Summary: PASSING THE TEST WILL MEAN FIGHTING FOR YOUR SPIRITUAL HEALTH.
Passing the Test
January 23rd, 2011
Most of us can relate to having been at the doctors for a regular check up and the Doctor says I want to run some routine tests. Check your blood work, your cholesterol, your lipids. As the nurse draws our blood each of us hopes that no matter how we’ve been taking care of ourselves we just hoping let the numbers be good.
For some of us we have been there when the test results come back and they are not so good. Cholesterol 320, Blood suger is 390, the lump is not benign, the mole is is dangerous needs to be removed, your artery is clogged, your blood pressure is 210 over 140. We come to crossroads, where we know health can no longer be taken for granted. We suddenly know that we are in a fight. A fight in which the outcome hangs in the balance of the changes we undertake. Ahead may lay drastic surgery, rehab, new diet, new lifestyle. There is no way back to physical health will be a fight.
In the end of the Ephesians Paul makes on more prescription. It a prescription for every believer who has ever been at the cross roads where the future of their spiritual health is at stake. It is a prescription for the broken, for nurture, for the lost, for the lukewarm for those who have contemplated quitting, for those who have failed, fallen been overcome, for those who felt the weight of life’s circumstances, for all those who have wondered if there was an answer.
Paul prescribes a road to health.
PASSING THE TEST WILL MEAN FIGHTING FOR YOUR SPIRITUAL HEALTH.
T.S. Turn with me to Eph 6:10-18 and let’s look at the fight for our spiritual health.
10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.
11 Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints. NIV
I. Envision your future.
Proverbs state that where there is no vision the people perish? Proverbs 29:18
How do you see your future? If you could dream any dream for your spiritual health? What would you dream? What character do you long for others to see in you. When it comes to your walk with the forgiver, how do you want your children and friends to describe it in the day you gone? What do you envision?
Jim Elliot -- (October 8, 1927 – January 8, 1956) was an evangelical Christian missionary to Ecuador who, along with four others, was killed while attempting to evangelize the Waodani people through efforts known as Operation Auca.
“He is no fool who gives up what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose” — Jim Elliot
"Forgive me for being so ordinary while claiming to know so extraordinary a God."
— Jim Elliot
How to you envision your spiritual health?
T.S. Paul envisions the future for the Ephesians with two words.
The first word is so powerful that as soon as a share it everyone in this room will automatically have a word picture of it in their mind. The
in the Lord – strength that can only be explained by an intimate relationship with the Lord.
In his power – the ability rest in him, it is discovered only in him.
Two pictures come to mind.
• In victory -- standing having prevailed and reached the victory.
• In the face of the enemy -- But perhaps it is more the picture of standing prepared and ready for battle in the face of the enemy.
In the movie Gladiator, Russel Crowe Character , Maximus Decimus Meridias in his first staged contest at the gladiator school gives a powerful portrayal of this. He and a few other gladiators have been selected to be slaughtered by three experienced gladiators for the thrill of the crowd. There is a scene where only he and an African fighter are the only two men still standing before the fierce onslaught. Bloodied, wounded, tested, tried. They stand.