There are countless times when we want to stop our growing devotion to God and rest on our laurels, rest on the accomplishments we have already made. This leads to stagnancy and death. Coming from the New Age background, I could see how New Agers get stuck in the past with many believing in reincarnation. They seem to always have another life to look forward to and they often assume, they'll know God then. Traditional Christians, too, get stuck in a rut believing that when they get to Heaven, all will be "fixed."
Resting on Our Laurels
There are so many Christians who are not following God; not listening to what He has to say in His Word. Around the world, in all denominations, we find reasons to play it safe. We don't want to upset the applecart of status quo, where our faith is concerned. We won't allow Jesus to drive the moneychangers, who are dwelling in our hearts, from the sacred Altar of God, within us. When will we learn that all we want and need is God? When will we learn that nothing on this earth will ultimately satisfy us, but submitting to His perfect love and will?
As stated in my testimony in the introduction, I come from a New Age background. God ordained my path (through my parents) and I praise God and thank Him, knowing that He always had my best interests in His heart. God knew all along that He would draw me back to my original faith. Now, I study His word as a full-fledged Christian, hungering to know Him better, and allow Him to use me for His purposes. Since I've accepted Jesus as my Savior and fully appreciate what He did for me on the cross, my salvation is assured. If you've done that, yours, too, is assured. But salvation is not an excuse to quit growing in the Lord. It should be a wonderful and magnificent gateway to God in our current earthly life. Why so often isn't it? Perhaps we're just not carrying the truth far enough.
Resting on our laurels! Those in the New Age movement have this tendency, as do the Christians. I would guess that this is inherent in all religions throughout the world. It seems the impotency of all religious thinking is apparent in this world, so filled with problems with our relationships, with our political systems and finances, problems with crime and hunger and poverty. In the name of religion, masses of God's children congregate on imaginary lines to strike at one another and cause projectiles to be flung into the bodies of those they would label “the enemy.” The root cause of it all is a lack of genuine love and compassion for one-another (or not carrying the truth as Jesus taught it, far enough). Jesus' idealisms become too unreachable to us and apathy sets in.
In the New Age movement the belief in reincarnation is a way of resting on one's laurels. The idea of reincarnation, or coming again into an earthly body after death, is to enter into cycles of progressive enlightenment. The idea is that one would eventually reach the point where one would have finally learned all the lessons and reincarnation would stop. Then one would pass on to live in some sort of eternal wisdom. This, too, can cause a lack of motivation. The New Agers often have no need to strive to become all God would want for them here and now, because they could always take another crack at it in the next life (or the one after that). There, too, is the danger of thinking the truth is unreachable and so apathy sets in.
So many these days, are seeking wisdom and guidance from spirits through séances, channeling, and various methods of “communicating with the dead.” Others give deity to animals, or elements of the earth, offering their praise and thanksgiving to created things and creatures, rather than the Creator. Why would anyone prefer to seek counsel from human or animal spirits, when they have been granted complete access to Almighty God, Himself? It makes no sense, unless perhaps they, too, are resting on their laurels, in another way. If they avoid the absolute wisdom and authority of the Holiest One, then they do not have to allow themselves to be purified and made more like Him. How sad this is, because they are missing so much of the joy that comes from fellowship with the Lord!
As Christians, we have the blessed assurance of salvation. Our “ticket” is punched. What else matters? Why should we draw near to God, to be pruned and bear fruit? Why learn to love others? Why try to walk in purity, peace and holiness? Why seek the heart of the Father? Why not just rest on the laurels of salvation?
Jesus Christ is the way, the truth, and the life. He gave us His Holy Spirit to dwell within us. The Comforter is ours, once we get into the habit of giving our own carnal thinking (sinfulness) over to Jesus and recognize Him as our wonderful Counselor and Savior both now and for eternity. This Holy Spirit is FANTASTIC and never fails us as we learn to hear and obey Him. Why would we want to follow our own leading, our own way, when the only true Way has already been given to us?
