How Can You Know God’s Will?

Question mark

 

Recently, I conducted Question & Answer sessions during our weekend services at Adventure Church.  People asked questions via email, text or notecards during the services and I attempted to answer as many as I could during each service.  There was a HUGE response to this activity and many suggested that I blog some of the questions and answers as well.  So, here’s the first one.

The actual Question:  “How do I really know if God wants me to move my family?”

Answer:

This question, and a few similar ones, has to do with God’s will for our lives.  It’s a common inquiry.  And, it should be.  Of course we should all want to be within God’s will for our lives and to do our best to direct our families to be within God’s will.  So, how can  we know God’s will?  The answer comes in a few parts.

God’s Hidden Will

It is only logical, and reasonable, that there are some things about God and His will that are not now known, and will not be known presently.  At first that statement might confuse you or even anger you because we can sometimes feel that it is our “right” to know everything.  But, if you really think about it, is that your right?  And, is it even necessary?  The short answer is:  of course not!

God is God.  We are not.  He gets to decide what He reveals about Himself and His will.  We don’t get to decide.  He’s the Creator.  He’s the One in control.  He’s God.

He even reminds us of this in His Word in the book of Job where God essentially says “Who do you think you are?   Did you create the world and everything in it?  Were you there?” (see especially chapters 38-40)

But, don’t fret.  God is also perfectly just and perfectly loving.  He’s not going to hide something from us that He desires us to know.  Why would he?  Even I, an imperfect father to my children, wouldn’t hide from my children knowledge that I want them to know.  It just wouldn’t make any sense to do so.  So, whatever is within God’s hidden will should be hidden, and it will stay hidden until God decides otherwise.  And, it does not and should not affect anything about our present day living.

God’s Revealed Will

Then, there is God’s revealed will.  This is His will that can be known by us.  And, when you really search for it, you can find it.  See below.

God’s Universal Will

Part of God’s revealed will is called His “universal will.”  That simply means that whatever is within God’s universal will is God’s will for everybody.  There is a lot of God’s universal will in nature – for example – oxygen to breathe, gravity to bind us to the earth, and sunlight to provide energy.  There are also other things that are clearly God’s universal will – for example, it is His will that all would come to know Jesus as Savior for He sent Jesus to the world because “God so loved the world …”  See also, 2 Peter 3:9.

Outside of God’s Will

Then there are some things that are clearly outside of God’s will.  Sometimes these can be easy to identify.  It is outside of God’s will for me to murder someone, to steal, to cheat on my wife, or to be selfish with my possessions.   When we are outside of God’s will, we are committing sin.  God has given us the Bible so that we can know what is outside of His will.

God’s Specific Will and God’s Permissible Will

At times, God has a “specific will” for us.  And, at times God’s will is what is called “permissible will.”  This is where most of our questions about “God’s will for me” come from.  I hope that I can explain these for you to ease some pressure for you and to get you to focus on a better question for your life.

First, let me explain the difference between specific will and permissible will.

“Permissible will” choices are those choices / decisions that God allows us to make on our own, that are not outside of His will (i.e., sinful).  Most things in life (that are not sinful) fall within this category.

“Specific will” means that specific calling that God has for you at a particular time and place.  Frankly, most decisions we make are not really within or outside of God’s specific will.  I’ll explain more below.

If God has something specific for you — i.e., a decision that He desires for you to make, a choice to choose, or a path to take — we would further define that as a “calling.”  When God is calling you to something, He is going to specifically gift you to accomplish the goal or to meet the challenge.  He is going to give you passion for whatever it may be.  And, it is going to further His kingdom specifically in some way.  (That’s the kicker and is often the difference-maker between specific will and permissible will).  Some things that may be included in this are being called to the mission field, called to the pastorate, marrying a Christian if you are going to marry, etc.

However, all other choices, as long as they are not sinful, are going to be within God’s permissible will.  That simply means that God allows us to make a choice and whatever choice is made, He can bless that choice and use us within that choice.  By far, most choices that we make (that are not sinful) are permissible will choices.  Here are some examples:  who you marry, whether to take the job at company A or company B, whether to live in Louisville or New York, whether to buy a house or not, which prom dress to wear, what gift to give your wife for her birthday, etc.  Those are all permissible will decisions because no matter what we choose (as long as it’s not sinful), God can bless that choice in a special way.

