Comments on Spiritual state.
By Carl Warren Andreasen
In years past there was a lot of emphases placed on Holiness. Some of the various terms are; Holiness, 2nd Blessing, In-filling of the Holy Spirit, but few today really understand just what Holiness is and how it is different than being saved.
When a person is ‘saved’ that person invites Jesus into their heart. Jesus enters the person’s life and the person is ‘reborn’, or ‘born again’. The person asks forgiveness for their sins, their sins are forgiven, and this person starts walking the path of a Christian. This person is still in control of their life but does their best to follow the teachings of Jesus and the teachings of the Bible. This person decides how much time they will give, how often to attend church, how much to give in monetary support, and may become very involved in the expression of their faith. The key to this condition is who is driving, or who is in charge of the life. We, in our natural state cannot comprehend any other state. We decide everything, what works best for us, we plan for our future, how far we will go, what our limits are. How much we can afford. Simply put, we put ourselves and our interest first. We try to do what is best, but we still lust for sin and constantly have to keep ourselves in check. It is a constant battle.
We may well reach a point where we want more (Spiritual Growth) but we began to realize we can’t do it. If we could we would have already done it. No matter how hard we try we cannot get out of the drivers seat and allow God to be on the throne of our life. Self has to die. This happens in a number of different ways. In my own life I reached a point where my life was a disaster. My marriage was gone, my family was gone, my job was gone I was living in a dingy apartment, and my prayers appeared to have no effect. I literally felt I was cut off from God. I seriously considered ending it all with suicide but I chose one desperate last attempt. I prayed this simple prayer; Lord, I have given up, I just consider myself dead as in my mind I have chosen this over physical suicide. I give up, I can only make one promise; You take over the throne of my life and I will do what you direct. I have given up all claim to my life and you are responsible for my success or failure from this point forward. You are responsible for making me understand your instructions.
Immediately my life changed. My prayers were true communion with God, I had no burden for anything because God was in charge and I only had to do as He directed. I rose from the ashes, was given a wonderful wife (of 47 years and counting), I got jobs far better than I ever thought possible and my life has been a success story ever since. Nothing has been taken from me for which something much better was not given. Like Job in the Bible, all loss was replaced with much better.
One of the great blessings was I was released from the carnal life. Things that used to tempt me, no longer are appealing. I have absolutely no interest in sinful things and in my head I am often talking with God, we share in all matters.
This is not a fancy text book thesis on Holiness, I am just telling you that Holiness is when you allow God to take control of your life. You do not try to get God to do your bidding, you do not have a say in your future, you just trust God for your future and do what He directs you to do. There is no such thing as worry, problems are not your problems. You are not responsible for anything beyond doing what God reveals to you. God promises he loves us and will take care of us. The pressure is gone and your eyes are slowly opened to the wonder of God’s creation. You see the handiwork of God everywhere. You sense the presence of God in all things and wonder why others cannot also see it.
Just on simple example of seeing God and His handiwork. Take a tree, maybe even a giant Redwood tree. It started as a dead seed. With nothing but water, gas in the air, and sunlight, the seed becomes alive and grows. Sunlight and water, and Carbon Dioxide in the air combine to build a great tree out of nothing. The ground is not consumed, the tree just grows while Sunlight on the leaves drive little factories that produce what the tree needs to grow. Carnal man looks at the tree and think nothing of it, the tree may be cut down for lumber or fuel, but it is just a tree. Life is so much more interesting when we can see God’s handiwork for what it is. Everything is like that, the tree is not something special. Everything down to the weeds in my yard are a miracle and I cannot began to tell you everything to which my eyes have been opened.
A summation of these thoughts are that when one is saved they are ‘baby Christians’ that must grow. Holiness is when self dies and the Holy Spirit takes over. This is the most difficult thing in life, the hardest thing to do, give up self-will and allow God to sit on the throne of your life. Self will not willingly give up the throne, self must be broken first.