Does What You Believe Work?

Christianity is based on a personal relationship with a Personal God. As with all relationships, we should be able to objectively evaluate the health of that relationship, and where adjustments need to be made.

Because God is holy and unchangeable, and our spirit is also holy and unchangeable, the necessary changes only take place in our soul (and sometimes our body). The more we embrace God’s purpose for this age, the more likely we are to enter into the rest and freedom which our spirit already enjoys. Here’s a quick summary of what we can do to join God in His purposes for us now.

1. Be willing to change your beliefs. God knows your history and the situation you are in and wants to talk to you about it in everyday, understandable terms. Question what you think you know, and let the Lord reveal His Truth. You don’t have to have all the answers now (I can guarantee you won’t). This is one definition of faith: Even though you don’t have full knowledge of God’s purposes for you, because you know and have experienced the character of God, you can accept unconditionally the Truth He presents to you personally and let Him give you His Life on His terms.

2. Embrace your True Identity: “I am a spirit, I have a soul and I live in a body.” In your spirit you have already agreed to everything God is doing in, to and through you, so don’t look for someone (including your self) to blame for the situation you’re in or the mistakes you’ve made in the past. God is not surprised.

3. Be objective about your temperament. Learn how to appreciate and submit to Him the unique way God put your soul together. Realize that your temperament is not you, but something about you, like your eye color. Don’t use your temperament as either an excuse to get out of doing something or a means by which you accomplish something for yourself or for God.

4. Don’t put off until another time the freedom, healing and responsibility God wants you to experience now. Discover God’s purpose for you now, in personal terms, then keep your focus on what He is doing in your life. You will find your purpose is related to His purpose for you: exposing your flesh, healing your wounds, and bringing you into dependence through knowing Him, in His time and according to His plan. Let Him be the God, and you’ll get along pretty well.

5. Acknowledge and submit to the sovereignty and jealous authority of God over your life. Let the Lord show you if there are areas in your life where you are letting other people, or even your own beliefs, usurp the authority He has reserved for Himself. As you give up your rights, and become willing to be broken, remember that who you truly are, a spirit being, has already given up those rights 2000 years ago, and is only working that understanding through your soul and body.

6. Accept that God loves you as a unique individual, and wants what is best for you. Your value is not measured by what you can accomplish FOR Him, but by how much you depend ON Him. The more you depend on Him, the more your needs are met experientially and practically. Nothing outside of God can compare, so no comparisons are adequate to describe the satisfaction and contentment that awaits those who know their God.

7. KISS: Keep it Simple, Saint! The desire to make the Christian walk complicated or specialized, by depending on mental understanding of the scriptures or approval from others, is often merely an expression of the arrogance of our adamic soul trying to control God. As you begin to enjoy your freedom you will become more and more free from the manipulations and entanglements of the present religious system. Though this will enrage some, it will give hope to others. So be ready to give freely to others the freedom God has freely given to you.

8. Develop your Supernatural Senses. Most of us almost completely rely on our physical, natural senses to build a perception of reality. The more we depend on the Lord for Life, Guidance and for the meeting of all our needs, the more He tunes all of our senses to His wavelength. We will begin to see things from His perspective, and have the confidence, freedom and ability to join with Him in acting accordingly.

9. Develop your Warfare Skills. Recognize, prepare and engage in battle with your three enemies: the world, the flesh and the devil. Failing to engage in this battle surrenders that battlefront and makes you vulnerable in that area. Warfare is waged through depending on the Lord, but rest assured that this warfare is part of teaching us how to depend on Him and not on our own strength or understanding. The understanding of Practical Christianity as both Rest and Warfare can only be fully realized through experience.

10. Be willing to be out of control. The more you get to know God personally and practically the more you will be willing to be out of control. You’ve already given up your right to control, but one of God’s main purposes for us now is to make this a reality in our lives on this earth. This can be a scary thing, but the Lord knows this, and gives us exactly the training we need to be able to have confidence in Him based on experience. We find out He’s a really great God, that He’s trustworthy, and that depending on Him is fully satisfying and exciting.

Adapted from Practical Christianity by Dianne Thomas

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