I wish to encourage you to be consistent in Christ
Scripture unequivocally teaches God as unchangeable (Job 23:13), however, we struggle in a world of constant change. We experience the tensions of life’s variableness, plus, our stress is exacerbated by personal inconsistencies. We can so easily, and unwittingly, allow the tsunamis of life to wash us backwards spiritually. Consequentially, we feel disempowered and easily forget our calling to put off (the) old self, which belongs to your former manner of life… to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness (Ephesians 4:22-24).
God never intends for us to wallow in the defeat of failure. But he gives more grace… “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Be wretched and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you (James 4:6-10). Rather than being over-whelmed by the nightmare, we are to bring whatever it is to God. It may be sin, some weakness, some unjustified attack from another, health struggles, the loss of a loved one, isolation from the body of Christ, unwillingness to serve within the body of Christ, or possibly spiritual laziness which has grown to back-sliding. Whatever it is, we are to bring the grief of it all to God’s intended conclusion in humility. He then mercifully lifts us out of it. Sometimes He does this quickly, while other times slowly and progressively, but it is He who empowers us to rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer (Romans 12:12).
Our spiritual consistency is all about Christ, who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us (Romans 8:34). He is relentlessly and consistently doing what we cannot do, maintaining our secure position before the Father without even a moment of rest. Christ is the source, He is the fore-runner, He is the example we look to.
The Lord shows us many ways in His Word by which we can develop daily disciplines that fuel faithful consistency in Christ. Paul exhorted the floundering Corinthian believers to …be steadfast, immovable, always abounding (in excess of quantity or quality) in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labour is not in vain (1 Corinthians 15:58). As we serve the Lord, His limitless resources are released progressively through us in accordance with His will, to ensure faithful perseverance.
As born again believers in Christ, our repentance is an ongoing state of heart, while our submission to the Lordship of Christ is expressive of our faith. Therefore, like the apostle Paul, we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day (2 Corinthians 4:16).
- Paul instructed Timothy to …always be sober-minded… (2 Timothy 4:5).
- Solomon instructed; Hear instruction and be wise, and do not neglect it (Proverbs 8:33).
- Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly… (Colossians 3:16).
- pray without ceasing… (1 Thessalonians 5:17).
- Do not neglect the gift you have (1 Timothy 4:14).
- Do not neglect to show hospitality… (Hebrews 13:2).
- Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have… (Hebrews 13:16).
- …not neglecting to meet together… (Hebrews 10:25).
- giving thanks always and for everything to God… (Ephesians 5:20).
Today, let’s be consistent in Christ for His glory and the encouragement of others!
Together For Christ: Lincoln Forlong