Faith is the substance of things hoped for, evidence of things unseenHebrews 11:1
The epicentre of Christianity is the understanding, acceptance and submission to the fact that we are saved by grace through faith alone and not by our own works. However, when we examine our hearts and the desires that motivate our actions and decisions, are we motivated by this faith to long for the hope that comes from the gospel or do we live only to gratify the needs that our flesh demands?
Comparison Kills, Complacency Poisons
So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth.
You may have heard that comparison is a silent killer in which jealousy, envy and eventually hate is bred – however what about complacency? Complacency poisons the mind, forcing us into a stagnant state in our walk. This may continue until we enter a place where we completely forget about God.
The great thing about the God that we serve is that He is all merciful (Lamentations 3:22-23). In Revelation 3:16, God highlights His disdain for lukewarm faith, however mercifully warns us to change our ways, meaning there is still an opportunity for us to correct our ways. It is important to hide this Word in our hearts, remembering that although we may become complacent in our walk, He is always ready to welcome us back like the prodigal son.
To continue in the sin, thinking grace may abound however, is foolishness (Romans 6:1-2). The Scriptures liken this to a dog who returns back to its own vomit (Proverbs 26:11). Let us examine ourselves, being intentional in our walk with Christ, by the grace of God, keeping our minds fixated on the things to come and not on earthly things (Colossians 3:2).
Christ is the example, not Man
Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realise that Christ Jesus is in you—unless, of course, you fail the test?2 Corinthians 13:5
We are called to be help our brothers and sisters in Christ, rebuking and encouraging in love when necessary. In all, we are called to be a family, holding each other accountable, in love. It is thus understandable that this can cause blurred lines between accountability and the comparison of man. Although our brothers and sisters in Christ may read the Word ten times a day, or pray ten hours per day – our goal was never to aspire to them but always to walk with Christ in the race. 2 Corinthians highlights this, telling us to examine ourselves. The only way in which we can do this is through the Word, and the Spirit who reveals and will surely show us our flaws and our shortcomings in our walk.
However, do not be distressed by this, for even in our weakness, His grace is sufficient enough (2 Corinthians 12:9). So take heart, the one who has conquered the world (Jn 16.33) will surely guide you in conquering the flesh also.
Christ at the centre
But I have this against you: You have abandoned your first love.Revelation 2:4
In the famous words of Paul Washer, Christ should not just be the first in our lives, but the first, second, third – the list could go on. To put into perspective, our first love should be priority in everything we do and think.
Picture you have a husband/wife who you declared you loved so much. Will you not make sure you do everything possible to make them happy – checking your actions to ensure you do not hurt them in any way.
So it should be for God.
As His bride, He should be our first love. Through placing Christ at His rightful place in our hearts, we are compelled by the Spirit to live for Him, despite having sinful hearts that are prone to drift from Him. Eventually as we put our faith in Christ and hope for the eternity that is to come, our desires will become a product of faith from a true gospel, and not a fallacy in a false gospel perpetuated by self worship.