God every day and constantly ask the Lord for wisdom and determination to exercise self-discipline. Our spiritual destiny can be fulfilled, but He will not do it for us.
I feel that we are entering a time when Christians can no longer use immaturity as an excuse to live in sin. I’m not just talking about blatant wickedness, but rather the subtle apathy of neglecting to walk with God. Sins of omission refuse to do what God says and many people hide in the shadows as they refuse to learn and ask God for the courage to represent his truth. How can someone say they love him if they don’t invest their time in getting to know him? How can we live in the light of his love if we choose to serve darkness? We cannot dwell in the life of His truth if we absorb the sin which is the wages of death. Our flesh will say that we are too busy to focus on our relationship with the Lord, but we always take time for what we love. For those who are content to live in lukewarmness, they will suffer great loss, but for those who devote themselves to remaining in the secret place of the Most High, they will stand when the time comes to rise.
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