Dream word – EFFORT
“But reject profane and old wives' fables, and exercise yourself toward godliness.” NKJV.
Snakes and ladders
Snakes and Ladders is a child’s game and I am sure that many of you have played it and also remember that there is no better feeling than landing on that square with a ladder and a fast track to victory.
Today in the Christian church, through one outpouring or another, there have been a multitude of fast track Jacob ladders placed on the squares of many a Christian life that has led to deliverance, victories and conquering of many kinds. Tell you what, I wanna get me some of that!
The problem is that although some of these many manifestations are clearly seen in the Scriptures and I say some, I have never seen them responsible for movement towards the chief end of the work of the Holy Spirit in us, that being the sanctified life which has Christ formed in us. Never!
The passionate and persistent pursuance of a Godly aggression, a fierce determination to become the Athletae Dei, the Athletes Of God, is rarely found on lazy and obese Christians. Indeed, I wonder if often times our outward obesity might picture our lack of spiritual athleticism towards the disciplines of the spiritual life. Solitude and silence, prayer and fasting, worship and study, fellowship and confession, humility and acts of mercy, community, etc.
As Dallas Willard has said, “We must stop using the fact that we cannot earn grace (whether for justification or for sanctification) as an excuse for not energetically seeking to receive grace. Having been found by God, we then become seekers of ever fuller life in him. Grace is opposed to earning, but not to effort. The realities of Christian spiritual formation are that we will not be transformed ‘into his likeness’ by more information, or by infusions, inspirations, or ministrations alone. Though all of these have an important place, they never suffice, and reliance upon them alone explains the now common failure of committed Christians to rise much above a certain level of decency.” I like that. It’s very Scriptural.
The present Charismatic Evangelical games of Snakes and Ladders are on the other hand, rather open themselves to the judgements of being, non Scriptural and I watch with baited breath, to see if those ladders which so many folks have seemingly fast tracked up on, actually morph themselves into some very slippery snakes, that in the end, will leave these laughing and twitching folk, far farther back than when they first begun.
We shall see, time will tell.
Listen: “Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.” (Philippians 2:12-13NKJV.)
Pray: So work in me O God, both to will and to do Your good pleasure. Train me O Holy Spirit, in the Gymnasium of life, that Christ would be so thoroughly formed in me, that it would be to eternal praise and honour to You, great Lord and Father. Amen.
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