With the advent of the religion of Humanism mankind has set himself up as a god by taking credit for the good things that happen in his life.The Bible specifically states that all good things come from above as stated in James 1:17. Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above…………. Our skills and our talents are given to us by our Creator. They are His gifts to us to mold us into the person that He wants us to be.
The view that one gets as they gaze the panoramic scene from the top of a mountain is somewhat breathtaking to say the least. Miles and miles of a picturesque images filter into the mind as one takes in the vast scope of sightings available through the tapestry of reality that lays before them. Not withstanding, this scenario cannot compare to the visual one gets after coming up out of an horrible pit.
We all have had those mountaintop experiences when the Lord has blessed us, sometimes beyond measure, after we have gone through a time of testing. How wonderful it is when our spiritual eyes gaze upon the reality of new lessons learned. For many this is a time of spiritual growth, drawing us closer to the Lord. Sightings of new opened doors of opportunity to serve, witness and minister bring joy and anticipation into our heart. It is indeed a welcome relief from the valley of despair from whence we just came. Unfortunately this is a time when we are often most vulnerable to attacks from the Devil. With a humble heart it is good for us to take a quick look down into the valley from whence we came to remind us of God’s hand in delivering us from our hour of testing.
Although is it not good to dwell on past sins, testing, and disappointments, we need to keep in mind that those very things were the instruments by which we were chiseled into becoming more Christ-like. Once the abrasiveness of sin is tempered with the soothing lotion of forgiveness, our fellowship with the Heavenly Father is restored and it becomes easier for us to see that all testing comes from above and is meant for our good. Those disappointments were roadblocks preventing us from turning away from the will of God our life. Perhaps the most humbling site that pricks our soul is the evidence of God’s working in our life while floundering in the valley.
As we look closer into the pit we can see dredged into the sinking sand are drag marks from the time when the Lord had to literally drag us away from temptation and sin. Further down the path can be seen only one set of footprints when we were being carried by our Savior. There at the cool spring waters, Christ refreshed us, providing us with the strength to keep going. As our eyes look upon the side of the mountain we can see Jesus climbing upward carrying someone upon his back……………. Oh, how he loves us.
“I waited patiently for the LORD; and he inclined unto me, and heard my cry. He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings. And he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the Lord.”—Psalm 40:1-3.
There are times in a Christian walk when the Believer finds himself deep down in an horrible pit. Whether it happens because of sin, illness, financial woes, the condition of the world or a multitude of other reasons, the person suffers from a myriad of spiritual and emotional turmoil. Perhaps it is a combination of these culprits or even all of them, nevertheless it leaves one with the feeling of desolation to the point that they feel forsaken by God.
Plagued by self pity, depression and sorrow, one of the first things that tempts the flailing soul is whether to trust in self or to trust in God. Sadly many choose the former. Prayer and Scripture reading is forgotten and even church attendance suffers because of the circumstances thrust upon the backslidden saint. Floundering around in the mire and dirt, the bruised Christian neglects to look up to the hills from whence cometh their help. Psalm 121 I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help
“And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” Mark 16:15
While it is true that works cannot save us, it is a command that we are to work out our own salvation
“Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.” Philippians 2:12 .
We must not succumb to the Moses syndrome of worthless excuses: ” but I am slow of speech, and of a slow tongue;” for the Lord will say , “What is that in thine hand?” Each of us has talents given to us by God, that can be used for his service. In bringing together a fellowship of Believers God was not amiss in providing workers for the ministry. Some are called to teach, some are called to clean, others are called to tend to wee ones in the Nursery. Lest we forget, there is the landscaping, church dinners, organizers, planners and greeters. For those Senior Saints the needful service of prayer is needful for the influence of any ministry. This is far from being an all inclusive list of available ministries in the Church. Yes, cleaning is a ministry!
As we life for Christ, we must not do so in our own strength God did not give you new life so that you could run around and fulfill your own selfish desires. There’s a greater purpose here to live your life to serve God whole-heartedly and strive to be Christ-like. It is hard to model Jesus every second of the day, in fact, it is probably impossible to do it. Instead of relying on yourself, let God guide you throughout your day.
“And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” Romans 12:2
Serve others! This is a huge commandment in the Bible. Your life is no longer about your convenience, comfort, or accommodation. Go into the world and serve others thereby pointing everyone you meet to Christ.
The Lord is the Great Physician who can deliver us from the spiritual ‘Ebola’ of Christianity. As we draw nearer to God and come to know Him more, He imparts unto us the antibiotic of selfless service that we might a workman that needeth not to be ashamed………………………
Before we were saved many of us were likened unto an old tire. Our lives were lived that the tread was worn away by sinful living. Once saved, God was able to take our thread bare lives and turn them into something useful. The Master-craftsman may have had to clean us up and remove the tar of worldliness that had accumulated over a lifespan; He definitely gave us a new covering – His robe of righteousness; and we became a new creation, fit for the Master’s use. Perhaps the following visual illustration can best exemplify the ‘putting off of the old man and letting Christ don us with the garment of a new man.