Saturday, December 19, 2015

PASSING THROUGH THE SEASONS IN YOUR FAITH JOURNEY WITH CHRIST



When you look back on your "faith history," you can see the different seasons God took you through, what you really needed to grow in faith, what you needed for spiritual maturity, what you needed to become closer to Him, more aware, a listener for His direction. Sometimes the "plate was full" of activity and work, and other times it was an isolated season of more one-on-one time with God. Sometimes it was something not given, not answered, or taken away.

God's purpose is to bring you closer and closer into Christ-like character. He has given each one of us unique gifts to use in His service. As we accepted Christ, we began a journey of faith growth. Our time became important in the knowledge of God and His Word. Our prayer life was engaging as we sought to learn the ways of the Lord. We learned we were empty and wanted to be filled with God to be complete.

God takes his young believer and guides them through a journey of growth in spirit. Although professors of being God's child, we still have a sinful nature and earthly enemies that work to detour us. We still have freedom in our daily choices and pursuits. We still must deal with sadness and loss. We are reminded that we are Kingdom children in a fallen world still possessing freedoms to do and say as we choose.

God knows our nature. God knows our heart. God knows our enemies. God knows our journey. He sent His only begotten Son to live in the flesh among us, have the same temptations before Him, experience the same sadness and loss that we can feel. Though perfect, He experienced our pains, and in the greatest gift of love, laid down His life in our place, became our substitute on the Cross, and GAVE US FORGIVENESS and SALVATION though we have and do fail in the flesh.

Yet in accepting Christ the Lord as our Savior, our bodies are filled with the Holy Spirit to guide and direct our paths. Oh what a gift to have this counselor and advocate as we pass our days, as we sometimes fall, as we repent and again stand back up and walk with Christ in forgiveness.

Throughout this journey, we experience different seasons of growth and lessons and teaching and learning. To grow in faith and be more like Christ, we must surrender our self will, and often our comfort, to follow the leading of the Holy Spirit at a time in our lives that will lead to a more perfect connection and life in the Lord.

 Sometimes we teach Sunday school, make a dish for the comfort of others, lead a Bible study, sing in the choir, watch babies in the nursery, visit the home bound, work on a committee in service to others, and other working activities with the gifts God has given us to use in His service. However, there are times when God makes the way to more isolated times, perhaps in study of His Word alone, prayer alone, no church family found.

Some find this isolation as a failure in their days as a servant of the Lord. They pray and pray for God to help them find the right church and good Christian friends. They search, but the Lord does not convict them in their search.

We are all in different places in our faith journey and growth position in Christ. If we submit to the Holy Spirit's leading, sometimes we are led to an intimate, alone period of study, prayer and supplication. We don't understand it, but must trust that God has a reason, and good intentions for us, in seasons of isolation. 

Trusting God through this "lesson" in surrender should be our response, as well as a focused priority of study of Him and our own current position in faith. We must listen, obey, use self-examination, and release those things that God may be trying to free us from that are holding us back in our commitment to Him alone.

When you see your Christian brothers and sisters in "different places" of surrender or service, remember that God loves each one of us, wants each one of us to grow in Him, recognizes what we need most to advance in faith, and takes us to different "study areas" for the advancement of our faith and the ultimate work of the Kingdom.We are never "there," as Christ was, but God is forever leading and guiding knowing where our spirit needs its compliments, expulsions, sharing, or isolation.... each one unique.... each path unique.

God is with all of us, and God leads us down different roads and through different seasons to advance our relationship with Him, with others, and to lead our way closer and closer to a faith-shining light that glows brighter and brighter in this dark world..... that will be strong in the storms and an anchor in our trials.... and oftentimes, to be an anchor in the storms of others. 

The "school" of growth for the Kingdom of God by the teacher Himself.... Jesus Christ.... and the Holy Spirit in us .... let us answer the call of faith and the journey of maturity by submission to His determined "classroom" through the seasons of our journey in Christ the Lord.

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