Who said the Christian life would be easy? Certainly not the first disciples! Not only will our service to God take a great deal of effort, as will defending our faith, but our spiritual growth as well.
Salvation is free: we cannot buy it. The grace of God is that He offers us eternal life even if we do not deserve it. There is nothing we can do to be justified before God: it was Christ at the cross who did all the work. But once we are saved, this is where the work begins! Yes, the grace of God continues to accompany us, and this grace is the power that helps us to surpass ourselves to make the Kingdom of God grow.
Peace, joy, and happiness are in the Presence of God. Naturally, we seek to stay in this state, and sometimes this leads us to refuse challenges or any other work that would require effort from us. However, one should not confuse peace with comfort. God is peace, but He never promised comfort! In fact, Paul speaks of the Christian life as a marathon in which an athlete trains with persistence. “And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown” (1 Corinthians 9:25 NKJV).
We also sometimes think that only serving God will require effort. Babysitting at a meeting can be exhausting indeed, just like being an usher and keeping an eye on all the little details of a service. But there is another time when we need to redouble our efforts. “Therefore, beloved, looking forward to these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, without spot and blameless” (2 Peter 3:14 NKJV).
We have to force ourselves to stop and examine ourselves. It’s much easier to say, “well, I’m like that!” than to seek improvement and change different areas of our life. It’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day and forget to examine ourselves. And of course, to put in the necessary efforts to make the changes in our life!
Can you say that your relationship with God is blameless right now? What should you change, and what are you going to do to change it?
Do you take care of the temple of the Holy Spirit (yourself) in a blameless way? And what about your service to God? Even though you may still be in lockdown, can you say your service is blameless right now? What about your relationships with family and friends. How well do you support them? Are you living blamelessly while single?
Careful here! Don’t fall for worldly perfectionism, either. We are not talking about being blameless in the eyes of nutritionists, physical trainers, psychologists, etc. But to be blameless in the sight of God. He is not a heartless master, always dissatisfied with His slaves! God is a good father who wants the best for His children and loves them with their weaknesses. He has given us the Holy Spirit as an ideal teacher to make us grow in our unique ways. Our job is to ask God what He desires for us in areas of our lives and then put effort into moving forward in that direction. The Holy Spirit is there to tell us what to do and to give us the grace to do what seems beyond our ability.
Examining our lives takes effort because we have to be ready to receive reprimands, and we have to be willing to work. But it must be done. So do it. Today.