God's Rolling Thunder
Checking Your Spiritual Condition
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  • Battle Belongs
  • All My Hope
  • One Thing Remains
  • Who Am I
  • Checking Your Spiritual Condition

    We all come to a place in our Christian walk when we welcome the opportunity to become better men and women for God. If we become complacent Christians, we stop growing. There has to be a certain amount of searching ourselves on a daily basis. To do that, we must continually check our spiritual condition. There are four spiritual conditions that most of us deal with at one point or another in our walk. What we are talking about today is not an exercise in finger pointing. It is an opportunity for each of us to inspect our individual spiritual conditions, our hearts, and our motives so that we can grow in our personal walks with Jesus. Here is the first spiritual condition we often see:

    1. Yapping

    Yapping means to “bark snappishly, to yelp, to talk noisily.” People like this do not seem happy unless they are complaining. Constant criticism of the pastors, criticism of other members, and criticism of the church program. Yappers will find fault in what is done and what is not being done. You will not usually be the first to know how they feel about you. Just about everybody else will know first. In the book of James we read:
    James 3:2 NLT
    2 Indeed, we all make many mistakes. For if we could control our tongues, we would be perfect and could also control ourselves in every other way.
    Can we agree that we ALL make mistakes at times with the words we choose, the way we say something, or what we choose to say. I am a believer in what Jesus teaches in Matthew 18 “Go therefore to the one who sinned against you first.” We are to do what we can to work it out with the person first. James goes on to tell us that as followers of Jesus, we can not allow ourselves to curse a brother or sister in Christ with the same mouth we use to praise His Holy name. It is not right! That is a critical spirit and it has no place within His body. When someone has a spiritual condition of yapping, all it does is discourage others and destroy relationships.
    I will be the first to admit that there have been points in my walk when I fell into this spiritual condition. Thank God that His Word and the Holy Spirit provide us correction. James, the brother of Jesus, give us a great way to focus ourselves on following Jesus rather than falling victim to the spiritual condition of yapping.
    James 3:13 NLT
    13 If you are wise and understand God’s ways, prove it by living an honorable life, doing good works with the humility that comes from wisdom.
    We have to gain knowledge of God but we must also walk in the wisdom of God. Wisdom is applied knowledge and experience. Simply put: We stay in the Word, write it on our hearts, see others through His eyes, use what you learn of Jesus to be helpful, not hurtful. Rather than focusing on how wrong or bad someone or something is, we focus on having a servants heart, walking humbly, and offering a helping hand or a kind word. Practicing those things will keep us from falling into this spiritual condition as we are transformed into the likeness of Christ.
    The second spiritual condition we often see is:

    2. Yawning

    I laughed when I was thinking about this one. I see people yawning at church all the time. I am so tired sometimes that I have found myself yawning too. Look at the Apostle Peter, this brother was falling asleep all the time. Peter definitely did not suffer with insomnia. That is not what I mean though.
    What I mean when I say “yawning” is that some people are spiritually and emotionally asleep at church. They hear nothing, feel nothing, and do nothing. They show up at church to check off a box. It is like being in a spiritually lethargic state that keeps us from being productive for God. Feeling dead inside is terrible. If you find yourself in this kind of spiritual condition this morning, it can be tough. I know. The Apostle Paul gives a great word of encouragement on this:
    Ephesians 5:14 NLT
    14 for the light makes everything visible. This is why it is said, “Awake, O sleeper, rise up from the dead, and Christ will give you light.”
    To be asleep in this sense means that we are allowing the world to deceive us and at times we are deceiving ourselves. We are allowing something to hold our hearts and our minds captive. Whatever it is that is holding you spiritually hostage this morning, it is not Jesus Christ. Jesus came to set the captives free.
    We are responsible for the actions of “Awakening.” We cant just flat-line through our walk! We must first recognize that their is a problem. Then we must “rise up” and bring those problems to the throne of God.
    Hebrews 4:16 NLT
    16 So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.
    His is the throne of grace, love, and mercy. We are each counted members of His royal court. Given the full honor and privilege of standing before His throne as victors in Jesus Christ.
    We are his children and we are alive to God. He is the one who revives our hope, he will guide us in increasing our love. When we work our faith out with God, He will fill us with his light. You bring whatever it may be to him, to His throne. Lay it at the foot of the cross and He will walk you through it. That yawning spiritual condition will be replaced with a soul on fire for Him.
    The third spiritual condition we see at times is:

