Where are YOU in your walk with the Lord?
Achieving God’s desired path in our life requires continuing education. Our first source of knowledge is, of course, the Word of God, but we shouldn’t stop there. There are many wise counselors in this world that can offer trusted guidance. “Where there is no guidance the people fall, but in an abundance of counselors there is victory.” (Proverbs 11:14) Christianity is a fellowship of spirit-filled believers eager to assist one another. God doesn’t expect us to do anything alone. Fellowship is central to being a follower of Jesus. Of course, finding the right counselor is critical to our success. To that end, we need to seek God’s help, “But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him.” (James 1:5) We need to ask God for the wisdom to know when to seek help and the wisdom to resolve situations on our own.
Our goal has to always be to master whatever is needed to achieve the mission God has placed before us. Through careful Bible study and the advice of thoughtful Bible teachers, we will find a clear focused approach to resolve any situation. “I have chosen the faithful way; I have placed Your judgments before me. I cling to Your testimonies; Lord, do not put me to shame! I shall run the way of Your commandments, for You will enlarge my heart.” (Psalm 119:30-32) God has filled the Bible with clear instructions for any and all difficulties we may encounter. The more time we spend in the Word or with trusted Biblical guides, the more focused we will become and the easier it will be for us to see God’s path forward.
The enemy is the master of lies and manipulation. His counterparts are those detractors who mock and ridicule all things Christian. Together they attack sincere believers with every means of distraction. When we encounter this kind of harassment, it’s easy to seek some form of retaliation – let go of those thoughts – seek peace instead. “Never repay evil for evil to anyone. Respect what is right in the sight of all people. If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all people.” (Romans 12:17-18) The best thing we can do when we are confronted with those who are under the influence of the enemy, is walk away. “Do not speak to be heard by a fool, for he will despise the wisdom of your words.” (Proverbs 23:9) These kinds of people have been seduced by the devil and have nothing but foolishness to offer. “The tongue of the wise makes knowledge pleasant, but the mouth of fools spouts foolishness.” (Proverbs 15:2) Their goal is to move us away from doing God’s work and tangle us up in a web of nonsense. Don’t let them have their way.
Open insults are more desirable than fellow believers who fail to stand behind us. And honest constructive criticism from a fellow believer is more desirable than patronizing compliments from one of the enemy’s coworkers. “Better is open rebuke than love that is concealed. Faithful are the wounds of a friend, but deceitful are the kisses of an enemy.” (Proverbs 27:5-6) All of this is nothing more than needless distraction. We need to avoid these kinds of useless detours as best we can.
“Lord, lead me in Your righteousness because of my enemies; make Your way straight before me. For there is nothing trustworthy in their mouth; their inward part is destruction itself. Their throat is an open grave; they flatter with their tongue.” (Psalm 5:8-9)
Through it all, we are absolutely nothing without faith. The world we live in is filled with difficult to understand connections – Christian churches in opposition with other Christian churches, good people doing bad things, bad people doing good things, and those deserving going without, while those who are underserving flourish. “I again saw under the sun that the race is not to the swift and the battle is not to the warriors, and neither is bread to the wise nor wealth to the discerning, nor favor to the skillful; for time and chance overtake them all. (Ecclesiastes 9:11) Without faith, these painful contradictions would leave us lost. Our faith in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ guarantees us an eternal existence far beyond all of this inconsistency. It is that faith, and trust that Jesus is on His way back for us, that makes our pursuit of God’s calling possible. “Yet those who wait for the Lord will gain new strength; they will mount up with wings like eagles, they will run and not get tired, they will walk and not become weary. (Isaiah 40:31) Faith is the armored vehicle we use to overcome the enemy’s attacks. There is nothing that has the ability to overcome our faith.
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