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Is Being American Beneficial from a Heavenly Standpoint?
Be encouraged that Jesus' preferred learning method is to learn by stepping out and giving things a try. If we are convinced of this, then we will set out in humility and take chances in Christ's name.
Christ empowers us wherever we are in life, even if we still lack the Official Certificate of Religious Expertise or if we don't have a Master's Degree in Knowing God. Of course God never intended that such degrees or certificates should decide who knows Him better than others.
Have you noticed the straightforward reality of God's Presence lately? This is one of the most overlooked miracles in the world. If we follow Christ, then we are living out the everyday miracle that knowing and obeying God are realistic goals right now. This is Christ's doing. He makes every heavenly goal possible by building us up from nothing, step by step, for the purpose of knowing Him and effectively obeying Him.
On a related note, there is also an abundance of opportunities for youthful faiths who as yet lack religiously-inclined, institutional degrees. They have the opportunity right now to venture out, to live, pray and act boldly, and see if Christ Himself hasn't already put legs on their faith.
If you are a youthful seeker then go ahead, see if Christ doesn't teach you directly all you need to know whenever you need, just as He promises. Try obeying Him right now before you enroll into an institution designed by men to teach spiritual truth. In all humility, follow His lead. Afterwards, if you find his His leadership insufficient, then go ahead and enroll in the theological institution of your choice.
Christ's followers act according to their Teacher's direct commands and then afterward report back with what they experienced and learned. To learn intellectual theory first and then try to mold one's experience to fit that theory is incompatible with living, breathing, Christ-dependent faith. Theory is only respectable when it is backed by obedient living.
For our encouragement's sake, we westerners can bank on a least a few, simple, dependable truths right now. For example, in all the ways that really count, we are neither better nor worse off than anyone else in God's Spirit-based economy.
Just like everyone else in the history of God's people, we are called to simply take God up on the grace that He has already allocated to us. He will move us forward from here if He sees fit to do so.
At the same time, we have every reason to be humble in light of our current, westernized condition. We look around at our surroundings and assume that we are strong and smart and therefore capable of accomplishing great things in Christ's name. However, the contrary is true. Christ has placed us in this cushy atmosphere in order not to overwhelm our sensitive little-faiths.
Therefore, we should keep placing our trust in Christ, that He will adapt us to whatever political atmosphere He places us into. He will train us to live by His unconditional freedom, which does not depend on an any material or intellectual asset, nor does He depend on any system of government.
Before we start to think too highly of ourselves, let's look at our situation realistically. Before we lift up our mechanical church practice for other countries to admire and imitate, let's look and see if this machine is effectively cultivating our own soil.
Do we pray? No. Do we memorize and study the Bible in earnest? Not really, at least not with the intention of acting on it. Do we meet together to eat and fellowship in the name of Christ? Maybe... if it works into our schedules, which is rare. So what are we churchgoers waiting for again? (I'm sorry, what were we talking about?)
The sobering truth is that we westerners are unable to pull it together right here in the cushiest of circumstances. We live in the most politically magnanimous atmosphere the world has ever known and yet we are still too distracted to obey Christ.
So we might as well take advantage of every possible opportunity to obey Him right now. God is capable of creating opportunities in times of excess (such as ours now) the same way He accomplishes His work in times of deprivation. Not that excess or deprivation are anything in themselves, but I am only trying to encourage you to surrender whatever you have or don't have to the Lord. If we truly follow Christ then we should be surrendering whatever we are to Him anyway. To the one who has eyes to see and faith to obey Christ, there is already every facilitating variable for obeying Christ in the United States as well as in the general westernized world.
by Patrick Roberts. Find his book and additional material at www.BooksByPatrick.com
Patrick is an average Christ-seeker. His goal is to turn people to Jesus Christ.
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