The Way of Wholeness
Often we hear from the pulpits of churches instructions for living a holy life in Christ Jesus. Sometimes we are even given steps to follow in making our Christian journey through life. We are asked to give of our time, talents, tithes, and total self as an offering to God for the sacrifices His Son made for us. That is good!
However, along our journey there may be some “stops”, as was pointed out by speaker George Barna at the Wesleyan Holiness Consortium meeting I was privileged to attend last month. He suggested to us that in order to “maximize” our faith as we journey through life, we must be aware of and overcome some stops that may hinder our progress to becoming more like Jesus.
So, I would like to take you through a journey of a Christian life as proposed by Mr. Barna. It has had an impact on my life and perhaps it may help you in your walk to draw closer to our Lord Jesus.
As we travel through life, there is a point that we are completely ignorant of sin. This is where we begin. And this is a “stop.” If we don’t go on from here, we are eternally lost. The next step is, through circumstances, we become aware of our sin but we are indifferent. So what? There is sin, I have sinned, and I’m like everyone else. Still eternally lost! The third stop is that we become concerned about the potential effect of sin. Conviction. Begin to wrestle with sin in our life. Holy Spirit is leading us toward a crisis decision. The fourth stop is addressing sin through accepting Christ as our Savior. Hallelujah! We are saved. But this is still a “stop.” We sometimes don’t go any farther in our Christian walk! And, according to Mr. Barna, this is the fourth stop of 10! We are not even half way to totally fulfilling our Christian potential! The fifth stop is after being saved, we increase our religious activity. This may be in attendance to church functions, tithing, using our talents, etc. And, again, some of us don’t go on. We stop! The next step is holy discontent. We are unhappy with just about everything in the church. The music, the length of the sermon, the special songs, the kids making noise during the service, someone sitting in our place in church, etc. This is a terrible place to be in, and an even worse one to stop in. Here we are in danger of regressing or going backwards, or “backsliding.” We can get our eyes off Jesus and lose our soul! However, if we can go to the next step, all of that will be changed. So the seventh stop is brokenness. It is a gift no one wants. We as humans don’t want to be broken. But we need to be or we stop! We must come to a point in our journey that we give up ALL that we want and yield ALL to our Lord. Not just part of who we are, but ALL. And doing that will lead us to the next stop of surrender and submission to God’s will and way in our life! And that will lead us to the next stop of a profound relationship or connection with God. Lastly, or stop 10, is an extreme love for people.
These stops may or may not occur sequentially. But they are stops that could deny us the best that God has for us. The key to all these stops, of course, is to not stop! But more than that, you must allow God to transform every dimension of your life—heart, soul, mind, and strength—in your journey. By allowing Him to do that, it will insure your journey of “no stops” until you reach Heaven.
May God bless you in your journey. May He help you overcome each “stop” along the way, with His power and His love for you.
In His Service,