Guys, I have walked with God for the last 27 years. You all have been witnesses to how we lived for God passionately from those early years. God has been faithful to keep us by His grace, all these years. But was it just Him keeping us or were there some things we had to give a price for and obey to keep our lives in the grace of God? The bible says, “I did not take His grace in vain.”
From our college days, the more I read the Bible, the more I had to learn not to just read and agree with with what I read, but to apply, daily in my life, what I read. I needed to constantly evaluate if I was just reading and agreeing with what I read, or if I was applying what I read daily so as to bring transformation in my thinking process. This way, I could finally grow up one day to have the mind of Christ. God began to show up and honour my commitment to daily applying the wisdom of His word.
There were tests of faith and times of deep pain but I stayed at it. It was training to go against the common carnal thoughts of doubt, fear, unbelief and man pleasing that people had. It was training to pray when I didn’t know the way. It was training to keep my mouth shut when people around were talking lies. It was training to go on mission, when every one around were making plans to settle down abroad or in good places in life. It was training to seek God for the next day’s provision, when everyone around had jobs. It was training to look away from sin, to be a model to others. It was training to pray for good leaders when some with us betrayed us. It was training to raise people when fears within told me to raise myself. It was training to trust God, when others threatened to pull us down. It was training to understand that man does not live by bread alone but by every Word (Rhema) that proceeds from the mouth of God.
I had to train to stay focused and train in godliness even when people misunderstood and spoke against me. It was God’s process of making a man. Training and application hurt every bit of the way. Who likes training themselves anyway? But that was a critical choice I had to make, if I ever wanted to make it well through life. Even though it was hard to do that and when friends all around lived the easy way saying, “you don’t understand”, I had to choose not to understand from their feelings, or what my reasoning and fear of rejection was, but I chose to understand the wisdom in the Word of God.
As I look back these 27 years, I have lived a life full of joy, blessing and honour. There was pain, blood and tears, but I have had a song. Life has been amazing, living by the grace of God. The Bible says in Titus 2:11 that the grace of God trains us to deny ungodliness and live a right life. Not by my works, but by His grace (divine enabling by His spirit and His training).
Are you being trained by God? Will you let Him train You even when You don’t want to and don’t feel like?
I was being interviewed by a Christian radio channel in Latvia, Eastern Europe. Many of the questions were rehearsed before the interview. But as the interview was going on, they asked me a question – if I were to go back to the beginning of my Christian walk and could do things all over again, what would i do differently? I was taken aback with that question as I didn’t think through it. But then I did, quickly running through my life, in a split moment; I told them, if I were to do life all over again, I would make the same choices, serve God in the same places, marry the same person and live life the same way. All those choices were made from the wisdom of the Word and being led by the Holy Spirit. When we have God to guide us through the time tested Word and the leading of the Holy Spirit, we can be assured, that life will finally be honoured by God. Train yourself to read the word and apply it and train to listen to the voice of God and obey it. You will have no regrets.
Finally we don’t own our lives, we are only stewards of it. A good steward does not own his life but will have to give account of how we lived what was given to us for stewardship. Live well, live right, read the Word, act upon it and be led by the Holy Spirit. You will live life with no regrets.
Dr John Joseph
(Senior Pastor, World Impact Community Church)