Let's discuss 10 evidences that you are one with God and not just playing church. Why? Because the world will never be convinced by what the pulpit teaches but by what the church members live.
The question is not only have we accepted what God has done FOR us, (our past) but are we going to cooperate with Him in what He wants to do IN us and THROUGH us each moment! (in the present)
- Do you love the brethren? No... I'm not talking about those in your individual clique but those who think differently than you, live differently than you, and are socially different. Are you willing to sacrifice your time and energy to let them know you truly care for them? Jesus said, "By THIS shall all men know that you are My disciples if you love one another." (John 13:35) I believe Christ is waiting with longing desire for the manifestation of this principle in His church. Let us not disappoint Him.
- A living demonstration. We are told that, "The GREATEST evidence of the power of Christianity that can be presented to the world is a well ordered, well disciplined family. This will recommend the truth as NOTHING else can, for it is a living witness of its practical power upon the heart." (AH 32) Jesus made it very clear that the proof of one's faith is not in the information they know, nor in the church they attend, but in the life that provides irrefutable evidence of being under God.
- Escape to God time. I have a friend who is a leader of a Christian ministry, and who was close to divorce. I suggested that he and his wife take seven days off and unplug from everything, bring only a Bible and a notepad with them, and get their instructions from God. My dear friend said they would be bored without access to the Internet and social media. Is that you? How can we ever be bored in spending time with those we love? Yet I know scores of professed religious people who won't spend seven hours a week with God or even seven minutes a day in prayer. When I was courting Sally I could not spend enough time with her. Could you commit to three days with just you and God alone?
- Your spouse is a daily priority. We are told that 50% of marriages end in divorce and of the remaining, 35% would not remarry their spouse. That is an 85% failure rate. Shocking! If you are not prioritizing your spouse on a daily basis, you are not listening to God. You are in charge-- not God - and that's scary!
- Your children are prioritized. They come before the Internet, Face book, sports, church missions, Netflix, news, shopping and a host of other interests. Your children need time, they need you, and they need your undivided, focused attention daily. If you neglect to give them this time they will look to fill this need in other areas.
- Being sensitive to the whispers of God. God is able to get your attention as you go about your day. Listening to the Holy Spirit speak to your conscience is an ongoing habit you can develop in your life as you continually surrender your thoughts, attitudes, and actions to Him.
- You are one who serves. Jesus our Lord and Savior put it this way, "Who is greater, he who sits at the table, or he who serves... I am among you as the One who serves." Luke 22:27 True greatness is measured in terms of lives who have been touched, benefited and ministered to, with no reward in it for you. A minimum goal in my life is to touch another life with meaningful interaction at least once a week.
- You have power over your weakest area. It may be temper, irritation, diet, a wandering eye or thought, pride or jealousy, perhaps gossip, but when it comes you recognize God's grace tapping at the door of your heart. You choose to respond in faith with the surrender of your choices and a dependency upon Jesus, all motivated by love and not reward. Victory is yours!
- In stressful circumstances you are resting in God's faithful care for you, and not anxious. That was Daniel in the lion's den, David as he was hunted and pursued by King Saul, Joseph as he was sold into slavery and then falsely incarcerated-- and it is to be your experience and mine. When people slander you and smear your name you choose forgiveness in your heart and respond as Jesus would to all wrongs done to you.
- You are God-governed not man-managed. Who would those who know you best say that you are? Would your spouse; your children, and your closest friends say that you are God-governed or man-managed? What is your default mode when under stress and unfair circumstances?
Letting Him in,
Jim & Sally