Being Spiritually Fit For the Coming Battle
Growing up is not always for the faint of heart. Grunts and groans as you get up from a chair or walk up the stairs are met with chuckles, but you know we all get there at some point. A new word that has entered the popular lexicon is “adulting”. Young folks use it to describe the switch from having someone else take care of things like paying bills or getting the oil changed in your car to doing it yourself. It’s an eye-opener. Being responsible for yourself is a big step in life. Yet, at some point in time you don’t really have a choice, unfortunately however more and more folks, whether they be Gen Z, Gen X, Gen Y, or Millenial have decided to take up the old Boomer mantra of “Turn on, tune in, and drop out”. Whether they be the drugs which Timothy Leary popularized through his teaching (and which produced that statement) or just the laziness of refusing to deal our culture is one that promotes in several different ways immaturity and irresponsibility. In today’s worship and prayer help we’ll talk a little bit about how this mindset has infiltrated the Church and affects members of the body of Christ, and why that is bad.
A common complaint of the Apostle Paul is the fact that outside of perhaps Thessalonica so many of the converts to the Christian faith were satisfied to take in the milk, and not seek after meat. 1 Corinthians 3 and Hebrews 6 being the most pertinent examples. The question is why does this matter? Milk is good, especially when it’s mixed with sugar and frozen. Paul gives a couple of reasons why both having to do with maintaining the present faith that one has. Babies are naturally defenseless against predators and also have issues feeding themselves. Infant Christians are no different. However, we don’t expect little ones to remain little ones forever. Eventually they get bigger, stronger, and more and more independent. Though no matter how old you are you are never in a position where you need no one else. We are all dependent on someone, yet the kinds of things we need change quite dramatically. All that is to say that when it comes to the spiritual strength required of the believer we do damage to ourselves and our walk with Christ when we refuse to eat the food God provides for us in His grace.
How do we do that?
It’s pretty simple. We live in an age of easy access to information. This is most certainly the case when it comes to finding resources to build us up in faith and hope and love. There are a ton of podcasts, online sermons, teaching series, etc… that are available as streamable audio. If you spend a decent amount of your day either driving to and from work, or in a car/truck moving around, or in an office where this is practicable it doesn’t take that much effort to redeem the time for the benefit of your own soul. The three twenty-to-thirty minute devotionals I listen to on a regular basis (Grace to You, Renewing Your Mind, and Truth For Life) each in their own way help to focus my heart and give me more understanding of the Christian life. There are others out there I’d be glad to recommend, but if you don’t have that kind of access to a free moment to spare to hear someone else talk about Jesus for a while it highlights even more the importance of taking advantage of the opportunities your local church (Bethany in our case) provides when it comes to being fed with the word of God. Whether it be a mid-week prayer meeting or a second service on the Lord’s Day we need as much time as we can get receiving the nourishment of the Holy Spirit considering how much other content we consume, whether intentionally or not. We cannot think that an hour of worship with 35 minutes of preaching is going to be sufficient to give us what we need, that is if we have a true desire to learn and grow.
Which brings us to the other side of the equation, having that longing to be sanctified and to be more as Christ in our life. It seems like one of those things that is kind of a no-brainer. Of course if I am saved by the blood of the lamb I should want to know more about this man who told me everything I have ever done. When I lead pre-marital counseling one of the things I always bring up with the young couples is that next to building a foundation based on the Gospel and their common faith in the Lord Jesus the next most important attribute of a Biblical marriage is learning to love one another more and more every day. You can’t do that if you don’t do it intentionally by spending time with one another, asking questions, listening, really being engaged in one another’s lives. The same is true about our relationship with Jesus. If you are struggling in faith, feeling spiritually empty, and not sure where to go next it’s likely that if you are honest and take stock of the situation you’ll see that it is not God who has left you alone, it is the other way around. The Israelites had the same problem the Ephesians did in Revelation 2. They fell into the use of idols because they forgot their first love. All sin has its beginning in the breaking of the First Commandment. So what is the solution? Like most things in life it is not that complicated, even if we think it should be.
Paul’s admonition to the people he was preaching to in the Book of Hebrews was to not forsake the gathering together of the saints. There is literally nothing more important in this life than the corporate meetings of God’s people as they prep for the heavenly places in Christ. If your local church is opening the doors for worship on the Lord’s Day morning and evening, holding Sabbath School and/or a Wednesday Night bible study/prayer meeting avail yourself of these things. You’re going to need to be strong in faith as the darkness arises. These moments will be quite important as the day approaches. Be strong in Christ and in His word for your blessing.
Here is a word of encouragement:
By His Strength,
Rev. Benjamin Glaser
Pastor, Bethany ARP Church