Nine Factors Behind Great Christian Living
July 15, 2001 § Leave a Comment
Author: Roger J. Mourneau
The Nine Essential Factors behind Successful, Victorious, Christian living are:
1. Divine, compassionate love
2. Heavenly joy
3. Heavenly peace
7. Living faith
When through the Holy Spirit we possess them, we can then ask God that the same blessings may crown the lives of those we pray for. Let’s consider these factors closely.
1. While human love is wrapped up in selfishness and produces results that are at best shaky and short-lived, divine compassionate love is a force that never fails. I find great comfort in the fact that the “Father of infinite pity” so loved humanity that “he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” We need to hunger and thirst for God to impart that divine force to us.
It is my firm conviction that the reason that Christian homes are breaking up as they are today, devastating the lives of men, women, and children, is that our Christian hearts lack that divine compassionate love. We may not admit it, but the results are louder than words.
2. The next factor is often greatly misunderstood because of a powerful counterfeit. That valuable element is heavenly joy.
Through the ages Satan has misled humans by causing them to believe that they will find joy in self-pleasing and self-serving. And that they can obtain it without consideration for others. But such a lifestyle leads only to disappointment and often great unhappiness.
On the other hand, we will find a joy that never fails in Christ. Romans 15:3 says that “Christ pleased not himself.” He found great joy in blessing the lives of others.
About the early disciples the Bible declares, “And the disciples were filled with joy, and with the Holy Ghost” (Acts 13:52).
I believe that today we need to pray for heavenly joy with great intensity and desire. Only then can we work to pass the same blessing to others.
3. Both the rich and the poor and the strong and the weak seek peace. Because there are various degrees of peace, I like to reach out for the very best – that is, heavenly peace. That kind of peace brings pleasant relaxation by imparting a mental or spiritual state of mind that frees us from disquieting and perturbing fears.
We think of Jesus, who slept in a boat during a storm (Mark 4:38-40), or of Peter, who slept soundly during the night before his scheduled execution (Acts 12:6).
We today need that same freedom from fear. How can a person acquire such a state of mind? When the Comforter, the Holy Spirit, the representative of Christ on earth, imparts heavenly peace to someone, He completely delivers that person’s mind from any fears that would make him or her anxious or restless.
4. To appreciate this factor, one has to remember the cruel world that we live in. Distresses and perplexities come in many forms, but the most difficult ones are the injustices and unkindness inflicted upon us by others. Sometimes it amounts to harsh and even cruel treatment by individuals who have no control of their tongues.
The apostle James in chapter 3 of his Epistle compares the human tongue to a little fire that turns into an inferno doing vast damage. To survive such experiences one has to receive special help in the form of longsuffering, another divine attribute of our Redeemer. When God met with Moses on Mount Sinai, He declared Himself to be “the Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth” (Exodus 34:6).
If we seek a fresh baptism of this heavenly grace on a daily basis, we will be able to put up with the shortcomings of others, and sincerely pray for a divine blessing on their lives also. Then like the apostle Paul we will be able to say, “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me” (Phillipians 4:13).
5. Here we have an element of great value to those engaged in the field of communication. Be it in the business world or in working directly with people who need help, a most valuable asset is gentleness.
6. Again we find an attribute of God, one that might frustrate us at first, since the Bible clearly says that we do not have it. It is the element of goodness.
The prophet Jeremiah wrote that the human heart is “deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked” (Jeremiah 17:9). The ancient Hebrews failed God miserably because of their lack of goodness. Their unconsecrated lives led to their ruin.
It is a terrific encouragement to know that the Lord is more than eager to provide us with His goodness, and to enable us to experience successful, victorious, Christian living through the indwellings of His Holy Spirit if only we take the time to daily ask for it.
7. This factor is so vital to one’s Christian experience that in its absence spiritual growth will not take place. In fact, the Bible tells us that without it, one cannot please God. That most important factor is a living faith.
“Without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him” (Hebrews 11:6).
A living faith is one that increases our spiritual strength, enabling us to develop an unfaltering trust in our heavenly Father, and in the power of His Holy Spirit. Inspired by the Holy Spirit, faith will flourish only as it is cherished.
When a person prays for it, he or she might as well seek the highest degree of faith available. That is genuine biblical faith. It will impart great belief in God, great trust in Him, and above all, a loyalty to Him that will be immovable – the kind that we read about in the eleventh chapter of Hebrews.
8. In a world that promotes self-esteem and self-exaltation on every side, God’s people need as never before a precious heavenly trait that adorns the character of Christ. That valuable factor is the meekness of Christ.
To be unpretentious, humble, and submissive to God’s will is of great value in God’s sight. “Thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones” (Isaiah 57:15).
9. What is that special power that we need so greatly? It is self-control imparted by the Spirit of God.
An old turn-of-the-century dictionary of mine defines self-control as “the ability to check or regulate, to restrain, and to govern self in all aspects of life.” We can possess purity of thought, purity of heart, and purity of life even in this day and age by controlling our thoughts with the power of the Spirit of God blessing our minds. Romans 12:21 tells us to “overcome evil with good.” Keeping the mind busy with thoughts that will elevate and ennoble one’s character is the formula to success here.
I have found by experience that an excellent way to do that is to work at memorizing God’s Holy Word. However, I am not the first person to have discovered that. “Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee,” the psalmist said.
The Word of God says of man, “As he thinketh in his heart, so is he” (Proverbs 23:7). “Who shall ascend into the hill of the Lord? or who shall stand in his holy place? He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart” (Psalm 24:3, 4).
Victory through Christ – what a majestic experience!
Prayers that will produce high dividends for the kingdom of God are ours to experience and enjoy now.
Source: “The Incredible Power of Prayer”