“If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.” (Galatians 5:25)
“He that saith he abideth in [H]im ought himself also so to walk, even as [H]e walked.” (1 John 2:6)
The Christ-ian life or rather the healthy Christ-ian life revolves around (3) three basic actions and they are 1. Prayer 2. The Reading of Scripture and 3. The fellowship of the saints or in other words, other Christ-ians. Other things one can do to deepen their faith is to listen to Christ-ian music, sing songs to self and God, and preach to self. These actions are means to bathe yourself in the faith. The more you interact with the faith the more it will grow and become part and parcel of your person. In this article we will give practical counsel concerning the (3) three actions from above. By bathing yourself in your Christ-ian faith you will grow in your faith and you will become more like Christ.
By bathing I mean burying yourself in your faith or as Paul said, “If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.” St. John adds that we ought to walk as [Christ] walked and we know He lives and walked in the Spirit. If we are to be like Him, we too, must walk “even as [H]e walked.” Christ said that he does “always those things that please the Father.” Pleasing God should be our sole motivation as it was our Lord’s focus. Now, on to the (3) three actions that will allow us to live a healthy Christ-ian life.
- Pray: Beloved, prayer is to your spirit what air is to your body. It is written concerning Paul, “[B]ehold, he prayeth…” This was said by the risen and already ascended Christ to Ananias, a disciple. Paul, then called Saul, was a new Christ-ian and as a new Christ-ian, “he prayeth…” I have been blessed by God with a trinity of daughters. I was present at their births and when they exited the womb and entered the world they all took their (1st) first breath outside the womb and they cried. When a sinner is born again, born anew, or born from above s/he, like a newborn baby, cries out to God and behold s/he prayeth.
Like the Geiko commercials say, “If you are a Christ-ian you pray, that’s what you do.” Beloved, the Christ-ian is a person of prayer. David said in one of his Psalms, “I [am] prayer.” He saw himself as prayer personified. We should be prayer personified. Paul exhorts us to “pray without ceasing” and to be “instant in prayer.” To be instant in prayer implies that the pray-er is already in the spirit of prayer or is already fellowshipping with God. To pray without ceasing is to remain in the spirit of prayer and that means we should consciously walk with God as Noah and Enoch “walked with God.” Another way to explain this ceaseless prayer is to use the word state. A Christ-ian can and may enter into a state of perpetual fellowship with God through a constant awareness and acknowledgment that God is Present and your thoughts are towards Him.
A simple acknowledging of God’s Presence and your cognitive awareness of the Blessed Presence is silent and wordless prayer. An analogy to help: When (2) two strangers are in each other’s company, whether in a car or a small office space they tend to make small talk in order to alleviate the awkwardness and the silence. I’m sure you know of what I speak. When you are with someone you know and are comfortable with the silence does not produce awkwardness. The silence is fine, this is what it is to dwell perpetually in God’s Presence and to remain in the spirit of prayer.
Our formal prayers should be full of thanks and praise to God. Our prayers should have in them our confessions of sin and our petitions. This is the format Christ gave us in John six. However, to dwell perpetually in God’s Presence we should speak to Him often as one would speak to a revered and beloved friend. We should speak to Him as if He were actually present because beloved, He is. I am exhorting you to treat your Lord as being very present…if you burp, ask His pardon. If you receive news of any kind, ask the Lord for His thoughts upon the subject. To fellowship with God is a state of perpetual awareness can be likened unto a child with an imaginary friend, the difference is your Friend is not imaginary…your Friend is Almighty God.
2. Read your Bible: We do not read the Bible like we read other books. Other books can be picked up and read without any preparation. The Holy Scriptures, however, are not picked up and read, the Scriptures are to be engaged as one engages a friend. If you desire to benefit from your Bible reading, I mean really benefit in a great way you will read it prayerfully. You will read your Bible interactively.
Before you engage the Scriptures ask God to bless your reading of His inspired and inspiring Word. As you read the Scriptures you will come a cross exhortations and commands, at these points, stop reading and pray in regards to the exhortation or command. For example: “Be ye holy for I am Holy.” At that command stop reading and look to God and tell Him of your desire to be holy like Him. Ask Him to grant you the grace that you might grow in holiness.
If you happen to be reading about Elijah, you might stop reading and ask God for a spirit of boldness like Elijah has. Maybe you are reading the (4th) fourth Psalm and you read, “[T]hou hast enlarged me when I was in distress…” You might then and there call upon God and ask Him to enlarge you so that you might also face your whatever as David did. As you read through the book of Acts you will find the Apostles saying, “For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard.” After reading those words you might ask God to grant you the grace and boldness to speak of the things you have seen and heard from Him.
As you read the Word you will become familiar with the men and women in the Word. You will learn of their exploits and adventures; you will learn of their character traits. You will see the attributes that make them the person they are. When you find a trait that is good and you realize that you do not have that trait, ask God for that trait. If you read about someones’s bad trait or traits, you might realize that that trait is in you too. Then and there pray and ask God to help you curb that trait or mortify that trait altogether.
When you are reading the Gospels and you behold the courage, compassion, charity, and the character of Christ, fall upon thy face and beseech God to conform you to His Likeness… Tell Him that you want to be a little Jesus and that you want your light to so shine before men so that they will glorify your Heavenly Father.
3. Fellowship with other Christ-ians: This is essential to a healthy Christ-ian life as are the (2) two actions above. If you take a charcoal out of the grill it will soon cool off. Likewise, a lone Christ-ian will cool off if s/he is alone, especially a new believer, in fact, God said from the very beginning that it is not good for man to be alone. Christ-ian fellowship, whatever the form, is that which will edify you. The author of Hebrews exhorts us to provoke one another unto good works. In order to provoke one another we must be in each others company. The wise man said, “Iron sharpeneth iron” or in other words, Christ-ian edifies and encourages Christ-ian. If you want to benefit from your faith and grow in the grace and knowledge of Christ, your Lord, you must engage the faithful and be engaged by the faithful…it’s that simple.
To summarize: “[L]ittle children,” as John calls us, Pray, read your Bible and fellowship with your holy family and you will find that you are holy and healthy.