THE FILTER

Coming into the knowledge of Christ is a joyous occasion. It is a rebirth; an awakening; a new beginning; a new life!

It is a cause for great celebration! And that is truly how every Christian ought to view it.

Were you excited when you became a Christian?

Did you “feel” your re-birthing?

How did your re-birth take place?

When did your re-birth take place.

Were there tears streaming down your face?

Were you on your knees? Standing? Laying prostrate?

Were you shouting your praise? Speaking softly? Was it a barely audible whisper? Or was there simply a peaceful smile on your face?

Did you even feel a change? Have you felt a change? Do you feel a change?

I had the pleasure of sitting in on a youth bible study once, and during the course of it, a young lady shared “I’d always gone to church with my parents when I was younger, but when “I” became a Christian, I…”

It’s one of the most beautiful statements on Christianity that I’ve ever heard. 

Some of us were born into the church, and have been attending church all our lives. 

Some of us came to church when we were facing some problem or crisis.

What happened to “you” when you became a Christian? How did you feel? Did you feel any different? What changed for you?

More honestly, are you a Christian yet? Or are you still a church goer? A better informed church goer?

Are you one who knows of the way, yet does not follow the way? Or do you pave the way according to your own understanding? According to your comfort level?

Do you still “live your life”? or do you “live your life in Christ?

What does that living one’s life in Christ even mean?

I was having a talk with my sixteen year old daughter a few days ago, and I was explaining to her why it’s important to become conscious of Christ when it’s time to make certain life decisions. Because when we make life decisions, there are certain “filters” that we pass these matters through.

Filter 1. One’s upbringing: Whether we like it or not: whether we are conscious of it or not, this reality affects everything. It is either what causes us to head in or away from a certain direction. It is the primary basis for the things that we are used to, comfortable with, tolerant of, intolerant of, or simply can’t wait to get very far away from. It comes from family structure, culture, tradition, and early life influences. It is also the first and the longest condition that is imposed upon or ingrained in us as people.

Filter 2. Personal preferences: Here, the filter is one’s self. Our likes, dislikes, tendencies, habits, beliefs, mindsets, passions, fears, way of thinking, our learned behaviors, our vices, etc. All those things that are particular to us as individuals. It’s onset is later than the first filter, but as we become older and more independent, it becomes the more dominant of the two filters.

Then, I told my daughter that there is another filter. Though optional, it’s, in my opinion, the most important of them all.

Filter 3. The filter that is Christ Jesus. It is the filter that is installed when we “become Christians”. It causes us to no longer do things solely based on what we alone think is right. Instead, it causes us to check our desires against what the Word of God says. It causes us to deliberately seek the  interpretation of the Holy Spirit. It causes us to: in spite of the output of Filter 1 and Filter 2, yearn to affirm that in whatever decision we are making, we are right with God.

When we accept Jesus as our personal Lord and Savior; when we give our lives to Christ; and become ‘Christians’, the truth is that we are no longer calling the shots. It is Christ in us who calls the shots. When we become Christians, we no longer order our steps. We ask Christ to order our steps. We ALLOW Christ to order our steps.

Psalm 119:133 says:

Order my steps in Your word,

And let no iniquity have dominion over me.

Proverbs 16:9says:

A man’s heart plans his way, But the Lord directs his steps.

I spoke in the previous blog article about no longer being flesh thinkers, but instead, becoming spirit processors.

When our desires, thoughts, feelings, perceptions, predispositions, emotions, knowledge, understanding, plans, wishes, notions, goals, ambitions, pass through the filter that is Christ Jesus, we are in essence asking Him to direct our next step, our actions, our thought process, our reactions, our utterances, our hearts, everything that we think, say, or do- according to His Word; according to His Spirit; in accordance with His will for our salvation, and for the glory of His Name.

We often forget that begin making decisions for ourselves when we are very young. When a child is dropped off in pre-school/nursery school for the first time, though the parents have given him/her pointers, advice and guidance on what to do, what to say, and how to conduct themselves; every step that little child makes, every single day that they are in that school, away from their parents, will be their own decision. Those decisions will be prompted by something within them: something they’ve learned from their parents, other siblings, other friends, or wherever they learned it from. But whatever influences that child chooses to draw from will be simply that: Their Decision!

So, in this beautiful, yet dangerous world that we live in, where we will face all sorts of difficult, life altering decisions every single moment of every single day, who better to lean on for guidance to make those decisions other than He who holds the entire world in the palm of His Hand??!!   Who better to seek wisdom from other than He who IS Wisdom itself??!!

So, brethren, ask yourself this honest question today.

Are you truly a Christian?

Are you passing EVERY ASPECT of your life through Filter # 3?

The filter that is Christ Jesus?

Are you really committing ALL of your ways (those you are aware and unaware of) to him?

Have you surrendered to Him and asked Him to order your steps in His Word?

If you are, then I hope you have answers to all those questions concerning “your transformation” that I asked earlier in this write up.

If not, what are you waiting for? 

 Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy. To the only wise God our Savior, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.

As always, share your thoughts, that you might encourage your brethren.

In Christ,

The handmaid at His feet.

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