Sunday, April 22, 2012

Alive In Jesus

     One thing believers sometimes forget about the Lord is how generous Jesus was with supernatural activity. When people met Him in the Bible, they would experience and encounter Him supernaturally in one of the following ways:
  •  Truth Encounters: God fills us to bring encounters of truth. This may be the truth God has revealed about Himself in Scripture (Acts 8:27–39) or truth about His presence and proximity to people’s specific circumstances (Luke 24:25–27).
  • Power Encounters: God touches people with His power. This may include healing,  signs and wonders, or other miracles (1 Corinthians 4:20, Mark 16:15–20).
  • Love Encounters: God transforms hearts with His extravagant love — the core of who God is (John 13:35, 1 John 4:8).   
  • Salvation Encounters: God finds the lost. Jesus finds us even in our sins and makes us His own (Matthew 18:12–14).

           If we have not encountered Jesus Christ in a supernatural way and rely only on knowledge, church attendance, or past encounters we can unknowingly allow the enemy to keep the body of Christ in a state of spiritual dullness. We must realize He has 2 strategies that limit the supernatural activity of the Lord:

1    Apathy - is a state of indifference, or the suppression of emotions such as concern, excitement, motivation and passion. In other words, it is the mindset of I don't care! It is caring nothing about others, ministry, spiritual growth, or what God wants of us. It is the misconception of the magnitude of His incredible gifts and His grace to us. And, as a result, people have become lukewarm, disinterested, and non-committal!
2   Complacency - A feeling of contentment or self-satisfaction, especially when coupled with an unawareness of danger, trouble, or controversy. An instance of contented self-satisfaction.

     Does this sound like you? But don't blame me. I didn't do anything. I go to church; the pastor preaches; I go home. That's what Christianity is to me nowIf so, perhaps you have a problem with apathy.

     There are many causes to the above. Some are; Being overworked and overwhelmed by all the stresses and struggles in life. Also, a lack of willingness to move forward in our spiritual formation, perhaps because of fear of what may be ahead or a lack of trust in God, and then even discouraging others from doing so, too! It is not realizing that God has a plan or taking hold of His promises and call into our daily lives. Another cause may be simply laziness or not wanting to be convicted or have concern because we do not want to be moved ahead or be involved.

"Then you will not become spiritually dull and indifferent (lazy.) Instead, you will follow the example of those who are going to inherit God's promises because of their faith and endurance" (Heb 6:12).

     Often people who are apathetic or complacent will not want to admit it to others. Unless they admit it to the Lord and take steps to overcome they will generally live out a dead, boring, and fruitless life for God. To really be alive in Jesus, we must desire and ask for encounters with Him and take purposeful action to overcome apathy and complacency. We must understand and believe Jesus Christ, the living God, desires to meet with us!! As we do this, we become overwhelmed with His goodness and greatness. A great passion will arise within us to be closer to the Lord and fulfill His purposes in our lives. We truly become ALIVE in Jesus Christ!

 "I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me" (Galatians 2:20 NKJV).

Alive on the Journey,
Sheri Deobald

*Join us at our 13th annual conference "ALIVE" with keynote speaker Joanna Weaver on November 9-10th at TCU place in Saskatoon, SK Canada. Early-Bird tickets onsale now!


Anonymous said...

Love that God wants to have encounters with us...hearing more and more stories of this happening! Thanks for the warnings too....we all need to be careful not to fall into those places of apathy...I know I have at times. Jesus has done so much in my life.....I want to be more alive in him everyday!

Anonymous said...

So true- Thanks for the nudge towards holiness! Repentance is where the Church needs to go as it's a slippery slope of apathy and complacency!

Jayna Snider said...

I love how you've explained this Sheri - it's a strange place to be in - feeling stagnant even when you've known the gospel for years. Break my heart for what breaks Yours... Lord, light the fire again!

Anonymous said...

Truth!!! How refreshing.....for too long the body of Christ acts like we are all perfect and in no need of change. Seriously, it's time to wake up and be honest. We need encounters....but more than that, we need a habitation of God's presence. Excuses won't cut it....thanks for being brave enough to speak the truth! Keep going woman of God....we are tired of messages filled with candy, we need meat!!!

Anonymous said...

Everyone that knows their bible knows, "Every tree is known by it's fruit."
...This despite outward appearances and the ability of certain people to talk a good talk - walking the walk is the crucial and more difficult task.