Over the past several weeks we have been talking about personal Christian growth.
For some it has been coming to the knowledge that you are a sinner and you need a savior.
For others, it is coming to the realization that you have strayed from the Lord, possibly to the point of being a prodigal son or daughter.
But today I want to talk about those who just have been floating down the river of life and really have not had much to do about anything.
We know that the world is crazy. In fact I know that many feel like some rat running on one of those rat wheels. You run and run and run, but you get nowhere. You pour on the speed and you get nowhere fast.
Our days are filled with doing, doing, doing. Seems like we never have time for ourselves or for that matter, for the Lord.
To be honest, this is where I can get at times. I am so busy doing stuff, running here, researching that, write that article, answer that email, etc, etc. After a while I have run and done so much that I look back and say “Hey… where is God?”
Well, we all know that God does not leave us of forsake us. But what we have done is filled our life with so much “stuff” that we seemed to have squeezed God out of the picture.
After a while you just don’t feel right and you are kind of blah. You are stuck in a rut and just living the auto pilot life.
I have to admit that it is very easy to slip into this sort of auto pilot mode and just cruise through life.
It is times like these that we need to do a checkup from the neck up and have a personal revival of sorts in our lives.
So how do we accomplish this? Where do we start?
This can be a toughly at times. It means looking at your life, considering your actions, reviewing the past and learning its true character. It also involves taking your individual sins one by one and looking at them.
I don’t mean that you should glance at your past Christian life, see that it’s full of sins, and then go to God making a sort of overall general confession and ask for his forgiveness. That’s not what I am talking about.
What we need to do is really get down and dirty honest with yourself and take each sin one by one and really examining yourself.
Starting Point 1 – Get a pen and paper and as each sin comes to mind write it down. Go over them as carefully like a businessman would go over his accounts. Whenever a sin comes to mind, write it on the list. What we need to get in our head is that “general confession” of sin is just not good enough. Your sins were committed one by one and they should be reviewed and repented of one by one.
Now a good way to start is to begin with what are commonly known as Sins of Omission.
SIN – Ingratitude
Tracye and I really try to live Proverbs 3:5-6. Do we do it all the time? No. We forget to acknowledge God. We forget at times to thank Him for the blessings He has bestowed upon us. I am not talking about the “Oh… thank you God for _________.” And leave it at that. I mean really acknowledging Him and really thanking Him.
REMEDY – Count your blessings one by one and give God the thanks for all He has done. (it is part of a hymn I know, thus the rhyme.)
SIN – Lack of love for God – Neglect of Prayer
Imagine that you just stopped talking to your wife and kids. Sure you said “good morning” and just gone through the paces.
NOW, think how upset and shocked you’d be if you discovered your wife and children had lost their love for you; if you saw their hearts, minds and time being taken up with love for someone else! How jealous would you be?
We forget that God calls himself a jealous God.
So, have you given your attention to other loves and grossly offended Him? When was the last time you really spent time talking to God? I am not talking about being on your knees or anything like that. I am talking about general “Hey God, here is how my day went, I miss you, I miss talking to you.” Just share with Him what is going on in your life. Sure he already knows what is going on, but He likes hearing it from you because you are taking the time to spend with Him telling Him about how your day went.
REMEDY – Spend time talking to God, thanking God, letting God know you love Him and let Him love you.
SIN – Neglect of the Bible
Believe it or not, this is one that I have problems with. Since I study and research so much, I tend to not make time to read God’s Word. It gets so bad that verses and chapters don’t come to mind like they used to. You’re talking to someone and try to tell them a verse and it just will not come to mind.
This tells me that I am out of practice and that I need to spend more time with the Sword.
REMEDY – Get Into God’s Word
See, the one thing I love about God’s Word is how He equates it to being a sword. I have learned by being someone who enjoys sword work that if I do not practice, I lose the skill over time.
To stay effective with the sword, I have to practice and continue to work with the sword so that I improve.
The same goes with scripture. You need to be in the Word daily so that you stay sharp and effective with His Word. When you are the bible daily, His words are fresh in your mind. When they are fresh in your mind, you are able to think and ponder the word He has given you through the scripture.
Now, when you want to share that certain scripture with someone, it is there on the tip of your tongue and it comes out quick and fast. Just like a real sword would if you were doing battle.
Having God’s Word in our hearts we will find ourselves more effective, more positive, and being more of a service to Him when He calls upon us.
SIN – Neglect of Your Spiritual Walk
Think of how often you have “blown off” your own conduct in the world. How often have you compromised your integrity with a poorly chosen word or action in while in public or better yet in private where only you and God can know?
Now think on how such actions grieved God.
How does it make you feel? Do you even care that you are grieving Him?
When you are not going forward, you are beginning to slide backwards. This is a natural law. You will naturally just start to backslide in your life and one day you are going to wake up and realize that have dug yourself a hole so deep that it is going to take a long time to crawl your way back up and out of the hole.
REMEDY – Crawl Back Up and Out
Now the positive thing is that you have God reaching down and helping you out, but still a lot of the work relies on you scraping and kicking your way back up that hole’s wall. I wish that there were an easy answer to this one, but there isn’t and hopefully the pain that you will experience during this time will stay with you a long time. This way you will catch yourself sooner rather than later and have to crawl out of the hole again scraping and crawling up the walls.
SIN – Other Neglects
- Lack of Love towards Christians
- Lack of Concern for the Poor, down trodden, widows & orphans
- Neglect of Family Duties
These are more social, but the reason I mention them is that they are good indicators to you that your Christian walk is not where it should be.
Sometimes we may notice these actions first before the ones that I mention above, but when you do, recognize this and realize that you may be in need for personal revival.
Next week I am going to talk about “Sins of Commission.” Where sins of omission are outward type of sins where sins of commission are sins that are internal types of sin.. AKA sins of the heart if you can call it that.
Then after that we will discuss what we need to do to gain personal revival.
By Ray Gano