[This post follows a sermon preached by Glen Lockwood at Gray Road Baptist Church, entitled "The Enemy Within." Click on the title to listen to that message.]
Today's entry has been written by guest blogger, Glen Lockwood. Pastor Lockwood served Gray Road Baptist Church for 25 years, and he continues to be a blessing to our congregation. Here are his thoughts after yesterday's service:
As I reflected on the service yesterday, I praised the Lord for the many truly serious Christians there are in our church. And the Christian life is serious business. A casual attitude toward our spiritual progress, a complacent spirit, or a careless approach to our walk with God - all these will end in defeat.
Outside of our Lord Himself, the greatest man in the New Testament is Paul the Apostle. We are told five times to be like him. And if there was ever a man who was not casual, complacent, or careless, it was that man. His intensity, his passion, his burning heart, his utter abandonment to Christ are great examples to us. The Holy Spirit evidently wanted us to know about those things, because they are so clear in the Scriptures.
If we assume that a Christian is sincere and serious about his Christian life, where do we tell him to begin? The first principle I would communicate to a serious Christian is that the Lord is much more concerned with what we are than with what we do. What we do flows out of what we are. So we must concentrate on ourselves. Pogo said, "I have met the enemy, and he is us." We must take ourselves in hand and discipline ourselves to godliness.
What does that involve? Let me say it this way: The most difficult work you will ever have as a Christian is with yourself. And if God is to change you, you must be with Him daily, or more. Beginning and maintaining a daily, life-changing devotional habit is the key. What does this mean? It means daily time with God in the Word and in earnest prayer.
How much time should you spend? Ask God. If you are ready to do whatever He tells you, He will impress you with an amount of time. Many Christians spend the first hour of their day with God. Choose a place that you can use every day, where no one can hear you when you pray. Spend half of the time in vocal prayer. Make a prayer list, and determine you are going to learn to pray! Read the Scriptures first; this is a good preparation for prayer.
If you begin to do this, you will experience opposition. It may come from unexpected sources. Persevere! You can do all things through Christ who strengthens you! God bless you!