The 8 Discordances of Christians
After Christians have been saved by grace, their spiritual lives should grow in accordance with the will of God. Their goal is to live like Jesus Christ. But from the observations of this writer as the shepherd of a flock, it is easy to find Christians with the following discordances in a church:
1. Have faith but no deeds – Many people have been believers for a number of years and attend services every Sunday, yet their spiritual lives have not grown but have remained at the level of their initial salvation. Perhaps they have a bit of knowledge of God’s word, but they do not carry out the word of God in their daily lives, just like seeds that have been stored in a glass jar by some one so that the life of the seeds could not be manifested. Those who believe in the Word after hearing it are believers. Only those who carry out the Word after hearing it are disciples. They are people who believe and obey, and follow in the way of Jesus Christ.
2. Are moved but do not act –There are others who like to sing hymns and listen to sermons, because they enjoy the presence of God and are touched by Him in that duration. This writer is occasionally told by members, “I feel quite moved by your message today.” In fact, what I really hope for is that when members hear the word of God are moved by the Holy Spirit, they will respond with action. Resolve to act and banish the lethargy of human nature. Do not resist the command of the King of kings.
3. Have dedication but no perseverance – In the beginning of a new year or at the dedication service of a Summer Conference, we make many resolutions before God. Yet few people can persevere and carry them through. It is a beautiful thing to dedicate ourselves to act for God. But there must be perseverance and patience in action so that we will not give up half way, and so lose faith with God. A spider will not stop spinning its web just because a part of it has been torn. We should all have the steadfastness of the spider.
4. Have knowledge but no wisdom – This is an explosive age of information and communications. Not only do we require knowledge, but we need the wisdom given by God more. That is not wisdom of the world, but the spiritual discernment given by the Holy Spirit that makes judgment about all things (1 Corinthians 2:4-16). Some Christians assume that abstention of contemplation or discrimination is innocence; acceptance without seeking understanding is faith. We should not be fools who refuse to exercise our mental capacity, but petition God to bestow more heavenly wisdom.
5. Have works but no vision – Some Christians who love the Lord like to participate in service in the church. They are happy to take on different serving positions, and gradually become mired in busy work, losing their initial vision. A vision is a revelation that comes from God and has Him as its basis. It carries the urging of morality, so that one develops a sense of commission. Through vision and commission, God attracts and motivates those He has chosen to complete the works that are in His will. We must not lose sight of our vision and commission by becoming too busy in our works and service.
6. Have appearance but no inner substance – Man looks at appearances, but God focuses on his heart. When we live in comfort and affluence, Satan will use the trends of the world to entice us, and lure us to love the world so that we place more emphasis on external endowments and less on spiritual pursuits, hence neglecting the gentleness, godliness, prudence and obedience that are within. We must also not serve just in the sight of others in order to gain their admiration, but maintain an honest heart that is fearful of God. Whatever we do, we do so for the Lord from within our hearts.
7. Have breadth but no depth – Some servants of God have lamented, “Christianity in North America is 3,000 miles wide but only a half inch deep.” Many youngsters who grew up in a Christian family think that they know a lot about the Bible, but do not realize that their knowledge of God is actually quit shallow. Our relationship with God must be constantly renewed and deepened, so that it will not be influenced by pagan religions and heretics and lead us away from the Truth.
warmth but no heat – If we are neither hot nor cold to the Lord, we will be in
danger of being spit out by Him. That was His warning to the Church at