Saturday, May 20, 2006

What Changes You Now?

II Cor.5:17 - Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold all things are becoming new.
So you became a follower of Jesus years ago. Some of us quit smoking, some drugs, some immorality, some cursing, and we started to experience a hunger for the things of God. We read the Word, we prayed, and we worshipped the Lord among other believers. It was a dramatic change which resulted in a change in our eternal destiny and accompanied with many behavioral changes. But after those first few years what changes us now? When was the last time God impacted our lives to such an extent that we were significantly changed again? Have we settled into a nice, habitual, and lazy Spiritual walk that is so predictable that we have to refer to experiences years ago in order to share any significant metamorphosis that the Lord did in our lives? I mean what changes us now? It is not enough to critique the latest paradigm shift by the modernist church in all of its subtle forms, no, we must never be satisfied with being used of God to warn people about false teachers. We ourselves must press to know Him!!
If the abandoning of certain sins in the early stages of our Spiritual journey is pretty much it, then we've stopped moving from glory to glory and we've stagnated in our pursuit of knowing Him. Can you remember after you came to know Jesus waking up some mornings with a warmth in your inner being as you reacquainted yourself with the knowledge of Him? Does that ever happen today? Can you recall when you first met other believers and you shared about the Lord and felt that new kinship? Can you remember when you first started to understand God's Word and you were exited about even the simplest truths? Do you recall your first stumbling words as you prayed to the Lord and felt as if you were actually talking to Him and He was intently listening? I can remember first hearing someone preaching on the rapture for the first time(I was so new I didn't even know what the rapture was) and as I left the service I felt as if I was about to be raptured right then. Do I feel that now? Do you remember being almost overwhelmed with the thought that God had completely forgiven all your sins? Do you ever get overwhelmed anymore?
Think about how we enter and ride in an elevator. The door opens and there is a person already inside heading up. You step inside, turn around, and look up at the changing floor designation. Usually no words are spoken between you and the man already inside with you even though you are only feet apart and heading for the same floor. He's not interested in you and you don't desire to know him. You are strangers to each other.
But one day the door to salvation opened and by faith you stepped into Christ. There was Jesus with you and headed to the same place you are going. Why would we treat Him like a stranger? Why don't we fellowship with Him constantly? Why aren't we absolutely drawn to know Him more intimately? I know, sometimes Christians get passionate over moral issues and politics, but what about being absolutely passionate about pursuing Jesus? When was the last time you were accused of being "over zealous"? When was the last time people asked you about the recent change in your life? Is it unreasonable to expect there to be from time to time some quantum leaps and focus sharpening in our pursuit of "knowing Him"?
I am sometimes humbly used of the Lord to expose and challenge this ever shifting evangelical climate. The "ancient landmarks" have not only been moved, they've been destroyed. But brothers and sisters, I will not let these "itching ear" preachers rob me of the greatest journey of all - to know Jesus my Lord. He is so much more than I could ever know this side of heaven, but the pursuit is the most fulfilling desire of my life. My preaching is my calling; my teaching is my ministry; my correcting is my mandate; but knowing Jesus is my life.
We are called to be like Him which can only come from worshipping before Him in Spirit and truth. I need to continue to change in substantial ways that result in noticeable outward differences that reflect Christ Himself. Paul's admonition for us to "cleanse ourselves from all sins of the flesh and the Spirit" lets all of us know that our pursuit must always be of Him.

Looking unto Jesus...

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