Monday, April 20, 2015

Keys To Staying On Track As A Believer

We are seeing such great things happening in our church family! God has a great calling on our lives and ministry, to reach the world with God’s unconditional love and grace through the finished work of Jesus. This message brings restoration and transformation, and will always draw people up to a higher and more abundant life. In chatting to Lameck over the past week we realized that over the past 5 years of GraceLife we have seen the enemy try to distract us and pull us off track – but we are standing strong and moving forward in God’s purposes. We have seen enemy also distract a number of people and sadly, manage to pull them off track. We want to help you stand strong and enable you to keep moving forward!

I want to share a few points that will help you to stay on track and not allow the enemy to pull you off track. God has such great and awesome plans for your life, and for us as GraceLife. I do not want to see you living an unfulfilled life.




The Bible warns us that there will be people (who knowingly or unknowingly) who seek to pull us off track and deceive us. They are used of the devil to derail us from fulfilling God's plan for our lives. For us to discern well and keep ourselves on the right track there are a few safeguards we should have in place. Here are a few simple points that I would like to share with you:
  1. Get grounded in the Word. Be discipled and established in grace. 
    "Thou therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus."
    2 Timothy 2:1 KJV

    "Do not be drawn aside by all sorts of strange teaching; for it is well to have the heart made stedfast (or established) through God's grace, and not by special kinds of food, from which those who scrupulously attend to them have derived no benefit."
    Hebrews 13:9 WNT (brackets mine)

    We should be established in the grace of God, not in the law. Remember that the law came by Moses but grace and truth came by Jesus (John 1:17). We are disciples of Jesus, not Moses.

    The better you know the Word, the better you can discern between truth and error. Make an effort to study the Word and receive good teaching.
     
  2. Stay stuck in a grace community and fellowship regularly.
    Regular fellowship in a grace community (not just a Christian community) will help you to stay focused and grounded.

    Hebrews 10:25 says "Let us not give up the habit of meeting together, as some are doing..." Getting connected into the church (grace community) and not just being an attendee will bless your life greatly. Merely attending church is not enough if you desire to reign in life and grow as a believer. Now I am not saying that we "reign in life by going to church", but going to church (a good grace-based church like ours) should help you stay focused on the grace of God, encouraged in the truth of the Word and on the right track.

    You need to allow the grace community of church to "rub off on you" because bad company corrupts good character (1 Corinthians 15:33). The opposite is also true, that "good company influences bad character." LifeGroup is a great place to allow the grace community to rub off on you as is getting involved in church and serving on a Sunday.

    Regular fellowship (at church and LifeGroup and even over a cup of coffee) will enrich your life! God did not create you to live in isolation and do life alone. If you're lonely, make an effort to set time aside to be at church, attend LifeGroup and get involved in serving. Be friendly to people and seek to bless them with friendship. The kind of relationships you will build in a grace community will help you keep on track!

    A major point I want to hammer in here is that there is no substitute for a church which is rooted and grounded in the grace of God. Grace IS the THE message of the Gospel. You cannot attend a church which preaches a mixture of law and grace and expect not to be negatively influenced. A little bit of legalism goes a long way in infecting your life negatively. I heard about someone recently saying that “my church also preaches grace sometimes.” If a church preaches grace, sometimes, you can be sure they don’t preach grace properly.

    A lot of people are then easily distracted by bigger churches, or ministries which appear to be cool or adventurous - they are attracted by hype and marketing, or even the lure of friendships. These things cannot replace good, solid Word (grace) in your life. I have seen people become discontent and seek to fellowship elsewhere or receive from other ministers and they do not realize that they are setting themselves up for disaster. It will infect you. The bottom line is that "A little leaven leavens the whole lump." (Galatians 5:6) A little bit a legalism goes a long way in infecting your life to eventually pull you off course.
     
  3. Be wise in who you allow to speak into your life.
    Again: a little bit of legalism goes a long way in infecting your life to eventually pull you off track. Be wise as to who you allow to speak into your life, where you fellowship and even what books you read. There is a lot of junk out there. As Jesus said, "A good tree produces good fruit, and a bad tree produces bad fruit." (Matthew 7:17). It doesn't matter if someone sounds good, looks good or even speaks grace, you need to make sure that they are legit before you allow them to influence you or speak into your life.
     
  4. Don’t allow offense to bring division. Seek unity and restoration in relationships.
    “For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work.” James 3:16 KJV.

    One of the strategies of the enemy is to bring division in relationships through offense (strife). It is easy to get offended but offense is usually more taken than given. Even if someone is offensive, you will only ever be offended if you take offense. The root of all strife or offense is always pride or self-centredness (Proverbs 13:10). If we are selfless and operating out of God’s kind of love, which always assumes the best and keeps no records of wrong, you will never be offended.

    We have seen how the enemy seeks to bring division in relationships through strife and offense. Don’t play the devil’s game of offense. If you don’t understand why someone does something or why church leadership made a certain decision they did (etc) then ask questions and seek to understand before you get offended and burn bridges. If you feel distance growing between you and your loved ones or even your church leaders, seek to draw closer and build, rather than pull away.

    If the devil can destroy our relationships with each other, he will be successful in destroying our lives, our church family and he will succeed in holding us back from accomplishing God’s purpose for our lives.