77. TIRED OF THE STORM, STERILITY, STAGNANCY AND SILENCE? – CREATE A SPIRITUAL SAFE HOUSE
(The Faith Forum Series – Batch 3)
Having been attacked, right, left and centre and finding myself growing weary of the season of sterility I was in, I was jolted out of my drunken stupor (metaphorically) by being reminded of my need to create a SPIRITUAL SAFE HOUSE. I had gotten so bugged down by all of my worries and the endless attacks at my workplace especially, that I was beginning to lose my focus.
SPIRITUAL STABILITY is key because in the midst of storm, sterility, stagnancy and silence, no matter how unstable your life may be right now, it is still within your power to create stability in your spiritual walk with Christ. If you can’t handle what is happening naturally in your life and it is completely beyond your control, that is fine. Control what you can control. You can control the TIME you set apart and organize to spend exclusively in quiet with the Lord.
Those that are after you, can’t touch that time and space, if you would only create it.
You can create SPIRITUAL STABILITY in terms of the determined choices you make to nurture your relationship with the Lord. The whole world could be falling down around you but you can still have that SPIRITUAL SAFE HOUSE that you have decided and disciplined yourself to continue to enter on a daily basis.
Think about it: No matter what is going on in your life and no matter how busy you are you do make time to eat don’t you? This is because you know it is vital to your survival. Feeding your spiritual life is no different.
Creating SPIRITUAL STABILITY when nothing in your life is working out is absolutely necessary because the evil one is purposeful in his attacks. He wants to send you so much trouble, mayhem, confusion and attacks, that you grow weary, self-preoccupied with life, its cares, your desire to attain pleasures and the better life, that you become unfruitful or worse yet, give in to the temptation that is shouting loudly for attention around you everyday and stop believing.
In the proverb provided by Jesus of the Sower and the Seed in Luke 8:5-15, four (4) categories of those that have heard the gospel are identified as follows:-
- CATEGORY 1 – NEVER BELIEVE – These people hear the Word but they don’t believe it at all because the devil hardened their hearts so that they would not receive it (Verse 12)
- CATEGORY 2 – BELIEVE FOR A WHILE AND THEN STOP – These hear the Word and believe it joyfully. They even make a profession of faith but when temptation comes, they choose that over Christ and stop believing the truth. While they have faith therefore, it is not the enduring kind that lasts until the end and is required for genuine salvation.There is a flaw somewhere as in time, they depart from it and fall away with the rest of lost souls. This, in my view is different from backsliding and returning to Christ. Persons falling in category 2, let go completely of the faith they had, stop believing in Jesus Christ altogether, go their own way and never look back. They were therefore never really saved although they may have thought that they were and may have had a ‘show’ of Christianity for a season (Verse 13)
- CATEGORY 3 – BELIEVE (POSSIBLY) BUT THEN BECOME DRUNK WITH LIFE AND ARE GOOD FOR NOTHING – These hear the Word and believe but they bring no fruit to perfection (and therefore are unfruitful and of no benefit to God’s Kingdom which is about winning other souls to Christ and edifying the Church) because they become bugged down, tired, weary, self-absorbed and preoccupied with all the worries, problems, cares and anxieties of life or the pleasures of life (e.g. entertainment, food, technology, attending to the home etc.), their desire for self-comfort, self-betterment, self-advancement, career, promotion, becoming rich and increasing their bank account. In other words, they appear to be believers who have become unfruitful because instead of pursuing after or seeking first the things that pertain to the Kingdom of God and his righteousness, they have begun to be consumed by the things of the world . They have begun to pursue after idols that they have set up in their hearts. Such persons are no good when it comes to the edification of the Church, of no use in the winning of souls and of no benefit even to themselves, as they are not spending quality time with Jesus and are not nurturing a relationship with him. They are devoted instead, to their worldly cause and this is on the throne of their hearts. They can therefore bear no fruit to perfection because any fruit to be borne can only be borne when we are feeding on Christ and abiding in Him (Hosea 14:8; John 15:4-5). Some people take the view that these persons, while they had a form of godliness are merely religious and were therefore never really saved. I am inclined to believe though, that some of these persons are saved, although scarcely and will be ashamed when giving account to Christ for their stewardship. 1 John 2:28 admonished Christians: “And now, little children, abide in him; that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming.” This category, sadly, is the case presently with many persons who profess to be believers and at times, I must fight when I find myself veering in this direction. I cannot afford to become intoxicated by the demands and worries of this life because these unprofitable ventures choke and rob me of the fruit I am called not only to bear but to bring to perfection (Verse 14).
- CATEGORY 4 – CONTINUE BELIEVING AND REMAIN FOCUSED AND SOBER – These hear the Word, believe it completely and continue on, no matter what, in obedience to Christ and with him as their focus. Their faith in Jesus endures until the end, no matter what they go through and they keep their focus on him by denying themselves, their own comfort and living as sacrifices. They therefore do much for God’s Kingdom, not in becoming preoccupied with a whole lot of activities but in contributing and successfully, to the work of winning souls to Christ and edifying the Church. They remain fruitful because they set aside time to spend with the Lord. They have a SPIRITUAL SAFE HOUSE that they have set up and go to, so as to be continually replenished (Verse 15).
The danger of becoming so bugged down and tired with trouble in life therefore is that you may give up on your faith walk with the Lord (God forbid) or lose your focus on him as Lord over you and all of your affairs and therefore, in your desperate pursuit of the better life, you may make no time or have no energy or drive to win souls to Christ, to edify the Church or even to spend quality time with the Lord.
This is what I mean when I say the enemy is purposeful in his attacks. He wants you to let go of your faith in Jesus or to lose your focus on Him, due to your getting to a state where you become intoxicated with the demands of life.
You therefore need to be purposeful, strategic, deliberate, consistent, disciplined, in creating a SPIRITUALLY STABLE SPACE where it is just you and the Lord alone, a space where you can escape the daily mayhem. This space should be unhurried, quiet and completely free from ALL distractions, including your cellular phone, television, the radio and social mediums. It is where you will deliberately shut out the world and shut yourself in with the MASTER, the one that remains King and Lord over it all.
No matter the situation and how crazy things are around you, if you see to it (because this is the one thing within your power) that you STABILIZE THE TIME YOU SPEND WITH JESUS, in prayer, meditation on the Word, praise and fasting, it is my firm belief that the instability in the natural realm MUST at some point, align itself with the stability you have created and are nurturing in the spiritual. For, your SPIRITUAL SAFE HOUSE not only offers shelter during a storm but it also has the effect THROUGH JESUS, of abating the storm.
Jesus, who is described in John 1:14 as the Word which once lived in human form on earth and upon whose death and resurrection we gain SPIRITUAL LIFE when we believe on him, said in Matthew 7: 24-27:
- “Wherefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.”
(Written on 5th September, 2017)