You hear a person giving a sales pitch and are dubious. You feel pressured to support another person’s way of thinking. You are confused as to why you need to respond as someone would want. You do not see why things cannot be the same. You think everything is fine the way they are, but someone tells you they are not. You are doubtful what it involves should you decide to follow the other person’s advice.
This is very natural when you are told that things must change. It is a normal reaction to resist coming ito compliance with what someone else says. You may even wish that the other person would leave you alone and not bother you.
But what if you are told something that is for your own good? What if your life really would be better should you take a leap of faith? Have you not been working at the issue from a one-sided point of view? Your point of view! I offer you the proposition that perhaps you are postponing what could be the best thing in your life to accept.
I go further to ask, “What are you waiting for?” What if you have already been given evidence and you still do not accept it? What if you even know deep in your heart that you should take that next step?
Listen to the scenarios of those that are waiting:
- Relying on your own goodness to appease God’s standards.
If we could get to heaven by how good we are, there would be an inconsistency for how God treats people. There would also be no need for Jesus to die on the cross. The dying thief had nothing to brag about himself when Jesus promised him that he would be in paradise that very day. We need the righteousness of Jesus applied to us through forgiveness.
- Accepting Jesus Christ as your personal savior.
Perhaps you have been thinking about what it means to accept Christ as your Savior. This is not a one sentence or one prayer event. The person that accepts Christ as Savior must be very serious, willing to turn his life around, and admit he is not perfect as God requires. There must be an investment of faith in Jesus as the Son of God and have a sincere desire to live for God in the future. After asking Christ to be your Savior, the way you live and the works that you do will verify that you have had a spiritual birth.
- Re-dedicating your life to Christ once you have strayed from the narrow path.
The devil cannot steal your salvation, but he can oppress you to the point that you are willing to succumb to temptation. This would dilute your testimony and interfere with your relationship with Christ. This would grieve the Holy Spirit. The cure for this is to ask God’s forgiveness for the sins you committed and plan to renew your life with him.
- Responding to a call from God for a ministry or using a certain talent that you have.
God gives gifts to man and then gives gifted men to others. Should you not demonstrate what God has done in you, you are interfering with God’s program. He is not pleased when people sit in the pews and do nothing in his service. Inventory your life and give what you have and what you are for God’s use. He said to him that is given much, much is required. This includes becoming a better witness to others for their salvation or encouragement. It includes giving your talents to the church or the community.
- Allowing the Holy Spirit to speak through you and be a blessing to others.
It is very important for Christians to be aware of the Holy Spirit. The Bible warns us not to grieve the Holy Spirit. The Bible also says that when we do not know how to speak for God, he will speak through us. Let God have his way and be more aware of the Holy Spirit living within you as the temple of God.
- Apologizing to someone you have hurt.
Without apologizing to the person injured we are actually doing more harm to ourselves than that of the other person. If you are unable to be in contact with that person, it is still important that you have an attitude of humility and readiness to apologize should the opportunity to present itself. This includes day by day interactions all the way to major events that are not pleasing to God.
- Gaining a better understanding of Scripture.
It is so easy to be caught up in the daily routine of our lives. Likewise, it is so easy to allow our routine to interfere with daily Bible reading. If you find it difficult to understand certain scriptures, ask a mature Christian or look the issue up in a reliable textbook. It is so important to bury God’s word in your heart so that you will not sin against him. What if you found yourself in some type of the concentration camp without the Bible and without any recall of the Bible? Memorize and research all you can.
- Pride is another character trait that is interfering with your spiritual life and testimony.
It is a wise man who knows himself well. It is a mature man who knows his character weaknesses that could diminish his pleasure with God and other people. There are certain character traits listed in the Bible that God calls sin. When you read the Bible do not skip over them. Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to you if you are allowing these traits to be active in your life.
- Hesitating to bring a personal matter to God for his answer.
It is impossible to hide our hurts and sins and desires from God. If you have something that is very private or intimate in your life, the best thing you can do is wrestle with that in the presence of God. It is possible that there are certain sins each of us enjoy and are reluctant to abandon. Part of maturing spiritually is to slay the dragon.
- Be sensitive to the physical, mental, social, relational, and spiritual well-being of others.
All of us are busy with life. All of us think that what is happening in our lives is most important. What if the next person you meet is in worse shape than you? Peter met a man that was a cripple. Peter had no money and could not give any to this pauper. But he had God’s Spirit active in his life. He said, “Silver and gold have I none, but what I have give I unto thee. In the name of Jesus Christ rise up and walk.” Who knows how God will use you to be a blessing to someone else, if you are willing?
- Getting your carnal self out of God’s way.
We have three natures. The natural self-addresses our daily needs. The spiritual self-deals with our relationship with God. The carnal self seeks to gain the benefits of lust and pride. In some cases, people have wallowed in a carnal life and have thoroughly enjoyed the sin related to it. If this is active in your life you have a great barrier between you and God. Any blessing you receive will be out of his good grace. You are missing so much for how God would want to give you spiritual power.
- Stop being stubborn with God and others.
In some cases, stubbornness is not bad. The athlete must be stubborn to conform to the regiment of exercise. In other cases, stubbornness can interfere with our pleasure interacting with God and other people. If we refuse to be open and address this matter it can be hurtful to others as you relate to them and hurtful to your relationship with God. This is a particular character trait that must be brought to God for his help and strength in overcoming it.
- Resolving past hurts.
All of us have been hurt in life; some more than others. The question is whether or not we are going to allow past hurts to be active in our current life. It can interfere with our decisions. We can project onto other people blame for the hurt that we have had in the past when they have done nothing wrong. It can generate anger that festers deep within our hearts. That is why the Bible says to be angry and sin not. Anger is a natural emotion. However, it can generate our sinfulness against others. The past is the past and nothing can change that, but how we view those hurts will determine if we have a positive or negative lifestyle.
This is just a sample of some of the problems any of us could have. It is also a sample that tells us we need to deal with matters, become more spiritually mature, and grow beyond what we once have experienced when we were the underdog. God’s help is vital in all of these, but without our willingness, he can do nothing to help us. God bless you and help you in your journey of life.