Excerpt from ‘The Upward Look,’ pg 217.
“To follow Christ is not freedom from conflict. It is not child’s play. It is not spiritual idleness. All the enjoyment in Christ’s service means sacred obligations in meeting oft stern conflicts. To follow Christ means stern battles, active labor, warfare against the world, the flesh, and the devil. Our enjoyment is the victories gained fro Christ in earnest, hard warfare…..
The Christian warfare is not a life of indulgence to eat and drink and dress as self-indulgent worldings. The Lord Jesus came in human nature to our world to give His precious life as an example of what our life should be. He is the specimen, not of spiritual indulgence, but of a life constantly before us of self-denial, self-sacrifice.”
As I read this, I kept thinking of the ‘only believe’ lie and the ‘prosperity gospel.’ These are deceptions of satan.
If you claim to be a child of God, especially in this time, and do not experience regular spiritual persecution for your beliefs, something is wrong.
Satan does not care what you SAY you believe as long as you are still living according to the world. He knows that those who SAY one thing and DO another will never win over temptation and walk the streets of gold.
Matt 7: 21-23 gives us an excellent example of this. The second group were those who proclaimed to follow Christ and even did miracles. However, Jesus said He never knew them. WHY? because they were ‘workers of iniquity.’
They never died to self. They continued to live OF the world. They never allowed Christ to have His transforming work in their lives.
I call this group the ‘android Christians.’ They are look-alikes’ Some may call them the tares among the wheat.
We do not want to be a ‘look alike’ or a ‘tare.’ We want to be the genuine.
It’s by our fruit that people will know whether we are truly a child of God or not. It doesn’t matter what ‘label’ you call yourself. It’s what you are made of. What fruit you show in your life.
If your fruit is one of the world, it’s not real. It will soon be separated like the chaff and destroyed.
The wonderful thing is that God can take an android and make him real. He can take the look alike and change it to the real deal. The process is not fun. (Luke 13: 6-10) This parable shows that Jesus will do some ‘pruning’ and ‘fertilizing’ to save the tree (person), but if it does not bear fruit (Gal 5:22-23), the tree will be cut down and burned.
Are we allowing Jesus to prune and fertilize us so we bear fruit??
Something to think about.