How to grow in Faith
The night was gradually lessening its grip over the heavens, but to an untrained eye the skies were still as dark and the silence stretched over the land held in slumber. There were a few bright stars whose presence deeply stirred in me the love that I possessed for all of Nature, Dawn… What a glorious wondrous time, for someone who deeply desires silence and solitude as myself… The night and especially dawn are perfect for me, for in a brief darkness dissipates and light enters the picture as do people and their endless problems and their unlimited skills of creating disturbances to the form of day. Its been a while since I wrote something along the Christian perspective, and I have been gripped by that notion to speak something about growing up in Faith. Those of you few who read my posts know that I tend to drift in my dialogues, and wander quite a bit… Similarly I begin this post with a verse from Matthew Chapter 6 verse 24
24 No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.
When we choose to accept Jesus into our hearts we allow the work of the kingdom to enter our lives. Being born again is a tremendous and a rather thrilling experience, but then begins the real journey. Our eyes slowly become open to our own wickedness, and we see the world with a new heart, a heart softened and no longer filled with the deceiving disguises of the egoic. Our lives become more important, we realize how important it is to preach the gospel, but at the same time we become highly aware of the almost impossible feat it becomes. Friends who would listen to our endless nonsense suddenly become guarded and listen to us with highly cynical and displeased looks, we become self conscious of the road and the tone in which we deliver our righteous offering to a world that demands its freedom and the right to engage in it. It is incredibly hard and complex, but only so because we do not equip ourselves with spirit filled prayer, because we do not read and meditate on the word of God( an important necessity, as it feeds the spirit of the new born within) since we do not weather ourselves with the nature of experience. The world that we live in right now is very much sophisticated and filled with layers and layers of carefully constructed designs that we are often oblivious to, and christians are seen as the problem, Christians are boring, too stuck up and highly judgmental about every silly little thing. The truth that we have gained from our born again experience, the truth that we so desperately want to shout out from the mountain tops and the rooftops, that truth that the world so desperately longs and hungers for seems too mundane for the spiritually impoverished, they deem it too charlatan and too religious, they say no to the only truth that can rid them of the chains that bind their souls.
When you accept Christ into your heart, you have to completely wipe out all the unsavory things that had had a stronghold in your life, unhealthy addictions, obsessions, fantasies and desires. Pleasure takes a back seat, and is invested in the institution of marriage, sensation and cheap thrills are discarded and rather found and discovered in the process of living a powerful christian life, and sin is avoided at all costs. One begins to understand the very nature of sin, and finds its expressions in the many enticing desires that are encouraged in the world. One sees in person the immensely hurtful effect that it has in his relationship with the Lord. One understands why the nature of God is Holiness and with no imperfections at all, God can never encourage sin, one realizes slowly and rather painfully that despite their commitment to the Lord they still possess the freedom to choose. And some of those choices can be disasters initially if one does not learn the power of saying no, sin in its very nature is to corrode and completely harden the soul and pull it away from its conscience. The enticement to sin is recognized as an attempt to tear one away from the Savior, to cause a rift, an irreparable separation and to ultimately allow one to detach oneself from the kingdom and right back into the kingdom of darkness. The devil as the Bible teaches us is likened to a prowling lion, waiting for someone to devour, as we grow in our relationship with the Lord we realize the need for maturity. To mature in spirit, to reflect Christ in our lives and to lessen the strongholds of the devil in our lives.
The world cannot be totally avoided, we live in it, we play important roles and fill important positions in the world, but rather we are to give the fullest importance to Christ and God in our lives, for we are nonetheless answerable to He who guards and protects our soul from all the arrows of the enemy. But we are to guard our spirit against the clever deceptions of the world, for sin by itself consists entirely of a beautiful outer layer cleverly constructed to appeal to our inmost desires and fantasies, yet as we get closer to it we find the most greatest dissatisfaction as we prolong our relationship with it. We are unwittingly partaking and engaging in our very nature and allowing ourselves to be manipulated into submitting into something that will control and dominate our lives. That’s why the apostle Paul advises us to put to death aspects of our former lives. And this would include anything that separates us from Christ, if we did not cling to something so temporal and transient despite its fantastic ability to please our senses and rather choose the harder choice of abstinence and self control, we find that actually we begin to nurture the goodness within our hearts. That our spiritual strength grows and our relationship with Christ deepens and we find the peace that comes with loving God envelop and take us away from our life of difficulty and troubles. That we actually win over obstacles that we could have never won over if we depended on the flesh and the ego… If we had decided to do everything on our own, we might’ve have succeeded in the world, earned enough recognitions and accolades to build a lasting legacy that would outlive and last many generations, but of what use would it be if we never lived a Godly life…? If we never learned to trust and depend on God…? If we never learned to love our fellow man through the strength provided by the Holy spirit…? If we never learned to obey and love Jesus our Lord…?
So dear friend you will realize that the more you grow in your Faith, and the more you accept certain unchangeable things in your life and submit them over to the Lord, and the more you utilize your power of Choice over the circumstances that appear in your life the closer you will become to God, the more you will outlast your temptations, overpower your own persuasive nature and overcome the obstacles that have always been a thorn in your life. If you would only choose to devote your life to obedience and your passions to Christ, I certainly understand the difficulties of leaving the more pleasurable parts of a worldly life, its an aspect that I myself struggle immensely with, the devil is a trickster, he will woo you and entice you by praising your unique individual nature or praising your smoothness with the opposite gender, but beware they all lead to the same destination. I am not completely coming down hard on living a normal and comfortable life, I am asking one rather to be conscious and aware of what they are allowing into their lives, since our choices ultimately define who we are. Never be afraid of failures, none of us are perfect, we all fail and struggle with things in our lives, but our God is a perfect God, and His promises and provisions seldom fail only if we learn how to use and engage in them. So learn to pray and submit it all to God in prayer, look after your responsibilities and enjoy the life that you live. It is a wonderful, adventurous and wisdom filled life, brimming with potential and desire to reach out to a world lost in its own desires.
Much love , God Bless