Sunday, August 28, 2011

Un-Spiritual


                Some days I do not feel very spiritual. I don’t want to read the bible or pray, I would rather do something else; anything else. Those are the days that I fall back on something I learned years ago at a campus Crusade for Christ retreat in Arrowhead Springs. I learned that feelings are not a trust worthy spiritual compass.  Bill Bright, the founder of Campus Crusade, said that faith is the engine of our spiritual life and feelings are the caboose. Feelings are always the result of something else that has occurred in our life. Waking up with a cold, losing money in the stock market, or getting laid off at work are all the causes of negative, or bad feelings. Faith on the other hand is not controlled by outside events, as long as faith is placed in the Living God of the bible.
                One of my favorite scripture passages is Proverbs 3:5-6, it says, “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart and lean not to thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him and he shall direct thy paths.”  Trust is a synonym for faith and shines light on another aspect of following the Lord. When I think of trust I think of something that is earned. For example, I have been married for 36 years to the same woman, and in those years I had to work at building trust and then keeping that trust intact. It was not something that was phoned in, or a pact made with a handshake that allowed us to go our separate ways, no we spent the years together, we worked at keeping each other’s trust.
                Developing a relationship of trust is work. In connection to following God, He has done all of the work, all we are required to do is ask, seek and knock. Jesus says in Mathew 7:7-8 “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek and ye shall find; knock and the door shall be opened unto you: for everyone that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.”  What I am getting at is spending time with the Lord is the only way to develop trust in God.  If you are like me and sometimes do not “feel” like reading or praying, and would rather do anything else, the answer is to not trust those feelings, sit down pick up the word and read. I guarantee that feelings will follow, and your walk with the lord will improve. We live in a fallen world, with many influences pulling at us daily.  I wake up in the morning and there are a dozen things competing for my attention. It is so easy to aim for spending time with God, but miss the mark.
 I do not write this because I think I am so great, that is not true. I write this because I know for a fact that the only way to lasting peace is to follow, Jesus, and never give up. When you fall, get back up and repent, which is to go the other direction, and continue trusting Him. 1Corinthians 10:13 says, "There hath no temptaion taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptaion also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it."There is power in all scripture, but this verse has helped me to avoid feeling like the “Lone Ranger”.  It is easy to feel isolated and alone in our walk with the Lord; our enemy sees to that.  Do not trust those feelings, you are not alone, others have gone through what you face and have conquered the challenge. I guess that is another reason I love writing about my walk with God. Letting others know that there is someone just like them who is steadily, and most of the time, clumsily making their way along the narrow path that leads to the throne of our King. A cliché of the 70’s says it best, “Keep on Keepin on”, don’t give up, I am right behind you, and I’ll see you in the Kingdom.
                The debt of sin that you and I owe has been paid. The bible tells us in Romans 3:23 that we have all sinned and fallen short of the Glory of God, and in Romans 6:23 we are warned that the wages of sin is death. But the good news is, Jesus has paid the price of sin, and by placing your trust in him you can receive the gift of eternal life. Where are you today? What is your relationship to the Living God of the bible? Do you trust in him? Have you accepted His Son as you’re personal savior? Are sin and its penalty new concepts to you? It is impossible to know who will read this so I write in general terms to all, but if you cannot answer any of the questions above, or you are not sure where you stand and you would like to know more, please e-mail me at cliffriff@charter.net and I will send you information that will help you to follow the Savior.

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