We have lost the fascination that we should have with the idea of the glory of God!
The glory of God was a primary motivation for saints throughout the ages Old Testament as well as New and beyond. We read in Romans 5 that character is the root of this hope for us.
Our generation has witnessed a decline in the development of character because we have walked away from the practice of the Spiritual Disciplines. The passage we read in Romans 5 is like that old saying, “sow an act and reap a habit, sow a habit and reap character, sow character and you reap destiny.”
No musician who is about to be invited to play Carnegie hall regrets all the days of difficulty they encountered on the way to becoming good enough to be invited. Discipline led to destiny!
This generation seems to have a take it or leave type of attitude that is not producing the fruit of perseverance and hope and they seem oblivious to what it is costing them spiritually.
Our walk with God, or the lack of it, affects us more than we realize. This is why we cannot afford to allow ourselves to walk in this kind of deception.
Often, when I am attempting to encourage someone in the Lord, it is with great difficulty if I see any success at all. This not because they are not Christians.
It is usually due to the person feeling unworthy of receiving it because they have not persevered and walked intimately with God.
I can say all the right things I know to say, but the words do not mix with any faith in the person because the fruit of their lives does not reflect a work of righteousness in them.
This is what compromise does for us. Compromise prohibits us from partaking of all that Christ has done for us. Compromise has never been able to release people, it binds them.
Compromise is a faith drainer, not a faith builder. This is why the New Testament speaks so strongly against mixture with the world.
2Corinthians 6:14 Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? 15 And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever? 16 And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said: "I will dwell in them And walk among them. I will be their God, And they shall be My people." 17 Therefore "Come out from among them And be separate, says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean, And I will receive you." 18 "I will be a Father to you, And you shall be My sons and daughters, Says the LORD Almighty."
There will always be those who think they are the exception to the rule, but they are easy to spot. They do not walk in the confidence of Biblical hope and they do not reveal godly character when you are around them. They say things that sound good but they fail to produce righteous acts that confirm the righteous deposit of God in their lives. They are weak in faith.
Choosing to walk in the Spiritual Disciplines can produce tribulations in your life. It does so by encouraging us to say no to the things that are lawful, but not expedient. To do so with consistency requires perseverance. But this is when character comes.
Those I have met who are strong in their faith and walk in real hope have been men and women strong in their commitment to the Spiritual Disciplines.
It is lawful for me to miss gatherings if I wish. But it is not expedient. It is lawful for me to just pray when I can get an opportunity, but it is not expedient. It is lawful for me to read the Bible on occasion, but it is not expedient. It is lawful for me to hang around questionable companions, but it is not expedient.
About The Author
- Tim Atchley
- Knoxville, Tennessee, United States
- I currently serve as Senior Pastor of Harvest Church in Knoxville, Tn. I was sent out from Trinity Chapel of Knoxville in 1993 accompanied by my wife Sheila our four children Sarah, Hannah, Josiah & Isaac and a handful of bold, brave and committed believers determined to plant our first church. Pioneering is hard work but well worth the journey. That is why we desire to make disciples of Christ who will, like us, also embrace the call to plant churches.