Think back in history for a moment…
Old Testament times…
After the Israelites were freed from slavery in Egypt…
Back when the Israelites craved the old Egyptian ways.
(Mainly because it was their old familiar ways they knew so well, their comfort zone)…
They were whining to Aaron,
“Make us gods we cansee and follow. This Moses who got us out here milesfromnowhere—who knows what’s happened to him!”
(Their faith was not personal, they were just going on what Moses was telling them).
That was the time when they made a calf-idol, brought sacrifices to it, and congratulated each other on the wonderful religious program they had put together (Acts 7:39-41).
I imagine there may have been a few who were caught in the toxic air of the majority around them.
They did not develop a personal, 1 on 1, stable relationship with the Heavenly Father.
God was not even seen as some one
(A Who, not a what.
A He, not an “it”)
We have come to know God as 3 persons in The God head…they didn’t even conceive Him as a father.
He was just some “nature thing”, a force that made supernatural things happen….an “IT” unknown & out there in space some where, far, far, far away.
I think that is still many people’s concept of GOD today.
We can even go way back before the Bible was written…
Think back to Adam & Eve or Noah and his wife, those men & women we read about in Old Testament times had a 1 on 1, living, breathing faith in God, not a majority of people but rather a minority.
Those few people carried a repore with God. They found favor in the eyes of God because they kept their eyes on Him regardless of those around them.
Noah’s Ark had a lot if animals but only 8 people (Noah, his wife, their 3 sons & their sons wives).
Those few people really breathed Him in rather than breathe in the same hate, lust, selfish desires, self-righteousness & pride (toxic air) of others.
The only way to change the environment was to completely exterminated everything humans did out of selfish desires rather then following God’s better, supernatural plan.
We hear many people fighting for fresh air but there are just as many if not more driving vehicles that spew toxins in the air & littering beautiful beaches with unbiodegratable cans & plastic containers.
What’s happening to our enviroment physically is not a far parrellel to what is happening spiritually.
Although in the O.T. did not see God in the flesh a very few people not only had a respect for Him they acknowledged Him & looked to Him for guidance.
Still a rare thing in our day & age… People breathing but falling short of giving Him glory for every breathe we take.
Everyone has sinned and is far away from God’s saving presence. He doesn’t move anymore than the Sun in the sky moves. We forget it is the earth that moves around the sun not the other way around…some think & preach, God revolves around us.
In truth we need to revolve around God & His ways…we should serve Him & get out of the ‘God serve us mode & cry.’
The good news is now, in post new testement times, through the free gift of God’s grace all are put right with him through Christ Jesus, who sets them free.
Romans 3:23-24 GNB
For sin pays its wage — death; but God’s free gift is eternal life in union with Christ Jesus our Lord.
Romans 6:23 GNB
Why not accept the gift?
1 word, Pride.
Thinking we don’t need to acknowledge, respect or be under His Lordship keeps our true freedom out if reach.
Just like the Israelites, we want something that we can physically hold & give credit to or take credit & control of ourselves.
Now think back to New Testament times…
After God came in the flesh (embodied by the man Jesus Christ)….
After Christ died…
After Christ conquered the death…
After eight days His disciples were again inside, and Thomas with them this time…
Jesus came, the doors having been shut, and stood in their midst and said, “Peace be with you.”
Then He said to Thomas, “Reach here with your finger, and see My hands; and reach here your hand and put it into My side; and do not be unbelieving, but believing.”
(CHRIST MADE IT PERSONAL)
Thomas answered and said to Him,
“My Lord and my God!”
Jesus said to him,”Because you have seen Me, have you believed? Blessed are they who did not see, and yet believed.” (John 20:26-29 NASB).
Thomas didn’t just believe in Jesus or His resurrection because his family & friends believe & told him it was so.
HE WAS LOOKING FOR SOMETHING MORE.
He needed to breathe the same air of Christ.
When Christ’s actual, physical presence was there Thomas final got a breathe of fresh air.
