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A BALANCED CHRISTIAN LIFE
by Pam Clark
When you first accept Jesus as Savior, it's really important to connect with the Word (Bible Scriptures) and with other Christians. The ways of doing that are varied, but it's quite important none the less.
For those who find Bible Study a challenge, it's a good idea to join a class or group that studies it! Even the more modern translations, like the New King James Version, can help a lot to make the understanding clear. For some, this learning might mean Bible School. Or it could be a home fellowship or church classes offered somewhere. The important thing is knowing the Scriptures!
The reason the primacy of the Word is so important is because people change, opinions change, times change, sermons can change, social settings can change, and even many churches change, but the words on the printed page don't change! If you don't know what the Bible says, people can tell you anything and you might believe it. If you don't know what the Scriptures say, then God Himself cannot speak to you through His Word in personal relationship, and this is very important for a balanced and quality and enabled Christian life.
The Holy Spirit honors the Word of God. We renew our minds with the Word of God, because it is the way God thinks! The Bible has stood the test of time over centuries as no other book has.
The Holy Spirit - as the Presence of God - must be discerned. For one reason, there is an imitator - a usurper and destroyer - called the devil, and we must learn what has the trademarks of God and what does not.
God presents a Plan in His Word, the Holy Bible. He made it a challenge to keep us interested, but no one advises Him in that Plan. We can work with Him, but no one can take over the written Plan. So it's good to know it as best we can! The proof of knowing it is a quality Spiritual life while sharing the Plan with others! It's a joy to grow in this understanding because it fulfills our souls with relationship with God.
The Plan can seem confusing sometimes, but it is revealed through knowing the Spirit of the Plan. When we realize that God wants to reveal Himself, and that we haven't a clue on our own, we will seek Him to find His goodness and our fulfillment in Him. It's a way that works and blesses people!
John 3:16 is such a key verse because it describes in one sentence the thoughts God has for man: "For God so Loved the world (not just a holy few), that He gave His only begotten (issued forth from Him by His Spirit versus just created from dust) Son (Jesus), that who so ever would believe in Him would have everlasting life." When you love someone, you care about them and show it.
God cares and His Word shows it. Applying it proves it. So it's a key thing to connect with His Word and His people, because He set it up in a way that we need each other. There is a Bible verse that says, "When He acended on High (rose from the dead), He led captivity captive (He bound the enemy that had bound us) and gave (Spiritual) gifts to men (mankind)." These gifts are enablements that cause us to be benefitted while helping others.
As baby Christians there will be a season where we learn, but soon, we are required to begin sharing what we know and can with others to help them. This is coming into the way of His Spirit and if we don't, we will be like an ember that has been separated from the fire and grown cold. We may get a head knowledge, but if we forsake the warmth of His Spirit, we won't have the warmth of Christian life!
Because God is so awesome, it's not uncommon for baby Christians to have a lot of zeal. It's a beautiful thing and precious, in the same way that we see a baby as precious and with great potential. B ut as we continue to mature, we will see there is a good way to grow, day at a time, by taking care of the daily things we need to do that work for His Big Picture in our lives!
Zeal is good, but it's a Team thing going on. There are others who have gone before and without all the Spiritual parenting that led up to the point where you received, it never would have happened that you got reached! Sometimes men fail, in small ways or big ways, but the Plan of God never fails nor His desire to have you for His good will and purpose. He is a God of Love and therefore He loves you, in spite of the struggles!
We all struggle. We are all curious and can be very hungry for more of Him. This is really so good because it makes us God seekers and when we seek Him we can find Him when we give it our quality effort! And there is power in prayer.
Prayer is also foundational for the Christian life. Some people can make it sound so complicated, but it is talking to God in a way that invites His Presence and ministry in our lives.
God will respond to you! He responds by His Spirit, and then we interpret that. Some people who really seem to hear from God and do well are not "special" as much as they are developed and skilled by applying themselves to His Truths. He blesses and honors those who honor Him. Remember, He loves people.
Our gifts of expression may be different, but God will speak to each of us by His Spirit and help us to become more and more effective. God is often called the King of kings and the Lord of lords, because He does govern the Universe. That is what makes Him so amazing as God!!!
He is a God of order and decency. He is not so rigid that He can't bring new life and enjoyment but He has a plan and order for its fulfillment, protection and growth. When we try to step outside of the plan and justify it, we will bear the struggle of being outside the camp.
But remember, leaders and sinners are outside the camp! Be sure that what you are doing is by His leading. Good leaders have a track record of getting it right. You want to stay connected to the Body of Christ and sin is not welcomed because it brings heartache and shame and death! But we are also not so stuck in the "old way of doing things" that we can't try something new in Him! It may be a blessing!
To know the difference in a hurry is to know what the Ten Commandments are. There is a lot of instruction in the Bible but knowing the Ten Commandment and what the fruit of the Holy Spirit is (which is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control - which is found listed in Galatians 5:22-23) is a good balance.
Then you are off to a good start of filling in the details! It's the order and character of God. Since we can't live up to perfection and need His help, God provided Jesus, God's Son in the flesh, to: (1) enable us to be forgiven, and (2) help us through praying in Jesus' Name, and (3) to make available those giftings and helps that He has for us by His Spirit.
Study to show yourselves approved unto God, learn how God thinks, and use what He puts in you to bless others for His Kingdom's sake. Find out more through praying and seeking Him and learning of Him, and you will have a fulfilled Christian life!
God bless you in your journey! Remember that He rose from the dead and overcame sin, death and hell. Through Him we are overcoming all this as well. Keep your foundations sure! It's an everlasting life benefit. And you can read Psalm 103 for some more of those life benefits!
© 2002 Pam Clark Ministries - Distribution freely granted with proper credits.
This may be a helpful tract for your youth group or outreach program!