When we newly accept the Lord Jesus as our Saviour, we are so thrilled that we want to tell the whole world. It is the greatest decision a person can ever make. It is the moment history is written and we become a new person in Christ.
Some of us get so excited about this change in our lives, we get hungry and feel like reading the Bible everyday. Others get set in a new routine, going to church on Sunday and attending some prayer meetings. However, after some years, things change for believers. Many find that the excitement decreases, because of the routine they end up doing things mindlessly. This is where the danger signal should go off but doesn’t.
The sad truth is the many Christians do not know the true state that they are in. When difficulties, trials or calamities come, they are unable to receive answers to prayer as they struggle in the area of faith. Jesus died so we could find freedom and be victorious. Jesus did everything He had to do so we can have victory over every challenge we will face in our lives. Without growing in faith we will not be able to come into all that He wants us to have.
A nudge to change
When we received Jesus as our Saviour, the Holy Spirit begins to dwell within us. He begins to work in us from that moment, nudging us in the areas we need to change. He goes about this in such a gentle way that we barely realize how much we have changed. However, there are some believers who resist this change and stifle the Holy Spirit from doing His work of renewal in their hearts.
This is where the difference of treating our faith as a religion and having a personal relationship with Jesus is actually seen. If you are merely doing rituals and following rules, the love of the Lord will not have any room to grow in your heart. You will only follow a schedule, do the actions and numbly utter words which you don’t even comprehend. It is like you are watering your plant but all the water you pour is falling outside the pot.
Knowing Jesus must make a difference, it has to touch your heart. If it doesn’t, you may think you have changed but actually not have changed. It is like changing the cover of the a book to make it look brand new but internally, it is still the same.
Why is this important?
1 Corinthians 13:11 says, “When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child; now that I have become a man, I am done with childish ways and have put them aside.” AMPC
Can you imagine an adult person behaving like a toddler, drinking milk and throwing tantrums? We would find it very odd, wouldn’t we? Just as we expect people to grow mentally while they grow physically, the Lord wants us to grow spiritually too. We were never meant to stay at the same level of faith that we had when we got saved.
A baby is given milk but slowly the mother introduces mashed food and then actual food so the child can eat everything and grow stronger. In the same way, we are to grow off having milk and move towards learning about deeper matters in the Word of God. This is why Hebrews 5:12 chastens us saying, “For even though by this time you ought to be teaching others, you actually need someone to teach you over again the very first principles of God’s Word. You have come to need milk, not solid food.”
Is your faith evident in all you do?
If there is no difference between our unbelieving neighbour and us, there is something wrong somewhere. Jesus said, “You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste (its strength, its quality), how can its saltness be restored? It is not good for anything any longer but to be thrown out and trodden underfoot by men.” Matthew 5:13 AMPC
We were called to be different. We are the called out and chosen ones. 1 Peter 2:9 says, “But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a dedicated nation, [God’s] own purchased, special people, that you may set forth the wonderful deeds and display the virtues and perfections of Him Who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.”
Many people like to boast about the things they have or what they have done, we are called to boast about the great things our God has done. We have been called to display His greatness through our unique and special lives. Matthew 5:16 says, “Let your light so shine before men that they may see your moral excellence and your praiseworthy, noble, and good deeds and recognize and honor and praise and glorify your Father Who is in heaven.”
Handle with care
Paul gave some very valuable advice to Timothy. He said, “O Timothy, guard and keep the deposit entrusted [to you]! Turn away from the irreverent babble and godless chatter, with the vain and empty and worldly phrases, and the subtleties and the contradictions in what is falsely called knowledge and spiritual illumination. [For] by making such profession some have erred (missed the mark) as regards the faith.” 1 Timothy 6: 20-21 AMPC
We are encouraged to be like the Bereans who always checked the scriptures to find out the truth. Acts 17: 11 says, “Now these [Jews] were better disposed and more noble than those in Thessalonica, for they were entirely ready and accepted and welcomed the message [concerning the attainment through Christ of eternal salvation in the kingdom of God] with inclination of mind and eagerness, searching and examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so.”
Just as Philippians 2:12 exhorts us, let us “work out (cultivate, carry out to the goal, and fully complete) your own salvation with reverence and awe and trembling (self-distrust, with serious caution, tenderness of conscience, watchfulness against temptation, timidly shrinking from whatever might offend God and discredit the name of Christ).”
It is time to take stock of where we stand in our faith and personal relationship with the Lord.