We should not believe everything we are told (beloved, do not believe every spirit…1 Jn 4:1)
and we can not be saved by Christ just by association. i was raised in a church going ‘Christian family’ but
That doesn’t mean i was automatically in a relationship with God where i allowed Him to be in my life & help me do His will.
i had to personally surrender my will to Him,
“DAILY, ON GOING, LIKE A WALK, LIKE I BREATHE TO STAY ALIVE.”
Now for those who are believers, think back to when Christ set you free from sin…
After you decided to let Him in…
After you committed your life to His cause…
Back when you’ve renewed your vows to Him not just as your creator but Father…
When you were at a retreat
When you just “felt” closer to God…
I recall going to youth retreats & sensing God’s presence then going home & some how it seemed to wear off.
I slowly found myself breathing in the air around me (attitudes of others).
i final decided to carry on in my relationship with Christ full time, 24/7.
I love to see when someone dedicates their life to Christ with the same sincerity as a priest, nun or ordained minister. Regardless of their environment the let Jesus live in & thru them. They don’t join a convent and yet are just as dedicated as a monk in the real world.
It is so beautiful when people realize Jesus isn’t just for old people or seminary students.
Every morning & thru the day, regardless of my feelings i commune with God.
Getting set free from sin isn’t a 1 shot deal. Yes, if we confess HE IS faithful & just to forgive us of our sins & cleans us of all unrighteousness (1 Jn. 1:9) but may we understand it is an on going cleansing and process of Christ making us more like Him.
Especially when we are newo the faith we need to ‘surround’ ourselves we others who are also dedicated to sincerely living & breathing in & out The Holy Spirit.
Surrounding yourself may mean 4 Christ-like people, not necessarily a Hugh congregation.
Being committed to Christ doesn’t mean you start going to an all Christian school, college or work place.
…*Later I’ll mention how we may need to adjust our environment and stay away from some people, place & things that make it impossible to breath…
How can we breathe Christ in & out while still in this world filled with toxic air?
Public prayer & reading of the scriptures while gathering with other believers can be helpful.
Listening or attending ‘religious programs’ is fine, however,
Religion & attending religious programs doesn’t get you into heaven.
A relationship with Christ & fully accepting His grace is the 1 way to heaven.
HE IS THE WAY, THE TRUTH AND THE LIFE.
A 2 way conversation with God, worshipping Him in spirit & truth is the key.
Just like any relationship, it takes both sides to make it work.
Nothing replaces a personal, on going relationship with Him.
*i have even found it necessary to keep away from people who do nothing but drag me down (believers & non-believers can do that).
The more i believe the more i see exactly what Christ sees.
-it is not always pretty.
I am learning & striving to be more like the Jesus i read & hear about in Scripture & act less & less like the religious people that also up set Christ so much.
I long to see Jesus Christ in people at Church, however, my eyes must remain on Him not on people or what they say is an act of religious worship.
The Lord spells things out very clear in His word but you won’t alway see this done in or by churches –
“Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world”. James 1:27 NIV
So, although He is not visable we can sense His Holy Spirit within.
We real do gain a 6th sense. Maybe it is a not do common sense, letting His Spirit speak to our consciousness.
We also have HIS word that paints a clear picture for us on who He is and what He wants & how to please Him.
Just as we breath in oxygen, although we can’t see it, we know it is there.
He never leaves or forsake us. He upholds His end of life & our relationship with Him.
We may also see Him in the way others live.
We may share Him with others,
we may also encounter great discouragement if we rely on others to have some type of ‘religious experience’ rather than wholly trust in Christ alone to accept us as we are & develop our own ‘personal relationship’ with Him.
*1 final thought, remember you may need to make some adjustments at your job, work place or even in your home in order to no longer breathe toxic air.
Until Christ separates the sheep from the goats, the wheat from the weeds, the real sheep from those wolves in sheep’s clothing we must consider for ourselves WHO we have fellowship with.
Don’t stop breathing in the fresh air that only comes from Christ.
So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
2 Corinthians 4:18 NIV
No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.
1 John 4:12 NIV
So then, you will know them by their fruits. “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from M e , you who practice lawlessness .’
Matthew 7:20-23 NASB
If this gave you a breath of fresh air go to: “like the Psalmist” or simply read Psalm 101 to identify with his prayer.