    3. Yearning

    Human beings are designed for relationships. God made us to fellowship with Him and with each other. Somewhere along the way, some people exchanged fellowship with God for a closer walk with the world.
    Carolyn and I just celebrated 22 years of marriage last week. I remember several years back when Carolyn and I were having marital problems. Always arguing with one another, neither of us could be around the other for more than a few minute without having something negative to say. It was awful. I remember one night sitting across the table from her. We were both feeling absolutely defeated in our individual lives and in our relationship with one another. I realized something. We were not making God number one in our lives. I remember saying to her “I have always got to come second place in your life, and you have to come second place in mine.” She had no idea what I was saying, so you can imagine the look on her face.
    Jesus Christ must take first place in our lives every time. The moment that we put someone or something before Christ is the moment we start slipping into despair. She is the love of my life, but she is second place to my relationship with Jesus Christ. Be willing to be second. Demand to be second. If God is not first, you will never find peace in that yearning.
    Millions of people are yearning and seeking something to fill their inward emptiness. We try to fill that spot with a person, a car, money, a motorcycle, drugs, the list is endless. Christ alone fills that void in our hearts. Not that we do not love others, He made us to love each other. Unless he is at the center of it though, we are just going round and round on a broken carousel.
    Many Christians suffer with this same yearning at times. Yearning for a more effective and meaningful life. Now, it is good to strive, to want to better ourselves or to want better things in life. It’s when we find that we are never satisfied, that something is still missing, that we need to get in communion with God.
    It is crazy that we will place expectations on another human being to fill a yearning in our hearts that only the God of all creation is capable of filling. We will seek out people, places, and things when the Holy Spirit of God will fill that void, will fill that emptiness, will fill that need. You are never alone and have nothing to prove with Jesus Christ.
    In his letter to the Romans, the Apostle Paul gave this beautiful blessing that we can pray over ourselves and others who find themselves yearning:
    Romans 15:13 NLT
    13 I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.
    People are not perfect. If we place our hope in people, we are expecting them, and sometimes ourselves, to operate at the level of God. God is the source of hope. God is the one who fills you and me with complete joy and peace.
    I challenge you to mark this scripture and then pray it over others, pray it over yourself and tell me it does not make a difference. When we do, we are inviting the power of Holy Spirit to work within us because we have placed our faith in the only begotten son of God, Jesus Christ. This brings us to the final spiritual condition we often see.

    4. Yielding

    This is an area where I still at times feel a tug-of-war within me. The flesh versus the Spirit. My will, my pride, and my stubbornness. A stubborn will limits our effectiveness to do the works of Christ. The Apostle Paul tells us:
    Romans 6:13 (NLT)
    13 Do not let any part of your body become an instrument of evil to serve sin. Instead, yield yourselves completely to God, for you were dead, but now you have new life. So use your whole body as an instrument to do what is right for the glory of God.
    I don’t like yield signs. A yield sign means I have to stop and wait for someone else to go. I could just ignore the yield sign and race out ahead of them. We act like that with God at times. When we yield our will to God, we are allowing God to go before us. We are not trying to race out in front of God. When we yield to God, we are saying “Jesus Christ, go before me, teach me your ways, empty me of me and fill me with you.” It’s not that we are waiting for God to do everything for us, we are responsible for following the example of Jesus Christ. Learning, improving, and following His lead to the Glory of God. Not only must we yield to God, we must yield for God.
    John 15:5 (NLT)
    5 “Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will yield much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing.
    Jesus is the vine and every person who is a true believer is a branch off of that vine. What happens if we rip a branch off of a vine? The branch dies. If we are connected in such a way to Jesus Christ, that we are fully attached, grafted in, our lives can not help but bring forth His fruit.
    As branches, we are going to yield the fruit of the vine we are attached to. If we are attached to the world, that is the fruit we will yield. If we are attached to Christ we are attached to the vine of heaven, yielding His fruit in our lives. Really think about this for a minute: When we abide in Jesus, we abide, dwell, live, and walk in the very presence of Christ. You never have to face a moment when you are not attached to the vine. Never a moment separated from Christ. You are never alone.
    Praise team/Alter Call
    What is your spiritual condition this morning? Are there areas or things in your life that you need to bring to the LORD? Maybe you need to seek forgiveness or offer forgiveness this morning. Perhaps you desire a closer walk with God. Maybe it feels like something is missing in your life. Maybe today is the day you turn your will over to the will of God. The alter in this church is always open. There are brothers and sisters among us who will pray with you and for you. Come up or raise your hand. Jesus loves you this morning and he wants a closer walk with you. God Bless you.
      • James 3:2NLT

      • James 3:13NLT

      • Ephesians 5:14NLT

      • Hebrews 4:16NLT

      • Romans 15:13NLT

      • John 15:5NLT

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