Where I have seen people get hung up, and stressed out, is thinking that a permissible will choice is somehow a specific will choice.  I’ve seen someone truly fearful that she was going to be outside of God’s specific will by choosing to take a job at Starbucks instead of working at the local mall.  Believe me, God is a very big God and he can use you at Starbucks or the mall so either choice is permissible!

So, relax.  Spend your time in prayer, studying the Word, and seeking advice from other Christians on the important question in all of this “will” stuff:  is this decision outside of God’s will or not?  In other words, if I make this decision (this choice) will I be sinning?  If we all spent more time on that question, the rest of our decisions would be a lot easier, and, frankly our lives would be a lot less complicated and a lot more holy.

 

Soul Detox: Coming Clean

SoulDetox-mailer(front)

In Soul Detox: Coming Clean we discuss the importance of recognizing our self-deception and the impact of self-examination in ridding ourselves of the spiritual toxins that invade our souls.  These are my sermons notes from the first in our series Soul Detox, based on the book Soul Detox by Craig Groeschel.  You can listen to my sermon online at the Adventure Church website.

Here are my sermon notes, with some comments:

Spiritual Pollution

Are you (your life) polluted with these toxins:  anger, apathy, laziness, rage, hate, greed, harshness, unforgiveness, bitterness, worry, anxiousness, depression, joylessness, distrust, etc.?  – Those are toxins infecting your soul.

Everything Matters

Proverbs 25:26 “Like a muddied spring or a polluted well is a righteous man who gives way to the wicked.”

note:  a river does not become muddied and polluted because of just one “trash dump” into it.  Rather, it is a slow and steady combination of pollutions, some right into the river and some washed into it from upstream.  Our souls are muddied because of the slow and steady trash that we allow to be dumped into our souls:  what we watch, what we talk about, who we are around, what we read, who we listen to — all of those add up, and if they are toxic, they dump toxins into us that build up.

Coming Clean

Psalms 51:10 “Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.”

note:  spiritual problems have spiritual solutions!

1.  Recognize Your Self-Deception

Jeremiah 17:9 “The heart is deceitful above all things …”

note:  it is easy to allow ourselves to be deceived because we don’t know what we don’t know.  At least admit that you might be in error about what you believe or don’t believe.

2.  Begin the Process of Self-Examination

(note:  examine your life for toxic behaviors, emotions, consumptions and influences)

You must be willing to call poison, poison

Psalms 36:2 “For in his own eyes he flatters himself too much to detect or hate his sin.”

note:  We can excuse so much and so many things in our lives.  Be careful if you are saying any of these things:

“I don’t have a problem with this”

“It’s really no big deal”

“This is just how I cope”

“I’m not as bad as most people.”

“I can quit anytime I want”

“This is jut how I am.”

note:  if you are saying those things, you may be “excusing” a toxin

Listen to God’s Word

note:  as you read and study the Bible, the Word will “show” you what is toxic for your life.  Is it your speech, unforgiveness, sexual purity, roles in marriage, what it means to love your neighbor, theology?

Listen to God’s People

Proverbs 15:31-21 “He who listens to a life-giving rebuke will be at home among the wise.  He who ignores discipline despises himself, but whoever heeds correction gains understanding.”

note:  Christian friends, your pastor and your Bible teachers are ways in which God speaks truth to you about toxins that are influencing you.

Listen to God’s Voice

note: God speaks through His Word and through His people, but if we don’t want to, or refuse to, “hear God” through those ways, we must remember that God also speaks to us through our circumstances.  If your circumstance is “out of control”, “full of drama”, or “always stressed and unhappy”, there is a good chance that God is allowing that circumstance to exist to show you a spiritual toxin in your life that is infecting your soul.  Pay attention to it!

“Life to the Full”  (note:  Jesus wants us to have an abundant life, not just a life where we get by or a life where we struggle carrying a bunch of unnecessary, burdensome baggage.  Removing the spiritual toxins in our lives will allow us to live life to the full!)

Talking to Your Kids About Sex, Part 1

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The issue isn’t whether or not it’s going to happen.  The issues are when and where?  Sooner or later your child will learn the details about sexuality.  In this series of articles, I will present some tips for talking with your child about sex in a healthy and Biblical way.

