We are living in some funny (strange) times. I guess I am giving my age away when I talk about this younger generation and their odd belief systems and behaviors; their embrace of socialist ideals and not having any desire at all for true independence. Like “uber-ing” everywhere, you know, depending on someone else to take you places and paying them to do it instead of having your own vehicle. Their low-work ethic attitude coupled with high-standard living desires (i.e. – I don’t want to work/work hard but I want to have an I-phones, $4.00 lattes and organic grass-fed Kobe beef burgers). They believe they are ENTITLED to good things (or anything) just because…that it doesn’t have to be earned or worked for. They are enslaved by their FEELINGS and allowing their emotions to be their directive, their moral compass baseline.
Yet, sadly enough I see these behaviors mirrored in the Body of Christ, as well. They’ve embraced these worldly attitudes and have carried them into their Christianity, but these two completely opposite belief systems/behaviors cannot coexist.
In the Body there exists a spirit of passivity, of (forgive me) laziness, of wanting the benefits of being a part of this thing called Christianity without “working” for it. (Now before you give me the “works vs. grace” lecture, please continue reading). They want to have the liberty that the Word promises, they want the healings and the provisions and the prosperity, they want peace, they want joy….at least they say they do. But yet their idea of relationship with God is going to church on Sunday, maybe a Bible study on Wednesday nights, and, if they have time, a morning/evening devotional. And then, when tragedy or adversity strikes, they get shaken, their first response is fear, terror, crying.
Why isn’t their response one of faith? Trust? Confidence that everything will be okay? Why do they freak out, cry, get anxious, panicky? Because they are not rooted and grounded in the Word, in Him, in Who He is, because their relationship with the Creator, the Savior and Holy Spirit is superficial at best. They do barely enough to get by. It’s like eating only one piece of candy every day and then wondering why you feel weak and you look like skin and bones. Listen, the Word of God is SPIRITUAL FOOD. YOU NEED IT TO LIVE! Jesus said it Himself, “It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” (Matthew 4:4) It wasn’t just some cute saying that is placed in the Bible!
It is by the Word that we renew our minds. It is by His Word that we see who we are in Him. It is by His Word that we know Who HE is, what we have in Him, what His promises to us are, what He has given to us. If you have no knowledge of these things, then that is death. God says that His people perish for a lack of knowledge. Does that mean physically or spiritually? YES! If you get diagnosed with a disease, and you do not know that you know that it is God’s will for you to live and be healed, then physical death can be (and is usually) the result. (Sickness is death in SEED FORM!) And you will wither away spiritually as well, you’ll forever be a weak infant that is fed milk and never graduates to solid food!
But what I see is a Body that is sick and barely hanging on to hope, who looks/lives like the rest of the world, who comes to the altar week after week, seeking to have hands laid on them for healing… I can’t help but ask, DO THEY REALLY BELIEVE? Or are they just hoping that something will change? They’re looking to someone else to pray for them, to give them a word, to maybe get them healed…there’s so much going on, tragedy, sickness, family problems…BEING LED BY THEIR EMOTIONS instead of HIS PROMISES (which is idolatry, brethren)… and why? Because they don’t seek for themselves. They don’t put in the time to dive into the Word, press into HIM. Is He not worth your time? Isn’t this about relationship? Do you have a relationship with your spouse through a second party?
When I was going through the darkest, heaviest battle of my life 4 years ago, I dug deep and hard. I read everything I could get my hands on, I studied the healing scriptures, I prayed, I stood, for months! It took a couple of years before I saw the change I wanted. Yes, I had people pray for me during that time but I also KNEW in my spirit that I needed to get to that place of spiritual maturity where I would not have to depend on other people’s prayers to be set free or to get through the day. I did not want to be a spiritual hitchhiker, depending on other people all the time to get/take me where I wanted to be.
The Word says it is our own individual responsibility. Remember the virgins? They were relying on the spiritual readiness of others. It says to study to show YOURSELF approved, to work out YOUR OWN salvation, not have someone else do it for you. Do you want the “benefits”? Then it’s up to you to learn what they are and how to receive them!
Hebrew 4:9-11 – “There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God. For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his. Let us labor therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.”
“Labor” here is the same word from 2 Timothy 2:15 (study to show thyself approved) and it means to exert one’s self, endeavor, give diligence. It’s not just going to fall in your lap, I am sorry to say. If you are waiting for a “feeling” or for the symptoms to disappear before you’ll believe then it will not happen! Faith is not a feeling! Faith is knowing that you know.
Romans 14:5B – Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind.
Not partially, not mostly, not even 99%. FULLY. Completely. Ask yourself: Is that really going to happen with what you are doing now? Because if you aren’t fully persuaded, then you will have unbelief and that keeps you from entering into His rest, His promises, which are the benefits of your inheritance in Him!
Jesus rebuked His disciples for this as well.
Matthew 17:16-17 – “And I brought him to thy disciples, and they could not cure him. Then Jesus answered and said, O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? how long shall I suffer you? bring him hither to me.” (Mark 9:19, Luke 9:41)
He is saying to them – listen I am not going to be here forever to hold your hand! You need to be able to do this! Have I not told you, taught you, showed you? He fully expected them to do what He was doing, to act on what He had taught them, and He expects the same of us. However we cannot do that, brothers and sisters, if we are not putting in the time into this relationship, into Him and His Word. And remember one very important thing: the Word was a Person before it was a book!
Listen: Do you want people to carry you spiritually for the rest of your life? I know I don’t! He died for you so that you could live and not only that but be a life-giver to the lost, to the world!
He gave us the keys to the Kingdom!
He gave us HIS authority and power!
He gave us His Spirit, His Word!
What more do you need?
The freedom is already yours…
Now, put your thumb down, get off the side of the road and GO YE THEREFORE…..