Do you ever have those conversations with people that just make you want to jump up and down? Ya know ... the ones that you just know God was involved in? A conversation that seems to tie into eternity somehow? Well, if you haven't I would encourage you to SEEK OUT people that are willing and able to have these conversations with you! It's imperative for your growth!
It's easy to be going along in our lives, just pushing along and not even realize that something we've been doing for years, yes years, isn't actually flowing in or out of the Spirit of God. You think you would know if it were happening to you, right?
What if I told you that some parts of your life aren't being given fully to God? And these areas, whether we know it or not, are just being masked by the greater things that are obviously given to God. I mean... you go to church, you read your Bible, and you pray. These are the noticeable ones, right? Well, to others that looks great. And I'm not saying that you aren't doing all of those things with the right heart. But because we're so good at these things, we might be forgetting about other areas of our lives that we aren't fully giving to God.
We've all experienced the double life of the Christian in one way or another.
We pray heaven down over our kids at the front door before school, but fail to do it in our own marriage.
We give the "Praise God" to our church friends, but we tell others, "That's great!"
We quote our favorite Scriptures for others to live by, but fail to live it ourselves.
We leave church on fire for God, but it doesn't even last through the week.
We have spiritual conversations with our friends, but fail to have them with our kids.
We apply biblical principals in raising our children, but choose to forget about it when it comes to another child that comes into our home - I mean their parents might not believe the way we do. That's five ways we failed to be a witness! Imagine what that looks like to the person that needed it to be true the most.
'What a Godly friendship the two of you have', only you never even talk about God. Why not?
'What a Godly father you are', only you don't lead your family spiritually. Why not?
'What sweet prayers you have, you must pray all the time', only you don't. Why not?
'What a great pastor you are, only you hate the church and the people in it. Why?
'What a great Bible teacher you are', only you don't teach anybody else anything. Why not?
That's five ways you could have been effective for God, but weren't! Imagine what that looks like to the person God wanted you to be a witness for.
We get stuck in this double world of being a Christian and having to live in the world. So we begin to water down the Christian side of us so that we look 'normal' to others. Or maybe we don't think it's important. We begin to think maybe we're too spiritual? Maybe we're being 'so focused on the heavenly that we're no earthly good'. We sure don't want our kids to look like the 'Jesus Freaks'. We don't want to be the weird parents that shove the Bible down our kids' throats. We hold back the great, God-given testimonies for others because we think it might come across as being 'hyper-spiritual' even to our 'spiritual friends'! And here's a favorite... We want to blend in more with the world so we can minister, OH, BUT WAIT ... we actually never minister to anyone, we just blend in and lose our 'light' (Jesus) for the world! And slowly, ever so subtly, these areas of our life are being conformed to the world.
*When these forgotten areas co-exist with the areas we do focus on, they start to get overlooked and begin to 'mimic' what is Godly. Only they aren't Godly!!
We have to be giving our whole selves to God in order to to be mature Christians. We have to include God in every area of our life! We have to pray over that new person we just met. Is this a person God wants in your life? How does God want to use you in this situation? Is it to befriend them? Is it to minister to them? Is it to bring forth truth in their lives? Is it to bring them to Christ? Is it to restore them back to Christ? You have to look at every area of your life and ask God how you can use it for him.
My friend and mentor discovered an area of her life that she wasn't fully giving to God. And even being a mature Christian, she says, "I have to repent." When you see someone you look up to say these words you realize how human we really are and how at no time, ever, are we 'mature' enough in the Lord to not take a look at ourselves and our lives and be humble enough to let God or others correct us. That's admirable! Beyond any word of wisdom, any word of encouragement, or heart to heart we have ever had, this is by far the greatest example of what being a mature Christian is all about.
So not only do we examine these areas in our own lives, we humble ourselves and repent. Because to overlook an area that we've been keeping from God is reason to do so.
Thank you to my wonderful mentor for teaching me, growing with me, allowing me to see your soul, and loving God wholly. From the mountain top, to the furnace and out... and back in. You have sewn into me and my family for years and I love you!