It’s Not Too Early to Start Talking About Sexuality

From a very early age children begin to notice differences between themselves and “mommy” or “daddy” or “brother” or “sister.”  Children wonder why those differences exist.  It’s natural for them to be curious about such things.

Don’t miss the opportunities to share how God divinely made both men and women; that there are differences and that’s the way God made us on purpose.  Obviously, the younger the child is, the shorter and less detailed such conversations will be.

However, it is important to start early with discussing sexual matters – openly, honestly, and using correct terminology.  The earlier you start, the easier more detailed conversations will be as your child grows up and begins asking more questions such as where babies come from, why do people kiss, and why does God care whether I have sex before marriage?

Don’t Wait for the “Big Talk”

I can still remember the “Big Talk” that my father gave to me.  I was almost 12 years old, he was taking me to a baseball game, and we stopped at a Hardee’s for a burger before the game.  It was uncomfortable for me (not to mention how my dad must have felt) in large part because we had never really discussed sexual matters before that moment.  I am sure he felt a combination of surprise and relief to find out that I pretty much knew what I needed to know (at least that’s what we thought at the time – i.e., I knew the basics of sex).

But I would urge you to not wait to have a conversation with your child in a “Big Talk” about the birds and the bees.  (To this day I don’t know why we call that conversation a talk about the birds and the bees).  Instead, children learn information best when given out little chunks at a time, over time.  A steady stream of short conversations and teaching moments serves your child best and ensures that he or she retains information, and, more importantly, allows the correct values regarding sex to penetrate his or her heart.

One of the most effective ways that kids learn is over time, a little at a time.  In fact, the Bible encourages us to teach our children in just such a manner:  “Impress [the laws] on your children.  Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.” Deuteronomy 6:7.  In other words, teach your children all of the time, over time, a little at a time.

Most of us would never wait to teach our children about our faith in one “Big Talk”.  We wouldn’t hold back knowledge about God and Jesus until he or she could “fully understand” at age 10 or 11 or even 14.

In addition, I’ve never seen a father wait until his son or daughter was 11 years old and then take them to a baseball field for the first time and teach them in 30 minutes the entire sport of baseball:  how to catch, throw, bat, the rules, scoring, etc.  It would be absurd to think that the child would retain anything, much less learn anything of value.

So, why do we think we should wait to teach about sexuality until our children are “ready to fully understand” and then unload everything they should know about differences between men and women, sex, safe sex, God’s commands regarding sex, etc.?  The answer is that we shouldn’t do that.

Homework:

Make a conscious decision to teach your children about sexuality in a healthy and Biblical manner, over time, a little at a time.

Begin to look for opportunities and teaching moments to have short, deliberate and honest conversations with your child about God’s plan and purpose for sex.

Questions:

If you have questions, please post them here on the blog in the comment section and I’ll try my best to respond to them from a Biblical perspective.

Church Matters: Commitment – Buddy’s sermon notes

church matters

Here are my sermon notes for “Church Matters: Commitment” for the message dated February 3, 2013.  The audio isn’t up yet but will be soon by going to the Adventure Church website.

Church Matters: Commitment

What a church should commit to you:

  1. To teach the whole  Bible – Acts 20:27 “For I have not hesitated to proclaim to you the whole will of God.”
  2. Leaders who set an example – Philippians 3:17 “Join with others in following my example, brothers, and take note of those who live according to the pattern we gave you.”
  3. To care for you and watch out for you – Acts 20:28 “Keep watch over yourselves and all of the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers.  Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with his own blood.”
  4. When necessary, to Biblically exercise church discipline – Matthew 18:15-17
  5. To seek to fulfill God’s will in our community and beyond. – Matthew 28:19-20 “Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.”

What you should commit to the church:

  1. To protect the unity of the church – Romans 14:19 “Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification.”
    1. acting in love toward one another
    2. refusing to gossip
    3. following the leaders
  2. To share the responsibility of the church by:
    1. praying for its growth and influence
    2. inviting unchurched people to attend
    3. welcoming those who attend – Romans 15:7 “Therefore welcome one another as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God.
    4. giving financially – regularly and sacrificially
  3. To support the testimony of the church by – Philippians 1:27 “Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ.”
    1. attending faithfully
    2. learning God’s Word
    3. living a godly life
  4. To serve the ministry of the church by:
    1. using my gifts and talents – 1 Peter 4:10 “Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms.”
    2. developing a servant’s heart
  5. To support others in the church and myself by:
    1. connecting with others for fellowship, encouragement, support and accountability
    2. allowing the Holy Spirit to transform me

 

Is Your Speech Refuse or Refuge?

