A Meager Existence
We cannot imagine anyone choosing to eke out such a meager existence. And yet, isn't that exactly what many of us do? God desires to bless us in abundance, to help us grow strong enough to face whatever satan and his world throws at us. God wants to comfort us, guide us and provide for us. He wants to bless His children with all He has to offer. And yet, we opt to decline His offer.
I don't believe we are sinning when we have friends who are worldly. But, if they are the only friends we have, if we choose to "fellowship" with them rather than God's people, we are denying God a chance to bless us. He says that His children are those who love one another, are those whose words are edifying and uplifting, are those who bear one anothers burdens. God's children are our companions on this life journey toward heaven. We share the same eternal destiny, the same purpose, the same mind and the same object of our affection ---that is Jesus Christ. The journey, the walk in the light, is so much less difficult when we are walking with those who share our faith. To choose only friends in the world is to live below our privilege and we start existing rather than living.
And I do not believe that missing Sunday services together or Wednesday night classes will send us to hell. But I do believe when we choose every other activity, every single week, we are robbing ourselves of one of God's greatest blessings--the fellowship and encouragement of the Body. There are those in the church, my brothers and sisters, who are much stronger, much wiser, much more spiritual than I. These family members can help instruct and teach me so that I can grow. They feed my spirit and nourish my soul and they help me mature and stay strong. Refusing time with them contributes to my spiritual malnourishment. Just as filling our stomachs with junk food lessens our resistance to germs and impedes our growth, so filling our hearts with all that the world has to offer lessens our resistance to sin and impedes our growth. An occasional nutritious meal is just not enough, physically or spiritually.
Likewise, there is nothing wrong with having things. We all like nice cars and nice houses and nice clothes. We all recognize that these things are not free and in order to get them, we must work. We also know that in order to maintain them, we must continue to work. And so we are busy working. Don't get me wrong, work is good. God commands us to work. However He also admonishes us to not get so caught up in things that we forget the important stuff. He reminds us several times that it is not the earthly carnal things that save us but the spiritual heavenly things. Those things are eternal and incorruptible, indestructible. Our focus should be on storing up spiritual treasures.
I believe we as Christians, should take care of our bodies. We should exercise and eat right. We should remain healthy. But not so we can look good in designer clothes or so we can outrun the 20 year olds or so we can pretend to hold on to our youth. We should take care of ourselves so that we can work for the Lord, so that we can go, teach, make disciples without having to take a nap, without having to lie down and rest for an hour after each bible study. We should take care of ourselves so that as long as God gives us life, we can be useful in bringing souls to Him.
We have the Word of God that helps us, guides us and corrects us. It is important to read it. Over the years I have seen numerous little tools designed to help Christians get back in the Word. It isn't important which one we use, only that we get into the Word. We cannot gain the wisdom and knowledge needed to remain spiritually strong unless we spend time listening to God. Spending time with God also requires talking to Him. He is our Lord, our Savior, our Bridegroom and in order to have a relationship with Him, we must communicate with Him more than once a day at bedtime and twice on Sundays. He wants to talk with us!!!!
We short-change ourselves in so many areas of our Christian walk. When we could be thriving, we instead eke out a meager spiritual existence. This should not be! It is not what our Father wants, and it is not really what we want either. Don't we want to partake of all of His blessings? Don't we want to live lives overwhelmed by the love of God, compelled to teach, hungry to learn and eager to accept the glorious and rich life He has in mind for us? Don't we want to thrive rather than simply exist? Just imagine what thriving spiritually would like, imagine what blessings would flood your life and what peace would fill your soul. God never meant for us to have a meager existence but rather abundant life. Its there for the taking--all we have to do is ask!