Wednesday, July 9, 2008

I haven't Arrived Yet But I'm On My Way

Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 1I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.(Philippians 3:13-14 NIV)

Have you ever tried telling your family or friends that now that you are saved there are some things you just don't do anymore? Has anyone ever tried to bring your past up and remind you of what you used to do and wonder why you are so "above" some of the things you used to do?

If so, how did this make you feel? If you are anything like me, it would have made you feel as if they thought that you saw yourself as better than them. We as Christians know that we are better than no one and that we have not yet arrived. Nevertheless, we cannot revert back to our old ways just because our loved ones can't understand that we are seeking to reach higher heights in the Lord.

It's somewhat of a difficult position to find yourself in. On the one hand you want them to understand that you are still "down to earth". But on the other hand you want them to understand that you stand for Jesus so you won't fall for the same old tricks that the enemy used to trip you up with. So what do you do?

I'll tell you want you do, continue to press for the Mark Of The Prize which is Christ Jesus. This means that as the scripture says you have to "put those former things behind you". Former things can be people, places and things that hinder your progress.

Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. (2 Corinthians 5:17 NIV).

Remember that these people are not intentionally trying to become a stumbling block to you (for the most part). They are human and humans are used what I like to call "the constants" in life. If you were constantly drinking, smoking, and sinning with them - they will expect you to always be their partner in crime but once you decide to take a Stand for Christ, you have to do just that - STAND.

For you have spent enough time in the past doing what pagans choose to do—living in debauchery, lust, drunkenness, orgies, carousing and detestable idolatry. They think it strange that you do not plunge with them into the same flood of dissipation, and they heap abuse on you. But they will have to give account to him who is ready to judge the living and the dead. (1 Peter 4:3-5)

To some people you may be the only Jesus they know or see. We are ambassadors for Christ. Now as we are the Light of the World we have to be careful to both let our lights shine and remain humble. We can not forget where we came from. Never become so holy that you are of no earthly good. To do so would be to miss your mark. We are to go out into the hedges and highways and compell men and women to come in. You attract more flys with honey. Jesus said that it is with love and kindness that He drew us. We must afford others the same Fruits of the Spirit.

The Apostle Paul in this text says ( inlay terms): I don't know everything but I do know one thing and that is that i have to let some stuff go. Some behaviors just cannot coexist with my walk with the Lord so I have to move on and put them behind me. I can't just stop there in putting them behing me but I have to do something as well. I have to press. That means never give out, never give in and most of all - and never give up!

If along they way you should feel that your journey is complete remember: it isn't over until you hear Him say "Wll done they good and faithful servant....enter into my joy"

Have you ever felt like those around you just didn't understand your convictions? Have you ever felt like you (or someone you know) crossed the line between spiritual and religious? If so, let me know. I'd like to hear from you.

Shanita Waters
By His Stripes We Are Healed, Author


GOD'S LADIE said...

I am here. I often feel alone because seems like no one around me seems to want to stand for holiness and righteousness. Continue to stand, I will. Even if it means that it is just GOD and I. Great post.

Keith's Space said...

Shanita I feel like this everyday.
And I am probably my own worst critic. I consider myself a "recovering sinner" ..So I take everything one day at a time...That's my motto, growing in
Christ one day at a time. Great

Don said...

i agree. the walk is never over until those mighty words are spoken. until then i think we all could stand to look @ it, in that particular manner.

i consider myself to be very spiritual. due to this, i tend to get lost in religion. i believe in God...and i understand the awful man-made crimes that have been committed in the name of religion.