“I want to know Christ and experience the mighty power that raised Him from the dead. I want to suffer with Him, sharing in His death, so that one way or another I will experience the resurrection from the dead!” (Philippians 3:10-11 NLT)
In yesterday’s post we began to look at what we’re called “to” as a child of God. It’s so comprehensive, yet I want to encourage you to dig deeper. Being a Christ follower is rich and full and meaningful on every level of our lives. If I wrote a hundred books to seek to describe what we are invited into as God’s child, I could barely scratch the surface. But having said that, let’s look at a few more today. As a child of God, His Spirit calls us to:
- Become Students as we submit our lives ever more fully to God’s Spirit! Jesus said in John 14:26: “…the Holy Spirit – He will teach you everything and will remind you of everything I have told you.” As a child of God, regardless of our age, we can never cease to be students of God’s Word. The Spirit will inform us, but He will go further in enabling us to know how to apply what we’re learning to our lives. It’s ironic to me that the elite followers of the Jewish faith memorized the Torah, the five books of the writings of Moses, yet they still missed Christ. We can know the Bible from cover to cover, but still miss Christ if we’re not allowing the Holy Spirit to inform us how to apply what we’re learning. Study without the guidance of the Holy Spirit is, for all intent and purpose, valueless. We must be filled, empowered, and enabled by God’s Spirit, not only in what the words and passages mean, but how they can best be used in teaching, leading, and equipping those in whom we’re pouring our lives.
- Become contributing members of Christ’s Body, the Church! As I mentioned yesterday, we’re “born again” into God’s Family. It’s our responsibility to find our place, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, and with the help of other members of the family, in a local congregation or fellowship of God’s people. As we grow and learn and allow others to pour into our lives, we must in turn, be pouring our lives into others. And remember, you don’t have to be a college graduate to teach a first grader, you only need to be a second grader. You will always have something to teach someone who’s hungry to learn of God.
- Become One with God! We’re called to oneness with God. In the verse at the top of this post from Philippians 3, Paul says he wants to “know” Christ. This is the same word used in Genesis 4:1 when it says: Now Adam had sexual relations with his wife…” It’s a term of intimacy that can only be shared in the context of deep, abiding commitment. There’s no greater illustration of oneness physically. That’s why adultery is so wrong. It’s not only a violation of God’s law, it’s a violation of our bond of oneness with the one to whom we’ve pledged our lives in marriage. It’s ironic that someone who seeks oneness with multiple partners will never experience the oneness for which they seek. That kind of oneness, the oneness that God desires for us to have with Him, can only grow out of unreserved and undivided loyalty and commitment.
The life to which we’re called as a believer in Jesus is so liberating, yet can feel so restraining; so enjoyable, yet can be so heart-breaking; so exhilarating, yet can be so draining; so calming, yet so disturbing; so relaxing, yet so intense; so rich and rewarding, yet there are times we feel we’re just spinning our wheels. That’s why the disciplines we learn as we draw ever closer to Jesus, must demand complete surrender to the Spirit, who will then give us complete freedom to feel all the emotions our Lord experienced as He sought to carry out the will of His Father while on this earth. There is no greater privilege than to be a child of the living God.
Blessings, Ed 😊