Tag Archives: Kingdom of Heaven

The danger of being even slightly off course

Heading in the general direction of where you want to go is not only disappointing but dangerous.

Mount Rainier is a massive stratovolcano located 54 miles southeast of Seattle in the state of Washington here in the United States. It is a very prominent mountain with a summit elevation of 14,411 feet. It is also considered one of the most dangerous volcanoes in the world because of its large amount of glacial ice.

Only 4 paths, each with a very different level of difficulty, lead to the summit. But there are hundreds of paths, heading in the general direction of the peak, that lead to dead ends, cliffs, avalanche prone glaciers, and ultimately…

…a high risk of death!  

Obviously, heading in the general direction of the summit is not good enough. And the real danger is being unaware that you’re off course. Even on a wrong path the terrain looks familiar and you can still see the summit.

Most of us are not heading in the opposite direction of pursuing God to live in His Kingdom and because we are heading in the general direction we are lulled into thinking that we will one day get there, but this may not be the case.

“Not everyone who calls out to me, ‘Lord! Lord!’ will enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Only those who actually do the will of my Father in heaven will enter. On judgment day many will say to me, ‘Lord! Lord! We prophesied in your name and cast out demons in your name and performed many miracles in your name.’ But I will reply, ‘I never knew you. Get away from me, you who break God’s laws.’” ~ Matthew 7:21-23 (NLT)

This is not about getting everything in life perfect because that’s impossible and would negate our need for God’s grace. This is about people who participate in certain godly activities but fail to live fully surrendered to Jesus as Lord.

We can attend church, throw something into the offering, read the Bible and even participate in good activities or projects with other christians – things familiar to us – but that doesn’t mean we’re on course with pursuing God.

The key to avoiding the wrong paths up Mt. Rainier and staying on the right path is consistent interaction with a trained, experienced guide. Our guide through life is Jesus and the indwelling Holy Spirit. Staying on course goes beyond familiar activities to actually doing life daily in consistent interaction with Jesus and the Holy Spirit.

It’s an awareness of their divine presence that we grow into as we interact – asking and listening – through prayer.

The apostle Paul encouraged us to “pray without ceasing because he understood that we can live in constant fellowship with God through prayer. He is with us in everywhere, always – as we get ready in the morning, as we drive down the road, as we go about every activity of an ordinary day.

How are you doing at pursuing greater intimacy with the Lord and living in daily fellowship with Him?

© Richard Alvey and iLife Journey, 2012. All rights reserved.

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Filed under Christianity, Determination, Discipleship, Divine presence, God, God's Will, Holy Spirit, intimacy with the Lord, Jesus, Kingdom of God, Surrender

Remember, others are watching!

Yesterday I blogged about the term hypocrite and how it was Jesus who took a word used simply to describe actors on a stage and used it as a stinging rebuke against the religious leaders of His day. But is it really that big of a deal?

YES!

It is critical for both those inside the church and those outside the church.

To those inside the church Jesus said…

“But I warn you—unless your righteousness is better than the righteousness of the teachers of religious law and the Pharisees, you will never enter the Kingdom of Heaven!” ~ Matthew 5:20

We are saved by grace, but that is no excuse for living as we please. We are children of God and if our outward behavior doesn’t match up with what we profess to believe about Jesus being our Savior and Lord, then we won’t get to experience heaven. That’s about as serious as it gets!

But this issue of hypocrisy is also critical to those outside the church. A book entitled Unchristian written a few years ago is based on a research study that shows eighty-five percent of unchurched young adults believe Christians to be hypocritical. Eighty-five percent say Christians say one thing, do something else.

Wow! Even if you allow for some misperceptions and drop those percentages by 10 percent you’re still looking at some staggering numbers. No wonder more people aren’t attracted to God’s church.

I’m convinced that part of what attracted people to Jesus was the fact that how He lived matched up with what He taught. A person who lives with that kind of authenticity is not only rare but very appealing.

We have to give ourselves to living more authentically. Not only because we don’t want to miss out on experiencing heaven, but because we don’t want to discourage others who don’t yet have a relationship with God.

Remember, others are watching!

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Filed under Authenticity, Children of God, Christianity, Evangelism, Heaven, influence with the world