Wednesday, May 22, 2019

How to live with Christian Vitality – Part 2

The Christian Vitality Lifestyle

A Christian Vitality Lifestyle is a committed, surrendered, and empowered life lived fully in the present moment.

Commit and Surrender to God’s Vision for Your Life!

Committing our lives to the Lord means a constant surrender of our ideas, plans, and choices. It means dying to ourselves in every area of our lives so that God can shine through them. We must abstain from the desires of this world so we can hear his still, small voice and be directed towards his will for our lives.

As Christians, we should desire to make a significant impact on the world for Jesus. We cannot do this on our own. We need his help, and Jesus sent the Holy Spirit just for this very purpose. You need to lean on him for every choice you make along the way. By utilizing the Christian Vitality Prayer, you can affirm that you retain focus on your God-inspired goals, gain strength to achieve them, and overcome all obstacles with the help of the Holy Spirit in addition to the many other gifts of the Spirit.

Our dreams (or visions for our lives) need to be bigger than ourselves and what we can do on our own. We ought to want God to use our day-to-day activities in ways beyond what we would or could do on our own. This is not a solo journey, but one in which we are cooperating with God and operating together as a team.

I’ve heard it once said that “Every Christian should have a dream so big it takes God himself to fulfill it.” For that to happen, we must ask God for a God-sized vision (dream) for our lives. That vision will include not only your individual mission here on earth but also God’s vision for your spiritual, mental, and physical health.

If you haven’t done so recently or you find yourself at a place in your life where you feel you’ve lost sight of God’s vision for your life, I invite you to take the time now away from this psot and go into prayer to ask God to grant or restore His vision for your life. Ask him to reveal to you the vision he has for you that would lead you down a path to serve the Lord with all your heart, all your soul (mind, will, and emotions), and all your body.

You need to understand–there is nothing you can do yourself to make this happen. This vision or dream for your life can only come from the hand of God.

Come back to this post only after you’ve taken the time to commune with God about his vision for your life.

 

Taking Responsibility

Responsibility can be broken down into its core meaning of the ability to respond and the ability to make a choice. It can also mean taking personal ownership.

You might remember when I referred to you as the hero of this journey we are embarking on together. You absolutely are a hero whose victory is in progress.

The only catch is that you are a hero who has been called on this journey in your current world and your existing state of health and circumstances. You are called to a new world of health and happiness in your future.

It’s a safe assumption that since you’ve read this far, you are, for the moment, accepting the Lord’s call on your life to make a change, to do things differently going forward, and to build a life in pursuit of glory for Jesus Christ in every aspect of your life—a new, completely Christ-centered world.

One thing we must do before we carry on is address the fact that your current state of health (spiritual, mental, and physical) is not where you want it to be. It’s a product of all the life choices you’ve made up to this point. I firmly believe that our lives are the product of all the cumulative choices we make along the way. The only way to change our current state of affairs is to start accumulating better choices. We are (or will become) what we repeatedly do.

We still need to take responsibility and ownership for where we are right now however. You can have a dialog with God that sounds something like this: “Yes, Lord, my health is not what it could be or will be, and I accept the fact that I’ve made some poor choices to get to where I am today. Please, Lord, help guide me in my steps as I pursue a better life for myself—one that glorifies you in all ways. AMEN!”

No, it’s not all your fault, but it is all your responsibility. You’ve been taught by your well-meaning parents to live certain ways. You’ve been lied to by family, friends, acquaintances, advertisers, and even government officials over the years. All of it was likely based on information that, at the time, was the best information they had. Nevertheless, it made an impression on your soul and your belief systems.

What can be learned can also be unlearned, though. Kids are not typically programmed for success, and neither are adults for that matter. Making decisions based on old information or training has to stop from this point forward because you personally have unlimited access to up-to-date information backed by scientific research through the Internet. There are no more valid excuses from now on.

Take the ownership of how things are, but also commit to yourself to be a life-long learner. Always strive to make yourself aware of the current science and biblical wisdom that may affect your health, and implement it into your life. That last part is the most critical. Knowing the information without doing something with it is all on you and will make the difference between you living a healthy, happy life and missing it by a mile.

So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin. James 4:17(ESV)

When taking James 4:17 literally and applying it to all aspects of your life, it’s not much of a stretch to say not applying the knowledge in this post (and what you find on the Internet) that could do you good is a sin. With knowledge comes great responsibility, though. Luke 12:48 also tells us that “to whom much is given, of him much will be required, and from him to whom they entrusted much, they will demand the more.” This expands more on our responsibility when given actionable information. God will honor you when you honor him with the obedient choices you make once you know better.

I’ll strive to do my very best here and throughout the entire Christian Vitality Revival Series to give you as much actionable information as possible, but the truth be told, this post will be a work in progress that is constantly updated as new information and discoveries become available. To make certain you are up-to-date on the latest information, you can subscribe to our blog or newsletter at http://christianvitality.com. I’ll share our latest discoveries with you as they surface.

No one who is good at making excuses is good at taking care of their lives. Stop making excuses to not do the right thing, and start looking for reasons why you should take action toward them now.

 

Self-love vs. Self-loathe

A challenge we all face at times is the struggle with self-loathing. I want to address that now as we’ve just finished acknowledging and taking responsibility for our current state of affairs. Something I heard in my very early twenties that has stuck with me my whole life is this:

God made YOU, Christ saved YOU, and that makes YOU a person of tremendous worth! – Author Unknown

We go throughout our Christian lives trying to learn how to die to self, which I am a major proponent of. Some might even say that as we mature as Christians, we even develop an element of self-loathing because we despise at times the things we say or do when we allow ourselves to operate in that self-centered capacity. The issue at hand, however, is that we can never escape ourselves. We may label it as our sinful nature that we are inherently born with, but the fact of the matter is that God made you just the way you are. You need to accept that you are a gift God has granted to this world to bring him glory with your life. Even though we’ve stumbled along the way, made bad choices, and sinned, God can use those life-long experiences to bring himself glory if we will let him. Our “self” or sinful nature does not have to get in our way toward the pursuit of a better life.

Christ saved you on the cross and shed his blood to atone for you and so that you could be sanctified (set a part for him) for his glory here on earth. You are a new creation in Christ and can be made new in his image. It’s not a once and done process though. It is a continual process where we can be made new today, in this very moment, as we obediently accept his call on our lives and make choices that glorify him.

You are tremendously worthy only because he is worthy. He lives inside of you the moment you receive Christ’s salvation. You became one of God’s children, and as 1 John 4:4 (ESV) says, “Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.” We just have to live like it daily, moment by moment, surrendered to God and his will for our lives. So you are never allowed to get down on yourself, or as some like to call it “hating on yourself,” because you would, in a sense, discount everything Jesus did for you on the cross.

Instead, I’d like to propose that you make it a lifelong habit to love yourself and accept who you are in the moment, keeping in mind that the next choice you make can bring glory to God. Practice self-forgiveness and confession of sin in the moment with God. You can apply James 5:16 (ESV) in the moment, where he says to “confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.” You can move on and confess to the Lord that you let him down, and you’ll do your very best for him on your next opportunity to choose. Receive his forgiveness in real time, and then put it behind you. Move on toward the upward call of God. You’ll be affirming these same truths from the Christian Vitality Prayer and making them part of your soul: “All my debts have long since been paid for and forgiven by the blood of Jesus Christ, and I honor him by forgetting them and learning from them.” Honor Jesus by receiving forgiveness for your sins in the moment, and move on.

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