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A Practicing Christian
by Steve Countryman
10/26/2013 / Christian Living
Bless you O Lord for your mercy endures forever. Your grace is sufficient for me. I need you every day all day. Anytime that I don't think I do please forgive my foolish selfish sinful attitude. I too often allow the worldly influences to command my attention. That distraction leads me away from you and your ways. I then lean on my own understanding and find myself needing to be rescued. You put opportunities for me to bless others in my path daily. My distractions cause me to miss some of those opportunities. Then there are other times when you prompt me to help someone and I know that I should do something. But instead of waiting for you to show me what to do I had plan out in my own understanding what it should be and then miss your way and time to bless them.
What I totally missed, besides the obvious, is that my "own understanding" failed me right into disobedience to God. A customer came into my shop one day. He needed help with his laptop's wireless connection. I fixed it by changing some settings. When I had finished I felt a joy come over me and prompting by the Holy Spirit to do something special for this man. We had never met and I didn't know anything about him. I felt compelled but didn't know what to do. So in my "own understanding" I waited for God to point me in the direction by telling me what to do. So I waited there as the man started to leave. He stopped and told me how difficult this year had been and how he couldn't wait for it to be over. His son was a drug addict and now him and his wife have custody of the son's daughter. I stood there listening and sympathizing with him over his troubles with a slight stupid looking smile on my face.
After he left I prayed for him, his son and his family. It dawned on me that I was to pray with him before he left not after he left. I suddenly realized that leaning on my own understanding of what I thought God wanted me to do was not what God wanted to do. That caused me to be disobedient to God and miss out on a God opportunity and a God thing! The God opportunity would have been praying with the man. The God thing would have been when God answered the prayer with peace and comfort for the man, his wife and granddaughter. But more importantly would have been the deliverance for his sons' drug addiction. The man needed to know that God loves him and cares about him and his family. I blew that opportunity for God to let him know!
Being a practicing Christian is what we are. Just as a doctor practices medicine, we practice being Christian or Christ-like. I know that it is an ongoing process and I know that God will place more opportunities in my path. But sometimes the reality and consequences of my own mistakes causes me frustration and pain. Disobedience affects our walk and relationship with God. So when I realized how I blew it I asked God for forgiveness and for God to help me to forgive me. We are here to bring God glory. In being a practicing Christian we will miss some of those opportunities. It doesn't mean that we are terrible Christians. However it does mean that we need more practice! Thank you and bless you Lord for more practice!
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