Water Pollution with Trash Disposal of Waste a...

ref-use, [REF-yoos] (n.) – rubbish; garbage; trash; something to be discarded

ref-uge, [REF-yooj] (n. or v.) – shelter; to provide aid or protection; relief; safety

What often happens …

You are hurt by someone.  A person you thought was a friend says something to someone who says it to someone who says it someone who says it (although “it” probably no longer resembles what was actually said) to you.  So, you lash back.  You tell someone something about that person, who tells someone, who tells someone, who then tells the person who hurt you.  Now you’re even!

You see a post on Facebook that is so contrary to what your opinion is.  It frustrates you that people could have such obtuse views on things that matter so much.  You just have to let people know that they are wrong, that you are right, and that what they said is ignorant.

You are lonely.  You are angry because of what someone did to you.  So, you decide to let the world know by making a post, sending a tweet, or finding just that right “e-card” that you can put on pintrest to let everyone know that you are angry and that they should also be angry.  That will show him!

You are having a bad, frustrating day.  You want to make sure that everyone knows it.  You think, “if life is rough for me, why is it fair that it’s not for others too?”  So, you post “life sucks and then you die.”

Your spouse isn’t meeting all of your needs.  You decide that it’s time for a change (meaning … it’s time for him/her to change, not you).  So, as soon as he/she gets home, you unload every pent-up, negative feeling you’ve ever had during your relationship, including bringing up that mistake he/she made last summer that you “forgave.”

You are in a group at work.  Some in the group start talking badly about the boss or a coworker.  You can’t resist — you have to put in your two cents by telling how the boss mistreated you, how the coworker made an error, or how they are generally just icky people who don’t “deserve” respect.  You don’t even realize that your stories and statements cause others in the group to join into the “bashing” as well.  But even so, the boss deserved it.

You don’t agree with a decision made at church or something that the preacher said from the stage.  Instead of directly going to the leaders with your concern, you send an email that will surely show him how terrible it was for him to say such a thing.  He should feel terrible and now he knows that he should feel terrible!

Refuse or Refuge?

There are two diametrically opposed results from our speech — whether spoken out loud or written for others to see.  Our speech can be negative; garbage that should be tossed away.  Or, our speech can be positive; providing relief and encouragement.

When we take the refuse (i.e., garbage) path with our speech, we have an effect on others.  Maybe others hear the garbage speech and it leads them to garbage speech.  Maybe others read our speech and it taints their view of someone else or, worse yet, Jesus himself.  Maybe they hear what we say and it makes them sad, or frustrated, or feel bad about themselves or others, or even angry.  At times our garbage speech may cause others to not want to be around us anymore.  Really, who wants to be around smelly garbage?

When we take the refuge (i.e., shelter) path with our speech, we also have an effect on others.  We encourage someone who is down with a reminder that they are loved and not alone, so they remember that life isn’t so bad after all.  We say thank you to someone who’s made a difference in our lives, or in the lives of others, so they know that they are appreciated.  We compliment someone who rarely hears anything good from the other people in his/her life.  We post something uplifting to offer hope for the day and for the future.  Who wouldn’t want to be around someone who provides shelter from the harshness of the world, who offers relief from the evil that tries to attack us?

What the Bible says …

Paul writes in Ephesians 4:29: “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.”

That is quite a charge!

Do not let ANY unwholesome talk come out of my mouth?  ANY?

Speak ONLY what BUILDS?

Focus on OTHERS and not myself?

Be a BENEFIT?

Yes, that’s what this scripture says.  In short, our speech should be a REFUGE for people, not REFUSE thrust upon people.

The choice really is yours

You might think that you can’t help what you say.  You might think that you can’t help cussing, retaliating, gossiping, or “sticking up” for yourself.  You might think that you just won’t be able to live unless you get the last word, unless the person who hurt you is also hurt.

