“We would expect our new life with the Holy Spirit to look radically different from our old life without Him…Yet when those outside the church see no difference in our lives, they begin to question our integrity, our sanity, or even worse, our God.” Chan, Forgotten God, pg 31, 33
Does your lifestyle point others to God?
Can the world see a change in you? Something different about you compared to everyone else?
Is God ALIVE in you? Do you allow the Holy Spirit to lead you and work through you?
If you’ve read the Bible, you know those who profess to follow Christ show a marked difference in their conduct. They are NOT perfect, but they strive to live worthy of the name, “Christian”.
“I am embarrassed by some of my “Christian” neighbors because my unbelieving neighbors seem more joyful, welcoming, and at peace.” Chan, Forgotten God, pg 32
Sadly, I can testify of the accuracy of this sentence. My best friend, who is atheist, shows more “fruit of the Spirit” than many Christians I know. She lives a life serving others, endeavoring to make this world a better place. The basic principles of her life are ones that should govern the Body of Christ. Yet her actions don’t stem from a relationship with God.
So how is it that she looks (and acts) more like a Christian than the ones who sit in pews each week?
My post from Monday (How Are God’s People Deceived?) answers much of this question—lack of knowing God’s Word and not applying it to our lives. Not allowing it to dictate how we conduct each moment of our day.
I read an article this morning that correlates to this very thing, “The Crisis of Biblical Illiteracy and What We Can Do About It” . According to this article (which I agree with) America is at a tipping point. There is a decline in people knowing the Word of God and/or not viewing it as authoritative to our daily living.
I postulate that if we knew God’s Word and allowed it to permeate every fiber of our being things would be different in our world. Case in point, the violence, instability, persecution and wars going on around the world today. Where are the Christians? Are they filling the alters petitioning God for those suffering and dying? Are they crying out to any who will listen about the violence being committed against innocent people? Where is the Christian voice…especially in America?
Just this week I read about a man killed in Kenya for professing the Christian faith (many others died as well, read more here). There are numerous stories about Iraq at the moment. Here’s one about the diminishing number of Christians in Iraq. You can read Caleb Suko’s blog about all the violence going on in Ukraine, and the testimony of brave Christians there.
Just do a Google Search and you’d be amazed at the world around you. My book, “The Precipice: When Everything We Know Ends” endeavors to shed light on the plight of Christianity.
All these things make my heart ache. Make me hit my knees and ask God for the strength to continue to share His message. I long for more of God. I long for these scriptures to ring true in my own life and in yours:
“Continue to remember those in prison as if you were together with them in prison, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering.” Hebrews 13:3 NIV
“ Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.” Romans 12:15 NIV
As Christians, we are admonished to remember those suffering as if it were us suffering.
Have you ever experienced any form of suffering? It consumes you.
We are to be consumed with the suffering of God’s people around the world.
And not just for them, but for those committing these vile acts. God loves those people. He wants to send Christians to witness to them, to show them His love and grace.
But when God’s people don’t know His Word, when they don’t let His Word become ALIVE, the entire Body of Christ suffers. (Tweet please)
I’m excited about the new book club series on “Forgotten God” by Francis Chan. We, the Body of Christ, need to learn to Walk in the Spirit. We need to know the Holy Spirit, to allow Him to move in us and through us.
Sadly, I don’t think enough Christians know much about the Holy Spirit. It’s the book clubs endeavor to grow in our own knowledge of Him and to share it with you. Please join us during our weekly discussions.
For links to others posts on each chapter go to Endless Impact or Living Between the Lines each Wed.
Thanks and God bless you with increasing hunger for His Word.
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.” Matt 5:6 NIV