Stuart has believed in God for as long as he can remember. He wasn’t brought up “religious,” but he always sensed there was a God. As an adult, he looked for something to affirm his belief in the existence of God and found nothing in the state-run churches. He had feeling that being a believer couldn’t just be passive – “nothing to do – Jesus has done it all, just sit back and relax…” He felt that a belief in God must lead to more than that. That’s when he came in contact with Brunstad Christian Church, where he heard a gospel that could finally put a finger on what he was looking for.
Far from treating life as a passive waiting room for heaven
He heard that, far from treating life as a passive waiting room for heaven, there is a lot to do as a Christian. Through hearing God’s Word explained so clearly in the church, he realised that consciousness of one’s own sin is a progressive thing – that just as the sunrise slowly spreads light over the land, we gradually become more aware of the sin in us. We realize more and more that this sin doesn’t make us happy, and it doesn’t please God. As God gives us more light, we also get more responsibility to do something about the sin. He gives us light over. This is where action is needed!
“Put on the whole armour of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.” Ephesians 6:11.
Stuart began to see that he had a bad temper and that it was affecting his family life. The atmosphere he was creating at home was far from “well-pleasing to God.” He prayed, longing to change. He didn’t want to keep reacting this way. He thought a lot about the way he was reacting and he made himself ready, or “prepared himself for battle.” He was filled with conviction that he didn’t want to lose his temper, and he prayed to God for strength and armed himself with weapons from God’s Word.
Stuart put to practice Philippians 2:12,“Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to do for His good pleasure.” God began to work more will in him to want to take up this battle as the results were so rewarding. He got strength that he hadn’t had before, to overcome when he was tempted. He had set out to be obedient when he felt so weak and God had come to meet him with His Holy Spirit.
“By which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.” 2 Peter 1:4.
The day came that Stuart realised that he hadn’t reacted with a bad temper for quite some time. He thought, “This really works!” He faithfully took up this spiritual battle, exactly where he knew he was weak, and his natural reactions were replaced more and more by divine nature.
Stuart now says, “You don’t really know what joy is till you experience this kind of result!” Stuart is a joyful man – he knows there is more to work on, but with God’s help, he will! “The results are worth it!”