The Special of the Day… From the Orange Moon Cafe…
Throughout my childhood, I believed in the Lord Jesus Christ - but not in the sense of "believing" as the Bible commands.
My inclinations involved an emotional and mental affinity for the person of Christ and the story of His life, death and resurrection. I rarely attended church as a child, and much of my spiritual awareness revolved around sermons on television, movies that depicted the Savior (usually shown during the Christmas season), and bits and pieces from other sources, including an occasional reading of the Bible.
All this led to a "faith" that had little real influence in my life, or as the Apostle Paul termed, a belief "in vain" (I Corinthians 15:2). Thankfully, this changed on September 17, 1975 when by God's grace I trusted the Lord Jesus with my heart. "With the heart, man believeth unto righteousness" (Romans 10:10). This led to a changed life in more ways than I realized then, or realize now. Moreover, being God's chief problem child (!), the change continues to this day. Indeed, no more glorious promise exists in the pages of God's Word than our Lord's assurance, "He which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ" (Philippians 1:6). Hallelujah!
Herein lies the issue of genuine Biblical trust, as opposed to the fool's gold of false and vain believing. True faith, as fostered in us by exposure to the living and written Word of God, brings life-changing Divine influence in all who "know the grace of God in truth" (Colossians 1:6). Such consequence establishes the glory, supremacy, and centrality of the Lord Jesus as the great issue of our existence. "He is thy life" (Deuteronomy 30:20). Our experience and outworking of this foundational reality is far from perfect, of course, and we all sometimes find ourselves asleep at the wheel regarding the great fact of life as known in Christ. However, the true believer also discovers that he can never venture far from the hub of his heart because the influence of the Holy Spirit results in contentment or discontentment based on how well or poorly we walk with our Lord. Indeed, it was to and about believers that the Apostle Paul wrote, "Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap" (Galatians 6:7).
If we could quantify or measure genuine happiness, the most joyful person in the world at this moment would be the believer most aware of the wondrous influence of the Lord Jesus in all things. Situation, circumstance, or condition would not be the issue. If we could likewise find the most miserable person in the world at this moment, it would again be a believer, a truly born again Christian who has forgotten or disbelieved the Christ-saturated influence of his life. Again, situation, circumstance or condition would not be the issue. "To live is Christ" declared Paul (Philippians 1:21). Thus, the Christian cannot escape the influence of the Lord Jesus. He can forget or ignore it. But the truth ever abides, based on the faithfulness of God. "I am with you always… I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee" (Matthew 20:28; Hebrews 13:5).
For believers, the course of our lives completely involves the Lord Jesus. As we walk by faith and in determined expectation of His presence and working in our lives, peace and joy accompany our steps. Conversely, in times of forgetfulness and unbelief, our Lord ensures that we feel and experience the emptiness that always results when we stray from the path of remembrance. Influence. God's influence. It governs all things in our lives, and becomes more joyfully influential as we remember and affirm the truth of our Lord's presence and working.
"We have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of Him who worketh all things after the counsel of His own will."
Weekly Memory Verse
"The way of man is not in himself; it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps."