So the question has been raised, “How do I raise my spiritual temperature?”
The answer is, “By relating to God.”
Now that seems relatively easy but God is not some slob off the street I can just walk up to. Relationship with Him is based on the fact that He is God and I am not His equal. Relationship with Him is based on the premise that I love Him by giving Him everything: heart, soul, mind and strength (Deuteronomy 6:5). That means I turn over all my decisions to him. All my emotions are put under His control. All my understanding is sold out to Him. If He thinks a certain way about a certain thing then I do too even if I disagree. It doesn’t matter what I think; it’s what He thinks that counts. Finally all my life force is turned over to Him. I will do what He says. That’s called obedience and it is the primary way I relate to God. Lots of obedience equals temperatures rising through the roof. Little obedience equals temperatures like Alaska in January. Half and Half obedience means I am about the temperature of potato salad that’s been left out for eight hours in the hot sun.
I hear a lot of people say things like “Well I asked Jesus to forgive my sins. But I don’t go to church because I have a very busy life.”
I hear people say “I asked Jesus to come into my heart, but I just don’t like worship, reading the Bible or praying I guess that’s for other people.”
I have heard “ Jesus is my Lord but we’re in the New Testament God doesn’t require me to tithe anymore.” or “I will give to missions when we stop giving to all those people over seas. My money is staying in America.”
Some say “I ask Jesus to forgive me everyday. I know my lifestyle is wrong, but God just has to accept me the way I am because I can’t change.”
These statements all stem from a heart of disobedience. The Bible commands us to join ourselves with the body of Christ. We are commanded to study, pray and worship. We are ordered to give even sacrificially. Finally we are told we have no choice but to declare war on sin in our own lives even if we think we were born that way.
Now I just lost some of you because you have now said “That’s impossible and I guess I will never raise my spiritual temperature.”
Please give me another moment or two and let me win you back. Yes obedience is a requirement to raising the spiritual temperature and having relationship with God. But God also knew it would not be possible for us to do it ourselves. THAT IS WHY HE SENT JESUS TO DIE AND RISE FROM THE DEAD FOR US.
Jesus did not just die to forgive your sins. He rose from the dead so that you could be free of them; So that you could obey and have a relationship with God that would raise your spiritual temperature. But you have to decide to let Him do it. You have to give him control and let Him begin to help you defeat sin. And this is how He does it.
“The LORD your God will drive those nations out ahead of you little by little. You will not clear them away all at once, otherwise the wild animals would multiply too quickly for you.” Deut. 7:22 NLT
Jesus is not asking you to win the battle today. He’s asking you to start it. You start. He’ll finish!