Wednesday, July 17, 2013
Evidence of Salvation
I noticed the other day while running errands that in general people are pretty angry.
If you don't agree with me, do your own observation. But my experience was that faces are angrier than usual. Brows are furrowed, tempers are short - even people driving alone in their cars look ticked off most of the time. The other day Dave and I were driving home and were on an open stretch of farmland. We came up behind a car and the man stuck his hand out to wave us past him. Then I realized he wasn't just being friendly but was rather agitated at us. What had we done? Apparently, he was having a bad day.
So if someone observed you, what would they see? Anger? Impatience? Depression? Frustration? Anxiety or worry? Or would they see joy, peace, patience, kindness and goodness? Would they see self-control and faithfulness? I think you see where I am going. Believers typically should display the fruits of the Spirit.
I was listening to a sermon in the car, again while running errands, and Chuck Swindoll said that if you wanted to truly know if your were saved or not, the evidence of true salvation was a "burning passion for obedience." Yes, we are called to bear fruit but the true evidence is a God-given, Holy Spirit driven, passion for obedience to the Lord. He said that when you wake up in the morning, your first question would be (if you were a true follower), "How can I obey God today?" When faced with a choice of obedience or disobedience, there's not even a discussion.
He also greatly emphasized that this passion was evidence of the work of the Holy Spirit in your life.
So, does that phrase describe you? Do you hunger and thirst for righteousness like Jesus talked about in the beatitudes? Does pleasing God and living for His glory drive your day?
I will admit, it made me pause and think and I think it should make all of us pause and think. I work with enough struggling people within the context of counseling at church, that I see that passion and I also see the absence of it. When faced with that "choice," what does the discussion in your head look like?
Okay - a short blog but hopefully one that makes you think. Oh - one other note: let's say you don't have that driving passion for obedience? What should you do? Get on your knees and ask God for it. Confess your sin, declare Him Lord, beg for His Spirit to rule your heart and then live like it.
And then be sure to come to church on Sunday as Dave begins to explain the practicalities of change and obedience from Ephesians 4...(shameless plug)