It requires humility to reach a state of mind where we no longer want to resist God's desire to bring us spiritual increase. We tend to fight Him all along the way. How sweet it is to finally rest in God and let Him have His way with us! This is becoming as a little child, eager to follow “Dad” and eager to let Him show us our potential. This is what God wants to do. He wants us to drop our rebellious attitude, our “know-it-all” ways, and humbly slip into His arms for lasting comfort and joy and peace NOW.
Many New Age practices become the ultimate manifestation of human desire for control. The use of psychics, tarot cards, Ouija boards, astrology, numerology and any other “ology” that tends to use people, conditions or any outside sources to try to determine, predict, or affect outcomes, is dangerous. It postpones what God would have us learn to do: wait upon the wisdom and guidance of the Holy Spirit. To choose to do something else, shows a lack of trust in God and shows a rebellious desire to be in charge of one's own life and destiny. Why does mankind struggle to get information from every other imaginable source except the One Source that has the answer?
Why desire to bear the responsibility of our mistakes? Why not drop all other methods of obtaining information and simply call on the Lord, Jesus Christ, for all of our needs? As we perceive God's wisdom, we become aware of our own ignorance. This state of humility gives us the grace to be the blessing to others we were meant to be, as children of God. The love He gives us is meant to be shared with everyone--and it is through the Holy Spirit that we get our directions and obtain our mature walk with the Lord. It is through the Holy Spirit that we are empowered to do the things Jesus asked us to do while He walked this earth, and it is through the Holy Spirit that we learn how and when to bring others to the Lord for their salvation. It must be understood that it isn't really us doing these things. It is God doing them through our willing minds and hearts.
Humility is so very necessary before true love for others can occur. Many Christians at times have over-proselytized and have become somewhat ego-centered and carnal-minded. This is possible, if one is filled with judgment. For this, the world has judged them and rejected the Gospel. This is regretful for God's Word is true and wise and wonderful, even if the human messenger is not. If Christians would only allow God to purify their minds and hearts, their clean intentions would be more readily seen and accepted by the desperate lost. The Holy Spirit will show us how to go out into the world in true joy, not judging, for if we judge we shall be judged. With God's wisdom, it is not necessary to be constantly bringing the world's judgment onto ourselves.
Salvation is assured when Jesus is freely accepted as our present and future Savior and our inconsistencies, carnal thinking and sins are given to Him. The problems come when we no longer see God's salvation as an entrance to Christ's ever increasing realm of joy, transforming us into His glorious likeness. Too often we slip back into our normal carnal living, satisfied that we've got it made now that we've accepted Christ as our Savior. In order for Christ to be our Savior we must allow Him to save us but, too often, we relegate Him onto the bottom shelf in our minds. When we do that, we've shelved our salvation, not obtained it. In that sense, salvation can become the laurel on which Christians rest and stop seeking to hear God's Holy Voice.
Perhaps we are afraid to totally give our lives to Christ. If that is the case, we should remember that Jesus said “he who tries to save his life will lose it but he who gives his life for my sake, shall find eternal life.” That means we need to, quite literally, step out on the limb and truly fall into the waiting arms of our Lord and Savior. We cannot build faith and trust in God, unless we first let go of all the earthly things in which we have placed our faith and trust.
I have been very impressed with Merlin Carothers books on praise. Praising God for all things, good or bad, builds trust in God and allows miracle after miracle to come forth. Reading Merlin's books will motivate you in this and the results will be quite obvious when you try it. Remember, you are not trying to manipulate God or find some sort of back door into God's knowledge. You are just trusting Him completely and praising Him for (place any name, condition or worry here) and, by doing this, God will handle the problem, as only He can.
Let there be no more excuses for putting off obtaining a direct relationship with God. Stop resting on the laurels of salvation. Jesus came to show us how, by His life and teaching here on earth. He then died for us on the cross giving us eternal life and access to God and His forgiveness through His Holy Spirit. Now the ball of true submission is in our court.
Do we play by God's rules or do we continue to sleep, thereby missing out on the many blessings and miracles that God wants to accomplish, not by us, but through us?
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