JESUS WINS – WE WIN!
Revelation 11:15 Then the seventh angel sounded: And there were loud voices in heaven, saying,"The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever!" NKJV
It is a theme found throughout Scripture – God wins; the devil and his minions lose. In the beginning of time, God stated that woman’s seed would crush the head of Satan, and Satan would bruise the heel of the woman’s seed (Genesis 3:15). We can trace the seed God was talking about through the lineage of Abraham (Genesis 12; 15; 17) and then on through Isaac, Jacob and the twelve sons of Jacob. In Genesis 49 God specifies the tribe of Judah as the tribe through which the seed would come. Then, the promise is given to David in 2 Samuel 7, that there would be one that would sit on his throne and reign forever.Read more...
Dictionary.com defines atrophy as a “wasting away of the body or of an organ or part, as from defective nutrition or nerve damage.” Another definition may be easier to understand – “degeneration, decline, and decrease as from disuse.”
When we consider spiritual atrophy, we realize that the same thing happens – our souls shrivel up or die because of we are wasting away. When we don’t exercise our spirit and strive for better things, we lose what we have. The Hebrew writer referenced this idea in Hebrews 5:12-6:3, but note especially Hebrews 5:14 “But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by REASON OF USE HAVE THEIR SENSES EXERCISED to discern both good and evil.”
How can we know that we are in spiritual atrophy?
First, your greatest days in serving the Lord are in your past. You glory in yesterday’s victories, and even go so far as to continually talk about “the good old days” when things were better and brighter for your spirit and the church. Beloved, as good as those days might have been, they were also fraught with bad times as well. We cannot rest on the laurels of past accomplishments if we would grow and be what God wants us to be right now! Each and every day must be marked by a renewed connection with God. Have you stopped seeking God? Have you stopped serving him?
Second, you depend on others to do the work so that you can receive the blessings. Beloved, this is so wrong, and contrary to what God has taught us in Scripture. In 1 Corinthians 12-14 Paul clearly teaches that ALL OF THE MEMBERS OF THE BODY have a role to play in the church. When one of the members does not do their job, it hurts the body as a whole. Do we want the blessings that God is willing to pour out on his people today? Then what are you doing to make that happen? Obedience demands that we do our part for the whole body; obedience to God helps us see it is not all about us, but it is what is best for the body.
Third, another sign of spiritual atrophy is that our discernment withers, and we become entangled with the world. This kills the spiritual man, and causes us to lose sight of what is important and needful for what is temporary and passing. We fail to remember eternity. We fail to consider how the actions (or lack of actions) now will affect our eternity. It is all about the here and now, what we can see. Paul warned us of this in 2 Corinthians 4:16-18. Don’t lost sight of the eternal by focusing solely on the temporary.
Fourth, when we become entangled with the world, we then become more driven by the flesh and fulfilling the needs of the flesh, and care less and less about the spiritual and what it needs. This increases our separation from God, because we are not to love the world and the things therein (1 John 2:15-17).
Fifth, we then become driven by compulsiveness, and fail to see things through to the end. How many Christians will be lost on judgment day because they did not stay faithful to God? They start strong, are fired up, but the care and worries of the world choke out the important things (Matthew 13:7, 22). They tire of the daily Christian walk God demands that we be engaged in, and pull over to the wayside and rest. And they never stop resting. So they glory in the past; fail to be useful in the present, and forget how that will affect their future. Beloved, we can’t sit in a rocker until the Lord comes. We cannot retire in the Christian walk and go to a retirement home. We must “Work Till Jesus Comes.”
Christians must ask for new challenges to build our faith (and the challenges are there, if we will but open our eyes and see that the fields are white already to harvest (John 4)! We must ask for more to do to bring glory and praise to God. We cannot rest on the past – what are we doing for the future in the present?