Sometimes I need a bugle call blown right in my ear. I need a shake ’em and wake ’em kind of moment to pull me out of the physical earthly present, and bring into focus what really matters. So, to facilitate that, here are five questions that snap me to attention and don’t give me much squirming room. No Ph.D. required – only a few moments of brutal, honest reflection.
BEFORE YOU PROCEED, PLEASE READ THIS!
Never confuse conviction with condemnation. Both are agonizing, but one breathes life into your life in Christ, the other leeches on that life. Conviction is God’s tool that brings forth a deep, painful desire to right our relationship with God. It spills forth in a heartfelt confession, full of repentance and thankfulness for God’s mercy. It is a beautiful, precious, and loving gift that enables us to stand on His promises of victory over sin. Condemnation is the devil’s tool to drag down, stomp on and laugh at our human weakness. It reeks of sneaky lies and bitter accusations that cause us to doubt God’s promises. Condemnation inhibits us from moving forward with God, we let the devil hogtie us into subjection under sin once more. Without further ado…
1. Who’s standing ovation am I living for?
This is huge. Does my passion to be called righteous in God’s eyes exceed my desire to “fit in” with the world? Make a decision; a courageous and valiant stand for what is only going to shine forth the majesty of our King. Live for God’s eyes alone, for one Day He will call to reckoning everything we ever said or did. (Matthew 12:36 & 2 Corinthians 5:10)
2. Am I choosing justification over complete obedience to what I know to do?
Don’t give compromise so much as a blink. We are soldiers in a battle against evil (Ephesians 6). There is no time for weakness or even the slightest detour from our primary task.
3. Am I too preoccupied with my own life to yield to the “good works” God prepared in advance for me?
It is so easy to hear of people who were shot for not denying their faith and say “Wow… yeah, I’d do that for Jesus!” But am I willing to live for Jesus…right now? Even if it means that all my personal dreams and plans are scrapped? Am I so focused on my daily tasks for today, or on my own needs, that I’m ignoring God’s schedule for my day?
4. Do I know how to wrestle in prayer?
It’s not for a lack of subjects to pray about. You only need to take a quick glance at the world around you and you have enough prayer requests to keep you on your knees your whole life! We are to pray without ceasing. That praying that involves the stirring up of contrition, worship, and entreating with God. Can you take a matter by the horns and bring it to God – ready to bring it before Him as many times as is necessary? Remember the persistent widow in Luke 18:1-8.
5. Do I handle God’s word as a sword?
Using a sword takes practice. It means sore muscles, sweat, and struggles. Our daily reading of the word needs to go further than a perusal of a few verses. Discipline yourself in how to read His word. His words should be more than “my necessary food” – its a commonly quoted verse, but it is much harder to live out!
We are not measured by intention, but by action.
These questions may sting but meditate over them with an open heart to God. Dear sister in Christ, let them burn a marker on your walk with Jesus. I don’t judge, I’ve agonized over these questions time and again. I pray that these questions will cause us both to sincerely reassess, to be willing to give our lives for the Saviour who gave us His.
Cheering you on,