Being Christian is not at all natural to us, nor do we achieve being Christian by instinct. It’s not in us. It takes practice!
I have been a Christian for over 40 years, and I am still having to practice being Christian. I am a Christian by identity, but being Christian takes a renewed mind that is always being renewed.
The Apostle Paul tells us this in his letter to the believers in Rome.
And be not conformed to this world but ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. Romans 12:2
This thought came into play just a few days ago. By nature, I am a worrier. I know that all things are in God’s hand, that he is sovereign over all things, that whatever he ordains is right, and that his judgments are true and righteous altogether. Yet, I was awakened and couldn’t get back to sleep worrying.
God had just answered a phenomenal prayer of mine, yet I was worrying about the “what ifs”. I had just heard a sermon earlier that day on Matthew 6:19-34, but …
Thankfully, God is faithful. He knows my frame, and provides his Holy Spirit to prompt us with reminders in his unfailing word.
That word building on the sermon I had heard was also from the Apostle Paul.
Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you. Philippians 4:4-7, 9 ESV
Practice these things that you have learned, and received and heard, Barbara! There you go! Being Christian takes practice!
I confess I already knew this passage, but as I have learned, and am ever learning, we leak! In the book of James 1:22, we are exhorted to not just be hearers of the word, but to be doers of the word.
“Put to death what is earthly in you”, the Bible says. Worrying is an earthly thing. My worrying was a demonstration of my failure to trust God, to trust his word.
All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 ESV
We receive our training in how to be Christian directly from the word, so we need to regularly read the word. It’s our training tool. Through the work of the Spirit, it changes our minds, giving us new perspective, God’s perspective.
Being Christian takes practice. Let’s practice!