Sunday, March 29, 2009
It's not instant, it's a process
Have you ever taken a vacation where you drive to your destination? I've taken several over the years. You know what I find sometimes? The journey is sometimes more eventful than the actual destination.
I find that you learn more with your companions, share things with them that you normally wouldn't if you had just flown and got there quicker.
Life is kinda like that. Everything is a journey. We're in a constant state of travelling to our destination, learning new things along the way.
Our spiritual lives illustrate that more than anything. When you become saved by accepting Jesus as your Lord and Savior, you begin a new journey. You are now on a different road than you were originally travelling on.
Put bluntly, when we were dead in our sins, we were on the road to destruction. Maybe not right then or there, but eventually we would face your Maker as a lost sinner. When you get saved by the mighty power of Jesus, you take the fork in the road and start the trip anew. The slate is wiped clean!
But the journey isn't over. You still have a life to live. Something that should be pointed out is the fact that there will be bumps along the road. It isn't all straight driving ahead. The road will wind and turn, and we now more than ever have to be watchful. We need to mind our surroundings and watch out for hazards along the way. We can't click on the auto-pilot and sit back and relax.
Why? Because it is a process getting to our destination. That's why we live our entire lives. Every twist and turn causes us to react differently than we did to the one before it. We learn along the way.
I'm sure that most of us learned the hard way not to touch a hot pot. Children learn lessons like that. Cause and effect, there are consequences to every action and decision that we make. That's what life is, one big lesson for us to learn.
So what is the point here? You need to know that the only instant thing that happens when you become saved is where your soul ends up. How and when you get there is your choice. It is a journey that we MUST travel.
That's what I was getting at earlier when I talked about driving to your destination as opposed to flying there. You tend to learn more about yourself on the trip. Although, life is more of a walk than a drive. However you look at it, it takes a while.
When you are saved, does that mean that you instantly stop sinning? Absolutely not! Unfortunately we still live in a mortal body that is riddled with sin. Jesus Christ died to save us from those sins. We are forgiven forever because of His perfect sacrifice, but we have to make the choice not to act on sinful thoughts.
The mind is a battlefield! That's where the fight begins. Satan whispers thoughts into your ear and you now have the choice to act or not. We are supposed to throw scripture right back into his face and reject the thought.
That's what Jesus did when He was tempted in the desert by Satan. (Luke 4)
For everything that the devil said to Jesus, He spoke the Word of God to counter the argument.
That's what we're supposed to do!
"Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage- with great patience and careful instruction." (2 Timothy 4:2 NIV)
The Word needs to be on our tongues, ready to roll off when the time comes. But how do we get to that point? By reading and meditating on the Word of God. Take it in and eventually you will recall the Word for every situation. It doesn't happen instantly, it is a process.
The Bible tells us to renew our minds (Romans 12:2; 2 Corinthians 4:16.) Each day, every day we need to obey His teaching. We train ourselves to be ready.
We run the race (Hebrews 12:1-2) and eventually when the twists and turns come, we are ready for them. But as the journey progresses, so do we in our spiritual walk with God. We will become more like Him. That's the goal!
We will never be without the twists and turns, but we will know how to deal with them according to His will. We will be stronger with every trial and tribulation.
So let's continue on the road and see where it takes us. It will never be dull!