Sabbath Devotional–The Struggle of Sanctification–What is the Most Important Thing in Your Life?
“I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.” John 15:5
A relationship with Christ is the most crucial aspect of a believer’s life. Our covenant vow to become a follower [disciple] of Jesus is demonstrated through the daily surrendering of our desires. Jesus gave us a complete explanation of the requirement to follow Him: “Jesus said to him, ‘You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.'” (Matthew 22:37).
Loving God requires humility and obedience. “LORD, I know that people’s lives are not their own; it is not for them to direct their steps.” (Jeremiah 10:23).
We give up independent thought processes and desires by praying daily, “God, not my will, but Your will be done in my life. Holy Spirit, today, I ask for guidance, wisdom, and discernment to recognize distractions from warfare. In Jesus’ name. Amen.”
Give us this day, our daily bread. Wisdom and discernment are spiritual gifts from the Holy Spirit which require us to ask for them daily. We build a relationship with Christ through diligent prayer and by studying the Scriptures. Worship provides us with the spiritual nourishment and strength we need to stay connected to God. And our hearts are prepared to hear the Voice of God through the Holy Spirit.
“Be honest in your evaluation of yourselves, measuring yourselves by the faith God has given us.” (Romans 12:3, last part)
All have received the gift of faith. We can compare it to a seed. Faith is a gift that needs to be cultivated and nurtured to produce growth. Our faith grows from completely trusting in God’s promises despite the giants that we face. “For no matter how many promises God has made, they are ‘Yes’ in Christ. And so through Him, the ‘Amen’ is spoken by us to the glory of God” (2 Corinthians 1:20).
We fight the battle of trusting our judgment versus having faith in the invisible God. Feeling that we have to act instead of praying and trusting in God places us in the predicament of our will versus God’s will. Many have given up because it’s too hard to wait, trust, and obey. Yet, without faith, we can never have a relationship with Jesus Christ.
Faith gives us hope and proclaims that we believe that God knows best, that He never fails, and will provide the perfect solution. Even if we have faith the size of a mustard seed, we open our hearts to receive Divine Intervention. Yet, faith has no gray area or middle ground. Either we are all in or completely out.
All relationships require trust including Jesus plus us. Whether it is a miracle, the solution to a hardship, or pursuing a dream, our faith enables us to wait on God. The struggle happens when we allow our fears to override God’s plans. Even if we do not know God’s will for our lives, we pray, ask, and wait. “Wait on the Lord; Be of good courage, And He shall strengthen your heart; Wait, I say, on the Lord!” (Psalm 27:14).
Waiting produces thriving faith, yet, it also requires courage. The waiting period proves if we are really connected to Jesus. Many become discouraged during the silent phase of waiting. Satan uses this time to place doubt in our minds. Has God forgotten my prayer? Where is the miracle? If God doesn’t do something quickly, then…, or we begin to compare ourselves to our peers–everyone else has achieved their dreams, why am I the only one who has nothing?
We usually think of someone performing a life-saving action as courageous. Faith requires all the mental, emotional, and spiritual strength we possess to have 100% trust in God. Our relationship with Jesus is based on our faith that is fueled by courage. Come to Jesus just as you are–He is aware of the little we offer. But little becomes much in the Master’s hands.
Jesus patiently teaches us how to exercise the courage that produces unrealistic faith in Him. Our love relationship with Jesus is based on the human effort of faith. When our faith begins to waver, we need to immediately pray and reinforce our faith with the promises of God. “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength (Philippians 4:13).
Being determined in our efforts, and keeping our relationship with Jesus is always our priority. With Divine authority, every day, Jesus takes our frail weaknesses uniting them with His strength and we receive the spiritual empowerment to persevere and run the race in this earthly journey of life.
Prayer: God, we pray for the anointing of the Holy Spirit. We need Your direction and the strength to keep striving despite our obstacles. In Jesus’ name, Amen.