Saturday, 13 June 2009

Carnal believer...me?

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Examine yourself to see whether you are in the faith; test yourself (2nd Corinthians 13:5a)

And now O Israel, what does the Lord your God require of you but to fear the Lord your God to walk in all his ways, to love him, to serve the Lord your God with ALL your heart and with ALL your soul (Deut 10:12)

Brothers(and sisters!), I could not adress you as spiritual but as worldly-mere infants in Christ......You are still worldly. For since there is jealousy and quarrelling among you, are you not worldly? Are you not acting like mere men 1st Corinthians 1:1-3 (bracket mine)


I woke up one morning, weighed down with issues I had been pondering (not praying...just pondering) on through the night. I opened my mouth to say thank you Jesus for a new day and was startled to hear this back.."Stop being a carnal believer!". I was like, who me? Yes, of course me. I'm sure it's a strange term to hear and I will admit it was a truth that was a bit difficult to swallow but along the way I had moved from being God-centred to 'other' centred.

So who is a carnal believer? I put in some notes from my study Bible.

"People fall into 3 spiritual categories that clarify how the revelation of the Cross by the spirit is received from the human side. First, the natural man, unregenerate and devoid of the Spirit has no appreciation for the gospel. Second we have the spiritual man, regenerated and possessing spiritual maturity...has a nature that responds to truth and unbelievers find him difficult to understand. The CARNAL man has been regenerated but lives much like an unregenerate, is a BELIEVER with childish ways.....an IMMATURE CHRISTIAN that lives more for human opinion than Christ. (Notes under 1st Corinthians 2:14-3:4 in the Spirit Filled Study Bible).

Yeh pa, although I have to say, I was convicted as I saw myself in one of those categories and not the one I thought I would find myself in. When we become born again, we are regenerated, new creatures in God. The use of the word born indicates that in this new kingdom we are children irrespective of what our age is in the natural and from that point on we should strive and our main purpose should be growing in things of the Spirit to catch up so to speak.

I've been busy, busy keeping up with all my 'roles'. Student, teacher, daughter, girlfriend, sister, friend, colleague, Committee Secretary e.t.c. In this busyness of life, my relationship with God had moved from being my first priority to one of the agenda's on the To Do List of my life; half hearted prayer in the morning as I prepared fro my day, singing songs but not giving genuine worship. Thank God for His mercy and grace. God showed me that this were signs and symptoms of a backslidden heart! Isn't that harsh you may ask? But is it really, I always used to see backslidding as an act; when a believer gave into temptation and 'fell' into some sin but backslidding is a thing of the heart when I place my idols (however good they may be) in a place reserved for God alone. The word says we should 'seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all other things will be added' but I had been seeking other things and expecting the kingdom to be added. I was tired, stressed, fed-up, angry, bitter wondering why things were not working as they should.

God is well mannered; oh so well mannered, when He is not King in my life, he does not act as if He is king, I don't get those instructions I need to work smart and not hard. I thank God for His mercy, He spoke to me as He did to the Israelites through Haggai.."Believer, give careful thought to your ways"

'You have planted much but have harvested little. you eat, but never have enough. You drink but never have your fill. You put on clothes but are not warm. You earn wages only to put them in a purse with holes in it' Haggai 1:6.

I couldn't have expressed what I was feeling more accurately and why?

.."Because of my house which remains a ruin, while each of you is busy with his own house v9

I know preachers use this scripture to encourage people give to the building fund but if we remember that we are now the temple of God, His altar being built in our hearts. How am I building it? Am I building it? or am I building the other areas of my life. Father, forgive me. God said we should love Him with ALL our heart, soul and might. I sing about God's presence being the air that I breathe and my daily bread but it's amazing how easy it is for me to exchange it for other things. If you had breathing problems what would you exchange for your oxygen tank? A new job, a promotion, a marriage partner, what? Nothing, because that oxygen is my life source. Nothing satisfies like Christ, David really knew this because he said his heart longeth for God as the deers for the streams of water. Selah!

I don't want to be carnal anymore; allowing myself to be tossed from one wave of emotion to the other, happy today, sad tomorrow. The carnal believer knows and believes God but has not gotten to a place where God is lord over every area. Hmm, I know I'm not there yet but that's the road less travelled I'm moving on these days, towards spiritual maturity in God. Keeping God as King over my life, making and keeping our 'dates' where we discuss deep stuff. Keeping my life holy so that there is always room for Him in my heart. I don't want to be carnal anymore; allowing the cares of this world to choke God's words that He has planted in my life; being angry, jealous and bitter. I don't want to be good for a few hours on Sunday and then different on Monday, Tuesday, I'm tired of religion, I want to depend on God for everything from when I open my eyes in the morning to when I shut them at night.

A prayer

Forgive me Lord for I have sinned. I have placed people, things, goals and dreams where you should be rightfully seated. I have not loved you with my all; heart, soul or strength. I have not loved my neighbour as myself. Thank you for your mercy and grace and persistence in drawing me back home to you where your love is waiting for me. I bless your name and give you praise for you are worthy to receive it. Teach me O Lord, create a hunger and thirst after righteousness in my heart in Jesus name. I don't want to be a carnal believer anymore. Help O Lord in Jesus name.

4 comments:

akaBaGucci said...

Guess sometimes it takes God intruding into our space for us to realize we've been merely going through the motions for a while.. and that we have left Him out of the core of our lives... Nice wake up call!

Remi, United Kingdom said...

Believer, I thank God for your very life. It takes a humble heart to bring its soul to repentance. I thank for His grace over you, and His love for you, for Him opening u to urself.
Its true whatu say... To backslide as with all other actuons that we manifest daily, starts from within the hear and then eventually played out - in different ways!

Father Lord, forgive me for any area or thing I might have replaced u with, knowingly or unknowingly.

I pray that u continue to grow in all knowledge of God, by His grace. Amen!
You are a precious soul oh! Have an awesome weekend. Xxx

simeone said...

hmm..this wake up call is one i can relate to quite well..he's a merciful father ..and i just have to thank him for that...
..we get so used to God and we tend to relate with him in a "routined" manner ,,.which is not good../
hmm,,.thank you father..thank you for believer..and this post..

Believer said...

@DannyB: True talk, I thank God for His mercy, thanks for your comment

@RemiMsThang!:God bless you my sis! Your comments always take it to another level!

@Simeone: Bros, how far now! True, true, true