When I began this series, I intended to focus on the spiritual battle in my mind. I truly believe that spiritual warfare begins in our minds. It is imperative for you, as a devoted Christian, to guard your heart and soul against the enemy’s schemes.
Seven things should be evident in the life of a devoted or committed Christian based on my own experiences and struggles. I shared four of them last time. They are,
Dying to Self (We must be willing to surrender our heart to Christ)
Dedicated to Serve (We should glorify Christ in everything we do, regardless of the task)
Developing Faith (This can be the most painful of the evidence because our faith grows stronger as God brings us through trials)
Determined Courage (Courage does not mean that we will never experience fear, but pressing forward in God’s will despite our fears)
I was surprised by the number of responses to determined courage. I believe the need for courage is usually forgotten. It is necessary for every Christian as we seek to live for Christ and glorify our Father in Heaven.
Courage is Necessary
Wait for the Lord, Be strong and let your heart take courage, yes wait for the Lord. ( Psalm 27:14)
Determined courage magnifies our dependence on Christ. This leads us directly to divine evidence #5
Divine Evidence #5 -Dependent on Christ
A devoted Christian realizes that without Christ, they can do nothing. Every breath you breathe is because God allows. However, it is easy at times to get caught up trying to do things in your strength.
It often takes moments of adversity, pain, and challenges to remind you of your dependency on Christ. Our culture today lauds over the self-sufficient person, self-starters, and innovators, but without Christ’s empowering you to accomplish His will, you are just chasing your tail. The devoted Christian realizes who they are in Christ and seeks His strength to glorify Him.
God’s will- not yours
A word of caution here. This verse in Philippians is not giving you carte blanche to do whatever you “feel” and asking God to bless it. It is an encouraging reminder that God will empower you to accomplish His will. Doing so involves a willingness to obey God’s direction. God knows your heart, and when you humble yourself while recognizing your complete dependence on Him, He will reveal Himself in ways beyond what you can imagine!
O taste and see that the Lord is good, how blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him! O fear the Lord, you His saints; For those who fear Him, there is no want… they who seek the Lord shall not be in want of any good thing. (Psalm 34:8-9)
Wow! When you read the promises of God, don’t you get a warm and comforting feeling inside? I sure do. Take a moment and look at yourself. Is there anything on your plate that you are trying to do on your own? Do you sincerely believe that you have a “better way” of doing it than God? I have walked down that foolish path myself. It is a road littered with discouragement, disappointment, and confusion. A verse that I have recently committed to memory this year has been a constant source of encouragement. Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him. (Psalm 37:7)
Dependence requires trust. You must trust God wholeheartedly, whether that means stepping outside your comfort zone to follow His leading or waiting for His direction.
Purposeful Time with God
Divine Evidence #6- Deepening Prayer Life
Prayer…where do I begin? I have seen the power of prayer in my life firsthand. I’m not sure where I would be without the influence of prayer in my life. That does not mean my life is easy-far from it. It’s nothing short of a miracle that I’m able to sit here writing to you now. Since my stroke in 2010, I have begun to realize what a privilege and opportunity it is to talk with God.
Talking with God should be second nature for the devoted Christian. Whether it be praising Him in the morning as the sun kisses your face on your morning walk or thanking Him for revealing new insights while reading scripture verses you’ve read many times before. Most importantly, He has saved your soul for eternity. Think about that for a minute! How can you not make it a priority to converse with your Savior regularly?
God is longing to hear from you. Have you talked with Him today? Throughout the day, I find myself having conversations with God. I cherish every morning that I awaken. I also thank Him for His provision and protection. My prayers include thanking Him for my family, who continues to love and support me. Prayer is a privilege paid for with the blood of Jesus Christ. Get intimate with God and talk with Him. You can talk about anything with God. You will begin to hear from Him as you seek Him with all your heart.
Cry out to God
In the morning Lord you will hear my voice; I will order my prayer to You and eagerly watch. (Psalm 5:3)
Call to me and I will answer you, and I well tell you great and mighty things, which you did not know. (Jeremiah 33:3)
As I mentioned in my book, Unleash the Power of Prayer in your life, “Prayer is the conduit by which we can access God’s power.” The devoted Christian’s prayer life grows more profound as you begin to realize the necessity of talking with God regularly. After discussing the oxygen for every Christian prayer, I want to share the final evidence with you.
Willingness to Serve
Divine Evidence #7- Dependable Servant
This final evidence, for me, is very personal. During my stroke recovery in the hospital, God revealed to me His purpose for my salvation. It was not just for me to stay out of Hell. It was so much more. God desires us as Christians to live a life so that He receives all glory.
He wants us to share the gospel of Christ and to encourage our brothers and sisters in Christ. We do this while showing a love like He has bestowed on you and me, not expecting anything in return.
Remember the parable of the talents found in Matthew 25? The Master who went away and left His servants only to return and see the one who had buried his talent in the ground! As a Christian, God has indwelt you with the Holy Spirit and empowers you to live a life that glorifies Him. Everything you think, say, and do should take place with this in mind to glorify Christ.
For we are His workmanship created in Christ Jesus for good works which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them. (Ephesians 2:10)
Wow, how powerful is that? You are here to serve the Lord! Embrace this honor and serve Him with gladness. (Psalm 100:2) Let those who come in contact with you see the divine evidence that you belong to Christ.
My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit, and thus prove to be my disciples. (John 15:8)
One last thing, I know I covered a lot of ground in this series, but I wanted to share with you what God has crystallized for me regarding my life as a man of God. These pieces of evidence don’t take place overnight but should become evident over time. It’s up to you to commit to glorifying Him in everything you do.
So, as you walk the Christian life each day, I want you to remember this. It is vitally essential to immerse yourself in God’s word and have those truths at the ready in your mind. There is a spiritual battle taking place every day, and no one is immune to it at all!
For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare of not of the flesh but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses…and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ. (2 Corinthians 10:3-5)
God has left for you everything you need to defeat those strongholds that can strangle your testimony for Him. Fear, doubt, worry, etc. Ask yourself, are there shreds of evidence that have become invisible for people to see?
Finally, in closing, I know that it can be extremely trying at times, but living as a devoted Christian was not intended to be easy. Christ has paid the price. Now, will you make it a priority to honor and glorify Him? Think about this as you live each day.