As we enter another year and reflect on our journey, we are grateful for the things we have learnt and the progress we have made.
In accordance with my gifting I strive to gain understanding of the Lord and the journey. Now, after 30 years as a follower of Christ, I wish to summarise my understanding of the Lord and my journey of faith in him with the view of keeping my focus on Him and His purpose.
What I have learnt:
Always have and always will. I do not need to waste time wondering whether He has good in store for me. He does.
He desires a son, a friend, a follower, a companion, a co-worker and a joint heir. In beginning it was hard to grasp that being born into this world as a son of Adam and a slave of sin His purpose in transforming and maturing me was not to make me a good servant of Him, but rather for me to become like Him in all things. Through the years the focus of this transformation shifted many times on the many different aspects of sonship and His work within me is continuing. Yet, I now know that this work is not achieved by keeping laws, but rather through a relationship based on our personal journey through life. Yet, this journey in Him is dictated by His will and the Spirit is given as our Guide along the path. It is here where the rub is. We do not have the liberty to map our our own journey – instead we must follow Him. Through this we learn to yield to the Spirit and surrender our own will and desires to His. This is critical in the process of becoming like Him – ‘Not my will, but thine be done’.
Throughout our lives we are a light on a path for others to learn from. Whether we have only recently started the journey or are experienced travellers, we are all called to help others along the Way of Christ. It starts at home between husband and wife and then the children. But opportunities are everywhere. Whether at work, school, college, a meeting with friends or a bible study we are all called to be a witness and a help when required.
4. Success in this life
Success in this life is based on actively cooperating with the general laws that God instituted after the fall and the flood (principles of His reign or kingdom). These laws where also taught by Jesus through the parables and are designed to teach all of mankind the principles of God. Principles likes sowing and reaping, giving and receiving, honest hard work, serving and helping others, forgiving our transgressors, faithful stewardship, listening to and learning from others and living with the consequences of our own decisions and actions, are all critical to a successful life. These laws work for or against all men since they were designed and given by God to teach all about His ways. Praying against these laws or its consequences are truly in vain and actually rebellion against God. This is very hard for all of us, but it is the environment on earth He created after Adam’s rebellion in order to teach all mankind His ways in the hope to bring him to the end of his folly.
A key implication of this for most Christians is that I do not believe that tithing is the key to financial success. Serving and working hard (for your employer or your clients) with the wisdom of God is the key to success. (Tithing was part of the old covenant for the support of the temple and the professional priesthood, which is neither any longer required.) Another implication of the above is that the devil is not directly keeping people poor and weak. Ignorance regarding the principles of how life works (as ordained by God) are keeping the mayority of people in bondage. Good things come to those who have put good seed in the right soil during the right season. Bad things come to those put bad seed in the ground (or good seed in bad soil). Loss (even poverty) comes to those who do nothing, or plant during the wrong season. Much of life’s success is based upon accepting the laws of God, and working with them for the benefit of all.
For my own personal experience in business, I know that the Spirit guides me regarding the path to take, but fully expects me to work diligently in line with the principles of God in order to reap the blessings He intends for me. When I try to violated these principles I reap the loss as all men will. Faith cannot be used to ask God to override the consequences of any bad decisions or actions in life.
If we follow Christ, and His ways, over time we become more and more like him. During this current dispensation we are also called to be like He was in this world. This means that as the sons of God, we are called to be the servants of men. In the same way that Jesus was a servant of men. We are not called to be served, but instead to serve others with the grace, power and gifting of God. We are to be known as servants in this world, whilst being known as the sons of God in the heavenlies.