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Spiritual Gut Checks, 11/1/16

If we are serious about God and want to grow in the Lord then we need to examine ourselves against the light of the Word to see how we are doing:

2 Corinthians 13:5
Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you are disqualified.

It should be said that the fruit of the spirit are the marks of true maturity in Christ but along that way here are a couple of areas in which God has taught me to use as biblical barometers of spiritual strength and growth and relative maturity.

First, there is the question of how well we are manifesting the supernatural power of our Awesome Supernatural God in a lost and dying world that desperately needs his power to bring the Kingdom of God. There are many who call themselves believers who do not really qualify as what the bible calls a believer. Jesus told us that certain supernatural signs would follow(work through) those who truly believe the message. We need to gut check ourselves and see how well we measure up to his standard:

Mark 16:17-18 New King James Version (NKJV)
17 And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; 18 they[a] will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.”

This is a humbling thing for me because I have only had three of these five signs in my life and confess my need to have all of them. We need to take this scriptural standard seriously and get serious with God so that these signs are manifest in our lives. If they are not then we are really just pretenders at being believers.

Also, there is the very important issue of persecution. A life truly lived in obedience to God is a great threat to the world, which is an enemy of God(James 4:4), and of Satan's kingdom. Thus it draws persecution from the ungodly and also even from weak, unstable, so-called believers. So if we are not being persecuted then we need to examine if it is because we are not posing a threat to the devil. The bible teaches us that all who live godly will be persecuted:

2 Timothy 3:12
Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.

And Jesus taught us that persecution is a blessing:

Matthew 5:10-12New King James Version (NKJV)
Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake,
For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

11 “Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. 12 Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

Blessings are desirable. So we should desire the blessing of persecution and be concerned for our spiritual state if we do not see it in our lives.

We need these clear biblical calls at work in our life and should be concerned if we lack them. So let us press into God for more of them so that we will not be found lacking. Bless you.

Steve Pursell, 11/1/16