Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: End (02/13/06)
- TITLE: Our Fellowship With God Does NOT Begin When This Life Ends!
By Doug Laird
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After all, we rationalize, does God really expect me to become one of those annoying types who go about thumping people over the head with their over-sized King James Version of the Bible? Doesn’t God know that we have to live in the real world with all of the real problems and challenges that life has to bring? Who’s going to pay my bills, clean my house, maintain the property, do the dishes, wash the clothes, shop, cook, nurse, and otherwise care or fend for my spouse and kids but me? Aren’t we entitled to enjoy what little time and/or pleasure that can be squeezed out of an already over burdened schedule? Discipleship? Does not the Bible teach that the more spiritual I become, the more problems and adversity I can anticipate from the Kingdom of Darkness, as if I don’t have enough problems now?
There are Biblical answers to all of these questions and challenges to our faith and walk with God (Matt. 6:33). God’s promise is to supply all that we need, not all that we want.
The truth is that true Christianity is NOT a life dominated by overt blessings and void of all problems.
It is when we can maintain the correct attitudes and priorities in the midst of adversity that we truly discover the reality (or lack of it) of the fellowship with God in this lifetime. If we are not in fellowship with God as we go about our daily routines, no matter where we are or what we find ourselves doing, then we are out of fellowship with Him for the majority of our lifetime!
If we wait for the resolution of life’s challenges before we get our priorities straight, we will never spiritually mature and will miss out on what the post-salvation spiritual life is all about. Spiritual maturity is evidenced by preoccupation with the Lord Jesus Christ. This preoccupation serves as a filter to screen out all undesirable and harmful elements that would otherwise hinder our fellowship with God.
We were born for one purpose and that is to glorify God. We glorify God primarily when we BELIEVE in His one and ONLY plan and means of salvation, that being FAITH in the Person (who He is) and the Works (what He did on the cross) of the Lord Jesus Christ. When we do that, we have been born again. Once born again, we then have the privilege of bringing further glory to God by learning and applying the “mind of Christ (1Cor. 2:16 NIV)” to the circumstances found in our personal periphery of our daily lives. The post-salvation spiritual life involves a FELLOWSHIP with God that begins at the moment of our salvation, NOT when this life is over and we enter into the eternal state.
As we spiritually mature, we will establish the right set of priorities and accept whatever happens as God’s will for our lives and glorify Him in the midst of adversity as well as in times of blessings. In fact, once we are totally occupied with Him and His presence, it will no longer matter which of the two scenarios, be it adversity or blessings, that each day brings as long as we know that we are doing what God wants us to be doing, where He wants us to be doing it, and how He wants it to be done.
Satan can do nothing to alter our salvation, but will do all that he can to see to it that our fellowship comes to an end. For some, it will be through overt blessings (Luke 4: 6) while others it will be through adversity or the issues that every day life brings to us (Luke 8:14). This explains, in part, why it is that the wicked seem to go right along uninhibited while bad things happen to good people.
Fellowship with God does not begin when this life ends, but is a continuation of the one established at the moment of salvation and is maintained throughout all of the post-salvation life while here on Earth. This perspective gives practical meaning to such passages as Ecc. 7:1(b) and Psalms 116:15.
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