Too many walk with God in a second hand experience. There is very little evidence of a direct link between the earthly life and the spiritual life towards God. If pressed, we are actually unsure of what that spiritual life actually is. We know it is something to do with being forgiven, believing, Bible reading and prayer, but it’s not as real as other personal relationships. God is not a daily reality. Our speaking personally to God and listening to Him, is a process we are not able to have a clear knowledge of.
We can feel most in touch when we go to church on Sunday and join in the songs and prayers and listen to the sermon. In fact, the sermon is the main bit, because we feel God speak to and challenge us and we get a feeling of closeness..
This is fine, but often it has gone as we walk out the door, and certainly by Monday morning, as work starts for the week, It has mostly been forgotten. It is a short- lived hit which has dubiously little impact on our real lives, and soon will register as irrelevant. The effort into discovering what has been taught is nothing at all, so personal interest is very limited. Often what is heard doesn’t even apply to what we are going through. Passivity and just listening to second hand thoughts and ideas from someone else, has a very limited life span.
This is tragedy. This closes down churches and renders Christians ineffective. My life in the real world is real, but my Christian life does not impact upon it. Eventually my Christian life will not seem worth it and Christ as a person will fade into the background. I may still attend church, but the power has gone. I appear to live, but there are no vital signs.
Every day of our lives should be an encounter with God. Our walk and talk with Him is supposed to be real. When we realise our need to read, meditate and live out the reality of His Word moment by moment, we are dwelling in His presence. When we go wrong, the door of confession and restoration is always open and the fellowship is maintained continually as we recognise fault and face it.
Prayer is the constant breathing of a resurrected soul in the presence of God. Without this respiration we walk as dead people, and our words never get past the ceiling. We cannot walk with the holy one if we ourselves are impure. The Word of God in the Christian’s life, will continually point out the faults in my consciousness and the sins that infest the heart that I am unaware of. There is a constant facing up- a sifting in progressively fine gauges of mesh so that impurities are filtered out of the life.
Therefore, a Christian can progress in holiness and become increasingly like Christ.
The work of the Holy Spirit in the life of the Christian is an awesome reality. No Christian can live or thrive without His gracious presence and deep spiritual work in every part of the person and every area of their lives. His work is for eternity and His love and power makes us fit for service here in our lives and for our lives in heaven, fully redeemed unto God. Problems arise when we don’t recognise this and become dependant on the objects of life rather than His grace…
Walking with God is in some ways straightforward- loving Him and keeping His commandments. On the other hand, it is beyond searching out. All we need to do is to trust God, know His ways and obey Him. I cannot trust someone I don’t know, and as I get to know a person, I also trust them more. This is the path of peace. It is not free of suffering, but there is real peace.
Ask God to give you right desires, true love for His person and to fill you with The Holy Spirit. Seek Him in the Word until you see Jesus and want to be like Him. All others are untrustworthy- we are all sinners, but Christ is our path to life and our great reward.