Beliefs, much like fashion trends, spread and grow from advertisement, whether paid or by word of mouth and, of course, both happen rapidly in today’s hyper electronic world. As with any advertising, consider who the advertisers are and their motives. The message you should expect to receive from any Christian entity is one of love with the belief laid on the foundation of Christ’s sacrifice and the motive about growing your relationship with God. Love without action is not Christ centered and progress in knowing God’s will for our lives requires more dependence and focus on Him and less of both on ourselves. Messages that continually promise only good things and good feelings are not Scriptural and fail to recognize the brokenness in our world as a direct result of the fall of man as told in Genesis.
Jesus made clear His parting gift of the Holy Spirit was left to help us do the undoable. Jesus also told us how to pray and to pray often or “continuously”. Regular study of the truths and inerrancy of Scripture is not important, it is vital to the abundant life promised. Substitutes will fall short. The fellowship and worship experiences that come from a vibrant church only increases your relationship with God and allowing yourself to get up close and personal to other members and staff are the essence of what Jesus taught us. These relationships and interactions are the foundation to feed the poor, take charge of widows and orphans, help those that need help and to go and make disciples. Being in God’s will is complex and time consuming, but so is anything that gives rewards, particularly eternal ones.
Francis Chan points to Philippians 2:12-13 in his book, Forgotten God, of the additional complexity of being in God’s will combined with using our own free will. Paul writes in these verses; “Therefore my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure”. I won’t plagiarize Chan’s breakdown on how these verses spoke to Him other than his conclusion that God works in us and he does expect us to do the work. I highly recommend both books “Multiply” and “Forgotten God” by Chan. Have a great week!
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