How can a person tell if he is a Christian, which is a follower of Jesus Christ, His Spirit, and His teachings? #3
9 Whoever walks in integrity [according to God’s commands even when it’s just him and God] walks securely, but whoever takes crooked paths [short cuts, hidden sins, old habits] will be found out [revealed to all].
How can we tell who the people of God are? Let’s look at it from an individual perspective. The first two points were:
- There was a point in time when Jesus came to you and prompted you to give Him your heart and life–and you did, holding nothing back.
- Your desires began to change:
- You desire the love, joy and peace that come from being in fellowship with Jesus;
- You begin to sense the nudges and the restraining pull of the Spirit as you walk through the day helping you become patient, kind, and good;
- You realize over time that God is conforming you more and more into the likeness of His Son as you become faithful in walking with Him, gentle and spirit with everyone, and having self-control in all areas of your life.
Today, we will discuss how our habits change.
3. Your habits change. As you desire to walk with Christ and obey Him, He calls you to learn of Him. The best and most convenient way is by studying your Bible. He made sure you had a copy by speaking the words, overseeing them written down by a faithful follower, preserving those words for two millennia, having them painstakingly translated into your language, and faithfully copied and produced as the Bible you now have. Don’t take it for granted.
- Prayer becomes vital to you. It’s a conversation that begins as you get up and continues all day until you go to sleep. Things that make you ignore the Spirit, like explicit movies, graphic video games, risqué books, and pornographic material, no longer have the hold on you they once did. You now see them as fellowship-breakers, and your communion with the Lord holds a higher value. Christ means more to you than any of these things. Being a pure and clean vessel (conduit) in order for Christ to flow through you to others becomes your highest priority. Being in constant conversation with Jesus is your new way of life.
- We begin to desire to meet with the family of God. We meet with other Christians and share experiences, what we are learning, and talk about Him. We meet for worship, prayer, fellowship, and learning (discipleship). We read the Word together, we sing songs together, we eat together, and we pray together and for each other. This fellowship goes beyond the color of our skin, our heritage, gender, politics, preferences and social status. We become a new race (Galatians 3:28, Ephesians 2:15, 1 Peter 2:10, 9).
Habits take about three weeks to become ingrained. If this process of changing your habits seems intimidating or overwhelming, just commit for 21 days. We can endure anything for three weeks, right? Let’s read His Word every day. Jesus said, “Give us this day our daily bread” (Matthew 6:11), and, “People don’t live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God” (Deuteronomy 8:3). Let’s pray by opening up that conversation first thing in the morning and not closing it until we go to sleep that night, and let’s commit to meeting with the family of God on a regular basis. It’s worth it!
Abba, may my readers come to a full and complete knowledge of what it means to walk with You daily in step with the Spirit. The fellowship we share, the insights You bring to our awareness, and the opportunities to join You where You are working are what Christianity is all about! Keep growing us, Lord. We want to be like Jesus. Amen.