The Christian life is a walk of obedience to Jesus Christ; our objective to become like Him. Not to become clones in our actions and thoughts but to have our characters perfected as his character is perfect. That is our aim and the world sits in judgement of the Christian because of this goal. The walk is known as the Pilgrims Walk, and it is not an easy one. It is not all about intellection learning, nor is it about behaviour modification or personality alteration. It is a life of continual surrender to God, discovering how to die to self in order to love God with all our heart, mind and spirit. It is about loving others and loving ourselves in the same way God loves us. Christians call this walk sanctification.
No-one by themselves can modify their own character. Indeed, we are mostly unaware of our own behaviours or faults; even when we are we are aware of them we are powerless to fix them. So how do we actually do this ‘Walk of Life’? Surely this is a very unfair calling. After all, how can anyone expect to lead a sinless life?
There exists many, many poor substitutes in this world for the walk. They offer much but in every case they short-change at best. By that I mean they sell something that is not the whole solution to the problem; they are flawed. They can never therefore ultimately succeed. You may have heard the phrases “Whatever works for you” or “self help”; the flaw in the approach is that the focus is on oneself, namely the fixing of oneself. The very subject matter of the problem that is to be solved is self, so how can a focus on oneself fix us if the means is also flawed? We are still self seeking even when our motives are seemingly pure and we claim our efforts are for the good of others.
The Christian walk is absolutely not about ourselves, it is about total surrender to God. It is this surrender that results in our transformation of character. We become the perfect person, the person that God always intend us to be. It is a life of fulfilment and joy.
My purpose is to explain the simple fundamental truths of christian disciplines, as given by God that make up the Christian life. It is the practise and application of these disciplines that lead us into an ever closer relationship with God, and allows him to complete his work of renewing our minds and ultimately our bodies. And it is the most glorious journey any person can undertake.
It is important to say that the following disciplines are not formulas, that if followed blindly and to the letter will result in the work of Christ being fulfilled with us. First and foremost we must have already taken the step to give our lives into God’s hands and be saved. Secondly we must be led by the spirit in each of the disciplines, that is to say we must listen carefully to what God is saying specifically to us. Every man and woman’s journey is different because we are all unique; we may have common experiences and share our learning with each other but only God can reveal truth to a person’s heart. A truth that once known alters outlooks, transforms situations, releases a person from live long hurts and afflictions.
It’s not supposed to be confusing. Everyone’s experience of God differs because we are all unique individuals. We may believe we have given God our best only to find out later in life how little we actually tried, this is a natural part of our walk. The closer and closer we get to God, the more sanctified we become and the more we are aware of our failings. If it were about our achievements we would not only be lost but absolutely demoralised. I think this is a common trap that people fall into; trying to treat Jesus Christ as self-help is missing the wonder of God’s grace. The wonderful truth is that we are not saved by our improved character or our works, but we are in fact made right with God through the death of Jesus Christ. Therefore our aim should be to try to give God our best each and ever day, it is our heart-attitude that matters to God. If we mess up, and we will, then we can come to him confess our sins and be forgiven.