But, what you say, what you write, what you “put out there” for others to hear and to see, really is your CHOICE.  Your words can encourage and remind people of our loving God or your words can point people toward negativity, bitterness, and conflict.  You can choose the impact your words will have on other people, if you try.

Think before you speak.  Think before you post.  Choose to honor God in all things, including what you say.  Your speech can be refuse or refuge.  What will you choose?

The World Is Going To End …

AMNH --- Maya Stone Calendar

Yes, the world is going to end.  But not on December 21, 2012 just because of some Mayan calendar as many have predicted.  The Bible is clear that it is unclear when the “earth will pass away.”

What the Bible Says About the End

Mark 13:31-37

31 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away. 

32 ‘But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. 33 Be on guard! Be alert! You do not know when that time will come. 34 It’s like a man going away: He leaves his house and puts his servants in charge, each with an assigned task, and tells the one at the door to keep watch. 35’ Therefore keep watch because you do not know when the owner of the house will come back–whether in the evening, or at midnight, or when the rooster crows, or at dawn. 36 If he comes suddenly, do not let him find you sleeping. 37 What I say to you, I say to everyone: ‘Watch!’ ‘

“The Earth Will Pass Away”

The world as we know it will, at some point, cease to exist.  Jesus is coming back to judge both the living and the dead.  It is the proper order of things for such to happen.  For us, this fact should cause us to ask some questions:  When?  and What should I be doing in the meantime?

“No One” Knows the Time of the End, Including the Mayans

Scripture says that no one knows when the earth will cease except for the Father.  Because it says “no one,” I trust that means me, you, the Mayans, and anyone else foolish enough to make any sort of prediction regarding the exact day of the end of the world.

We can’t know and, in fact, don’t need to know.  The reason that the exact day is not relevant is because knowing or not knowing doesn’t change what we should be doing every day — being prepared as if today is the day of the end.  If we did know the exact day, such knowledge would surely change our behavior for the worse.

Think about it.  Doesn’t knowing that Christmas Day is December 25 change behavior?  All you have to do is to sit in the local Mall on December 24 and watch what happens.  There will be hundreds of people scurrying about buying “last-minute” gifts that “need” to be opened the very next day.  If Christmas Day was December 30, then the Mall would be full of last minute shoppers on December 29 instead.

Call it procrastination.  Blame it on busyness.  Claim that we just want to get all we can out of the shopping time before the end of the shopping season.  Whatever the reasons, the fact remains that we often wait until we HAVE to do something BEFORE we actually do it.  And, I don’t think that anyone would argue against the fact that the Christmas gift bought for someone at 5:45 pm on December 24 under the pressure of a deadline is somewhat of a compromise to one that could have been purchased without the pressure of “I have to get this now or I won’t have anything to give.”

Waiting to do something until we have to do it results in less than the ideal.  It’s true.

What Should We Be Doing in the Meantime?

While waiting for Christ’s return and the “end,” we are to be on “watch.”  Watching is active not passive.  To watch means to be on the look out, to analyze what is happening on the horizon, to prepare ourselves and those for whom we are responsible for what is about to happen.

We often prepare for what we see on the horizon.  We hear a weather report that a storm is coming, so we check our flashlights for batteries, board up windows, and go to the store to buy bread and milk.  We know that we have a test on Friday so we study.  We have a baby on the way so we prepare a room for him.  Preparing for what is inevitable is responsible, and necessary.

So, in this section of the book of Mark, Jesus commands us to be ready for the end.  We should prepare for His return.  Although we won’t know when it is going to happen exactly, at the same time His return should not take us by surprise.  We need to be prepared.

Being prepared for Christ’s return means more than this simple blog post can outline.  But here are just a few things we should be doing in preparation:

  1. Live each day as holy as we can.  Our mindset should not be “oh, I’ll just commit this sin today and ask forgiveness tomorrow.”  No, instead, we should consider that at any moment, including the “right now” moment, Jesus could return.  Before you do something ask yourself:  “Do I want to be doing this if Jesus appears to me right now?”
  2. Introduce people to Jesus today, not tomorrow.  Tomorrow may be too late.  Whether Jesus comes back, or by some unfortunate circumstance that results in death, the person you know who hasn’t given his life to Jesus as Lord and Savior may not have another chance.  Have that conversation today.  You can’t “rely on” another opportunity tomorrow.

