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Have you arrived?

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...Have you?

We all know (or should know!) as christians. That our need for Christ is what draws us near to Him. In our desperation. The day we accept Him as our Lord and Savior.
But it would seem. That as we start to grow in Christ. That we tend to forget. That our need for Him never diminishes. We begin to become "self-dependant". We begin to believe that we have "arrived". That we can do things on our own. So we do things our way. Not His. Hardly consulting Him in the important decisions we make in life. What career we should have. What ministry He would have us do. Who to reach out too. Relationships we keep. How to handle our finances, etc. We tend to do things, "my way". As Frank Sinatra use to sing.
                          ...Instead of God's way!
And often what happens in this. Is this. Instead of growing closer to God. We tend to stray from Him. A little at a time. Until there is a "gulf" between us and Him. With little difference between us and the world we left behind. We begin to believe the lies of the world. The lies of the evil one. And we begin to doubt God's power and influence in our lives. And so we become callous to the voice of His Spirit. We forget that it is His Spirit. That leads us in all truth:
 "But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come."

                           (John 16:13 NIV)

And so we go about life never (or barely) growing (in our faith) any further. Our fears (often, or at times) holding us captive.
Never really seeking His voice. Allowing Him to "grow" us. But at the same time thinking, or convincing ourselves that we are "there". We have arrived. But NOTHING could be further from the truth. And so, "we are, where we are".
But the closer we REALLY come to Him. The more intimate we are with Him. The more we really get to know God. The more we come into His presence. We will come to realize how "undone" we really are.
Just as Isaiah did:
 "So I said:

      “ Woe is me, for I am undone!
      Because I am a man of unclean lips,
      And I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips;
      For my eyes have seen the King,
      The LORD of hosts.”

               (Isaiah 6: 5 NKJV)
And our need to be more like Him becomes apparent to us.
But as we grow. We tend to think that we are now on our own. That we are now "perfect". And we expect ourselves to get things right all the time!
What we forget though, is this. We are perfected by what Jesus did on the cross:
 "For by one offering He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified."
                     (Hebrews 10:14 NKJV)
Not by what we do ...or can do! Or EVER could do!!
But yet we still try and convince ourselves. That we are now perfect. And we try and do everything in life as if we are! But what we must realize is this. Yes, God Is sactifying us (1 Thess. 5:22). But yet we will still have this struggle in the flesh. Our sinful nature. Because we CANNOT sanctify ourselves! We will always need His help!! Sanctification is a process!!!
And we have to remember this. There is an internal struggle between our flesh and the Spirit:
 "For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish."
                   (Galatians 5:17 NKJV)
And as we really begin to understand this. We will realize that our need for Him only increases! As we really come to know. How much work He needs to do within us yet.
But this is a good place for us to be! Because we realize we do NOT have to be perfect. We realize that we can do nothing without Him!
Just as Jesus told us:
"I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing."
                         (John 15:5 NIV)
So as we begin to understand this. Then we will have real peace. Peace in knowing that we DO NOT have to be perfect. But we have to continually rely on Him and His power. To save us. Guide us. Mold us into who He would have us become.
More like Him:
 "For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren."
                      (Romans 8:29 NKJV)
So you see our christian walk is not about being perfect. And continuing it on our own. Like a "Frank Sinatra solo". It is about our constant, desperate need for Him! Relying on Christ. Everyday of our lives! Knowing that we need to rely on His strength. His resources. All that He is. Not just the day we accepted Him as Lord and savior. But EVERDAY of our lives!
You see real peace comes when we have this realization. That we are saved by His undeserved merit. His grace:
 "For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God,"
                     (Ephesians 2:8 NKJV)
And the same grace that saves us? Is the same grace we need everyday of our lives! We need Him!!
So do not think that just because you have been saved. That you no longer desperately need Him!
Afterall, remember what we talked about earlier?
"I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing."
                         (John 15:5 NIV)
And think about Paul the apostle. Paul wrote most of the New Testament. But yet Paul always knew his need for Christ.
Constantly in His life:
  "What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, with my mind I myself am a slave to the law of God, but with my flesh, to the law of sin."
                   (Romans 7:24-25 HCSB)
Some, "food for thought" perhaps?

Rev. John Heintzman
Evangelist Non-Denominational
Any questions, comments, prayer requests?

POHOM Columbus, Ohio
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