Sunday, October 11, 2020

Spiritual Profile

 Years ago we did a "Spiritual Profile" survey

Typical response = I'm saved, baptized, seldom doubt salvation

HOWEVER - typically NOT satisfied with Spiritual WALK and Spiritual GROWTH   

On a scale of 1 to 10, PART A = where I Am - average about a 7
                                  PART B = where I should be - average between a 3 & 5

In Spiritual life, tend to be haunted by FEELINGS of:
        1)  guilt - due to constant failures - in spite of good desires and good intentions - (not living up)

        2) unworthiness - secretly feel unfit to be called "Christian", much less teacher, leader, role model (even to children)

       3)  inadequacy - ie;  unable to consistently live the Christian life (beyond superficial appearances like church attendance, public prayer.)  Are talking about really living the Christian life on a daily basis.

This Christian feels like they don't ... pray as they should, witness as they should, have a consistent quiet time with God

Consequently .. resulting in (1)  more guilt,  (2)  more feelings of unworthiness,  (3) less confidence in self as a Christian!!

This 'typical Christian' wishes he/she had:
           (1)  more Bible knowledge (better understanding)
          (2) more discernment of God's will in everyday matters.  Not talking about cardinal sins like thou shalt not murder, commit adultery, etc.

He/she would like to experience more JOY, Excitement and Passion in their Christian walk ... but in fact their spiritual life is generally routine (hum drum))

This person says "I think I could do better IF ... (1) could only stay focused on Christ  (work, family get in the way)  and (2) be consistent in my walk  (not up and down all the time)

Biggest Problem = simply TRUSTING God more fully!  ie:  surrendering to His known will, practicing submission in practical, daily basis, really believing beyond with just the head!  (but believing with heart)

Question:  Do you know this person?
                 Are you this person?

I.)  This is typical Christian profile  (Almost the Universal Christian Profile!!)

Because of (1) our human nature - Rom. 3:23 - we come short, we fail, results in these feelings

                  (2)  our dual nature - Rom. 7:15, 18-19, 22-23 - as a Christina we have this tension

                  (3) our fallen world - Rom. 8:19-21 - the world is affected by sin.  Rom. 7:21
Life in a fallen world = Roller Coaster of Events and FEELINGS  This is Universal!!   Compare the Biblical giants - Abraham, Moses, Elijah, Jeremiah, Paul

Whether are Christian or non-Christian, life is still a Roller Coaster - 1 Cor. 10:13  Still going to have ups and downs   This is the bad news.  The good news is not alone.  Everybody has problems.

BUT  II)  God is not through with you! - Phil. 1:6
Illustration:  John 21:15-17 - lead up to this - Peter's denial.  He failed miserably."
How did Peter feel?  ashamed, terrible"
Hoe did Christ deal with him? - He recognized the failure, but wanted him to come on board, lead, represent

On one hand, must take Sin seriously"
However, must not let sin cripple, crush you!!  Example:  Elijah (post Carmel/Horeb) 1 Kings 19:15 a
Elijah failed miserably but God gave him a break and put him back to work.

AND III.  Your situation will improve - ie:  IF you continue on!!!
Clarifylife doesn't change .. but you can change!!
Illustration:  compare a green ship's captain with a seasoned Ship's captain.  The seas, storms, ship don't change.  But - the Captain does.  Much more confident, capable to go through these after doing it for a number of years.
Eph. 4:11-15 - text = blown about by doctrines, but broader application = blown about by life's storms!!!


(1)  The Christian life begins with a commitment to Christ.  

(2)  That commitment will be constantly tried, tested, challenged.  by your human nature, the fallen world, life's unpredictable fluctuations, Satan's onslaughts, etc.

(3)  You will (often) falter, fail, fall!  Consolation?  So will everyone else!!!  (But, you are aware of your feelings, not theirs)

(4)  Your options then are to GIVE UP or GET UP! - no third option.

(5)  God's will is that you get up!

(6) The growth you desire is found in getting up and going on!  The more you stay down, the slower you will grow and develop.  God will use you as you continue to get up and go on!

Closing Scripture:  Gal. 6:7-9

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