Don’t Be Asleep

While there is no reputable proof that the Mayan calendar makes a “doomsday” prediction (see NASA’s website for a video disproving the claim), my prayer over the last month regarding this “event” is that God would use the absurdity of it all to remind us that Jesus is coming back, that the earth is going to pass way, and that we have a responsibility to be prepared when it does happen.  Are you ready or are you asleep?

Discipline Makes the Impossible Possible

This article continues my series on spiritual disciplines titled Why Men Need Discipline.”  Today’s article is called “Discipline Makes the Impossible Possible” and speaks to the continuing development of the Christian into a person who is “perfect”  as our “heavenly Father is perfect.”

Did You Say: “Be Perfect”?

Sometimes I am disturbed by what Scripture says.   An example is contained in Matthew 5:48 where we are commanded to “be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”

Really?  Be perfect?  That appears quite impossible.  I know I am not perfect.  Far from it.  Anyone who knows me knows that I am not perfect.  And neither are you.  So, why would God issue this seemingly impossible command to us?  (It is a “command” and not a “suggestion” by the way).

Well, I know that God is perfectly just, meaning that He is perfectly fair to us.  So, I can know that God would not require something of me, or from me, that would be impossible for me to attain.  Therefore, it is only logical that “being perfect” must be possible.  And, more than that, not only must it be possible for me to achieve, it also must be GOOD FOR ME! (see Matthew 7:9-11)

The good news for us is that God doesn’t leave this “possible impossible” task to us to attain on our own.  Quite the contrary.

We are Perfect because of Imputed Righteousness 

The Bible tells us that when we repent of our sin and believe in Jesus Christ as our Savior and Lord, that God considers us righteous in his sight.  This means that even though we aren’t “really” holy, God chooses on His own to declare us holy.  Essentially, for our benefit, God “pretends” that we are completely righteous because Jesus has “covered” our unrighteousness with his sacrificed blood.  That’s the only way true relationship with a completely holy God can exist – if He chooses not to count our unholiness against us.  It’s imputed righteousness that “gets us into heaven.”

That’s the first way that the “impossible becomes possible” – just because God says so!

We are becoming Perfect because of Imparted Righteousness

It is not so difficult to accept that God can look past our transgressions and determine on His own that we are righteous (i.e., perfect) in His sight.  God is merciful.  God is full of grace.  However, it is hard to accept that we are also being made perfect; that in this life that we can live a perfectly holy and righteous life.  But that’s also what the Bible teaches.

In 2 Peter 1:4, we are told that we are “partakers of the divine nature.”  What that means is that over time, through our circumstances, our choices, God’s leading, and our decisions, that we become more and more holy.  We become more righteous as we are transformed into the likeness of Christ.  Our daily lives here on earth actually change from unholiness to slightly less unholiness to slightly less unholiness and on and on.

This takes training and it takes time.  Spiritual disciplines such as prayer, Bible study, participating in worship, learning self-control, seeking wisdom and patience and goodness and kindness, and allowing love to be evident in our actions slowly (and not so slowly at times) mold us into people who reflect Christ and are permanently changed.  This is referred to as “imparted righteousness” meaning that God is “imparting” (or “giving to us”) righteousness.

This training is not easy.  It takes the discipline of making the right choices daily.  It means sacrificing what we may naturally desire in exchange for what God desires.  It means being obedient to the Word even if we don’t feel like it and even when we don’t fully understand it.  It means learning from failure.  It means conforming our attitudes, our minds, our hearts and our actions to the Word of God and His ways, more and more every day.  It’s imparted righteousness that makes us better disciples and ambassadors for God’s work here on earth.

The Bottom Line

God gives us the ability to “work out our salvation” (Philippians 2:12).  As we “train” ourselves by engaging in spiritual disciplines, regularly and in increasing measure over time, we do just that – we work out the unholiness that wants to control us, and allow God to work in the holiness that He wants to control us.

What’s Next?

Hopefully, you’ve been reviewing the various spiritual disciplines that I outlined previously and have been identifying which of those could use some improvement in your own life.  If not, I suggest that you review them now.

It is now time to make a specific plan of action.  What is your plan for Bible study?  What is your plan for quiet devotion time?  What is your plan for prayer?  Where are you going to serve the Lord this week?  Make a decision to implement these into your life right now in specific, detailed ways.