How are you different today from last year?
Think back one year. What were you like? Compare that with today. Do you have more patience and kindness? Are you more generous? Have you become better at showing a genuine care for others?
If not, then why not?
Think about this: What does it mean to be active in your Christianity? Does it just mean that I read my Bible, pray every day and go to church on Sundays? I can certainly incorporate these things into my daily routine, but am I just following patterns and doing what a Christian is supposed to do, or am I in a state of development?
Partakers of divine nature
We can read about our goal as Christians in 2 Peter 1:3-4: “… as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, 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.” What an incredible statement! Peter is actually saying that this is our goal: to come to divine nature through our situations here on earth! This means that a huge change has to take place in me.
So what do I do then, if I don’t feel any difference today from how I was last year?
Here’s the big question: Do I feel a need? Am I completely and utterly reliant on the help that God gives me to guide me through the day? Do I recognize that God’s ways are perfect and I am an imperfect human, full of the tendency to sin? Because if I don’t feel this need, then what am I doing to bring me closer to Godly nature while I am here on earth? Am I complacent with the state I am in?
“Because you say, ‘I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing’ – and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked.” Revelation 3:17.
Allowing complacency in our Christian lives is an incredible danger. I must never forget that in my natural state I am wretched, miserable, poor, blind and naked.
As long as I am humble enough to call out for help, the Holy Spirit will come and guide me. The worst thing I can do is to be satisfied with myself – to think there isn’t anything I need to work on in my life. At the end of Hebrews 11:6 we can read: “He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.” To diligently seek after something means to do it tirelessly, endlessly. To be active in searching after it. God can steer a vessel that is moving, but not one that is standing still.
Someone asks you the question, “What are you working with right now to become a better Christian?” Do you have an answer for them? If I don’t, then I know that I’ve allowed other priorities into my life. Other things that are top-of-mind instead of a life with Christ. I’ve become complacent with what I have and don’t feel a need to come any further. Proverbs 1:32 reads, “The complacency of fools will destroy them.”
It can happen that I have acquired some knowledge and have had some decisive moments of spiritual battle in my life. Is that enough? Am I done? No! I need to be in constant development each and every day. When I go to bed at the end of the day, I can think back and reflect on the choices I’ve made, checking to see if I’ve used the opportunities for development. Isn’t this much better than being satisfied? Isn’t it better than shrugging my shoulders and saying “Oh well” when I fall to my sinful tendencies?
Recognizing the greatness of our calling
How is it that I can become satisfied with myself so easily? It’s because I don’t see how serious it is to be transformed to divine nature day by day while I am here on earth. I am not actively seeking out and making the most of our opportunities to do God’s will! Is there ever a situation where I could say: “That’s probably enough thankfulness. I don’t need to be more thankful right now,” or, “I was kind yesterday so I don’t need to be kind again today?”
Every day is a gift I receive so I can come closer to divine nature. I should be in the same spirit of giving up my own will to do God’s will every day, every moment, every second! Then and only then will I see a massive change in myself from year to year! A change that makes me fit for heaven!
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You might also be interested in our theme page about Overcoming sin.