In Message 10 of the recent Summer Training, Brother Ed Marks shared some parallelistic phrases from the Word which describe to us the proper living of a vital person. We should keep these and other similar phrases (in bold below) in view as we consider how to be useful in the church life.
The way to be vital, to be useful to the Lord, is to live a life that is “day by day” (Psalm 68:19; 2 Cor. 4:16). We should not be those who are looking at our past, as pitiful or as successful as it may be, nor those who are only looking to the future, as bright or dim as it may appear. Rather, we should seek the Lord “morning by morning” and “evening by evening” (Isa. 50:4; 2 Chron. 13:11).
Such a life is not beyond our capacity. It should be “little by little” (Exo 23:30) and “here a little, there a little” (Isa. 28:10). Although we may deem it impossible to have a full 30 minutes of time in the Word every morning, why allow the enemy to defeat us? Set aside two minutes to fight him and touch your spirit each morning. Two to three minutes of revival with the Lord each morning can eventually grow to longer times. Dinner and fellowship in a home one night a week can easily grow to two to three nights a week so that our church life is “house to house” (Acts 2:46), where we can function “one by one” (1 Cor. 14:31).
We should not improperly apply the saying, “Be what you are until the Lord changes you,” by taking it as an excuse to accept our fallen condition as permanent. Rather we should say, “Be what you are, and allow the Lord to change you.” While it is certainly not up to our own effort to improve our inward condition, we need to learn to be open and willing to allow the Lord the way to change us. With such a willingness, our Christian life will gradually become “brighter and brighter” (Prov. 4:18) and go “from strength to strength” (Psa. 84:5-7).
This is an act of “grace upon grace” (John 1:16), which culminates in our transformation “from glory to glory” (2 Cor 3:18) and brings us into a realm which is from “eternity to eternity” (Psalm 41:13).
“Amen and amen.” (Psalm 41:13).