|True Evaluation - Great Commisson #52 - Joyner|
A True Evaluation-
The Great Commission, #52
Week 52, 2014
Last year I received a word that we were in the Valley of Decision, and that those who were not maturing in Christ and daily seeking Him would begin to backslide and turn away from Him. We must be intentional about our spiritual maturity, or it won't happen. Even biology teaches us that when we stop growing, we start dying.
This is the time of year when many are making resolutions for the coming year. Why not make this one? May this be the year in which we seek the Lord in every way we can, seek to know our calling and purpose, and do what we need to do to make our calling and election sure.
In II Corinthians 13:5, the apostle exhorts believers to: "Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves!" (NKJV) There are a number of ways we should periodically test or evaluate ourselves. The New Year is a good time for this. In light of what we have been covering, where would you categorize your relationship with the Lord at this time?
Are you still just a convert? There is nothing wrong with this when we are newly converted, but if we have stayed there for long, we may have gotten on the path of life, but we are not walking it. The river of life is flowing, going somewhere, and so are the lives of all who are in the river.
Are we a disciple? Do we wake up each day thinking of our Master, how we can learn from Him, learn about Him, become more like Him, and do His works? Are we living the life of a disciple as He defined it in the verses we covered these last two weeks?
Have we graduated from this to become a servant of the Lord, doing all things for Him and for the sake of His gospel? Do we count everything that we have as the Lord's, holding back nothing as our own, even our time? Have we learned to do everything as unto Him, even the drudgery, doing it cheerfully as an offering unto Him?
This past summer I was told that now I am a friend, not just a servant. As He began showing me what being a friend entailed, I felt I was almost starting all over again in my relationship with Him, it was so different. It was much better, but very different. Still I can only claim to be a beginner at this, a novice. For that reason, I will not elaborate on what this means until I understand it better and am doing it better. However, this is the main goal of my life right now, and it is the most exciting thing I've ever done.
There is another level-sonship. I think this is available for those who become true and faithful friends of God, but it is a much higher calling. It is a calling so high that even the Apostle Paul near the end of his life did not think he had yet attained it (see Philippians 3). At one time in my life, I thought I knew a lot about this, and I was certainly going to be one. I was young and presumptuous. All I know for sure right now is that it is the highest calling in all of creation, and that there will be a manifestation of this at the end of this age, as we are told in Romans. Of course, I would like to attain to it, but I am overwhelmed right now with just trying to be a friend of God.
The point is, if we do a true evaluation of where we are, first let us determine that we are going to be the best we can be at this level, and seek to go to the next one. Most of what needs to be done on any of these levels is up to us. Many are called, but few are chosen-few go on to "make your call and election sure" (see II Peter 1:10). The work must be of the Holy Spirit, and only the Spirit can beget that which is spirit. However, the Holy Spirit is the Helper, not the "doer." He won't do His part until we do ours.
Our part is to seek so as to find, to knock until the doors are opened, ask until we receive, and take up our crosses each day to follow Him. That means sacrificing things we may want to do for things we need to do. It means not loving our own lives even unto death, so the life of Christ can be manifest in us. In the end, it will pay off many times over, because those who seek to save their lives will lose them, but those who lose their lives for His sake will find them. That life we find by losing our own lives, or selfishness, will be more abundant than we could ever make happen for ourselves.
I pray that 2015 will be your best year yet, and that the glory of the Lord will be manifest to you and to all who you love.