Sunday, June 1, 2008

Growing with Help

It's tough living in the real world when you know it's not the "real" world. Everyone tries to ignore the idea of absolute truth and you feel rather alone. I had forgotten how bad it can be and now I'm back in the swing of things and I find myself remembering what it was like.
I haven't done what I wanted to do this summer. I wanted to strengthen all of my friends and family, evangelize like a madman, and make good use of what I learned this past year. But, all I've found myself doing is reading, playing "Hulk: Ultimate Destruction", and hanging out with my friends like I used to. I know that I can't expect to change the world all at once, but I haven't done anything to change anything.
One problem I see is that I thought I would do it instantly and I need to realize this stuff takes time. I also need to realize that it's not by my hand that anything gets done, it's by God's. And because I thought, in a way, that it would be by strength. So now, because my strength will never be enough, I haven't moved forward.
So, how do I fix this? I need to trust in God more and more everyday. I need to pray to Him to give me opportunities to practice my faith, and to help me use my faith effectively. I need to reemphasize my spiritual life and read more Bible and learn more scripture, pray daily, discuss theology regularly, and fix my intake. "Rome" is an amazing show, but it can't be the thing that makes up my mental stimulation. There is so much out there to read that can help me grow, I just need to find it.
I hope I'm not the only one that feels like this sometime, and I hope I'm not the only one of those who knows I need to fix it. We all can become so content in our walk with Christ that we forget to grow at all. We treat our faith like a dollar bill that we never spend and it works for nothing. What good is dead faith?
We need to remember (myself especially) that while our salvation and justification was all by God's work through Christ, sanctification and growing is a combined effort of us and the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit will work in us and through us, but we must work with Him to become more Christ-like. It's like Paul tells us in Romans 15:16,

"To be a minister of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles with the priestly duty of proclaiming the gospel of God, so that the Gentiles might become an offering acceptable to God, sanctified by the Holy Spirit."

It's like the Green Lantern and his ring.

The Green Lantern's power comes from his ring, without the ring, the Green Lantern has no power. However, the ring does nothing on it's own. It's the Green Lantern's will power that forces the ring to act. We, like the Green Lantern, have no power. Our power lies in the Holy Spirit. Yet, it is through prayer and discipline that we can use the Holy Spirit and He can use us.
We need to keep growing in our faith, we cannot let ourselves stay complacent in our lives with being half-way there. We must always be striving to be more like Christ and being a better example of Christ to others. Romans 12:1-2 says,

"Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship.2And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect."