Here is where a Believer may stall . . . .
You have given assent to the proposition that Jesus is Lord--God, the only way . . . but have yet to truly, fully trust Him.
Even the devils acknowledge or assent to who God is. But they reject in trusting Him. By their own ideas and power and ways they want to live.
And here is a trick they may play on you . . . for the last thing they want is for you, a Believer, to start bearing spiritual fruit . . . .
It is a narrow gate--a razor's edge the disciple walks . . . . "Faith without works is dead." (James 2:20)
"If you say you have come to know Him, yet you do not keep His commandments, then the truth is not in you and you are a liar." (1 John 2:4)
The razor's edge . . . is in living out the mystery where He has chosen you . . . AND, you have chosen Him. The devils would have you believe that once you are saved, then there is nothing left to do--but just wait for the rapture train to come along and scoop you off to heaven where God will finish His work on you.
But an evidence of the truly repentant and saved . . . is that a sanctification process gets underway and the God made disciple begins to start bearing fruits in and of the Spirit . . . .
Why might sanctification and the bearing of fruit not be occurring in you or have stalled? Perhaps somewhere, yet hidden within . . . is still a lack of trust and surrender . . . and thus, you are rejecting and resisting in a subtle, secret way . . . the transformative, sanctifying power of the Holy Spirit.
Somewhere . . . within . . . you are still banking on your self--still holding out that a few things may yet go your way.
A devil's trick at this point is to have you believe that you no longer--and never did--have anything to do with your coming into the Kingdom . . . nor is there a place for any affirmative, active role of your will in the walk thereafter.
Yes, ultimately, we know that we are only able to see and believe and accept Christ . . . through the gracious power of God, through and by the Holy Spirit . . . . But at the same time, God created us as individuals with whom He wanted to have relationship. He made us to love Him . . . and with an ACTIVE, deliberate, free will love that is made manifest . . . through deeds, through works.
So, He gives us the Holy Spirit . . . and through this power and the abilities He graces us with . . . we become increasingly motivated to willfully, according to our great love to please and worship--obey His commands and perform those acts which He has told us to do.
Here is another subtle trick of the Adversary: To get you so focused on your life--what you want to do . . . that you are constantly trying to divine out some special, unique destiny . . . that somehow fits in with your carnal dreams and desires. You keep asking God, "What am I suppose to do (ie., with my life) . . . ? Show me specifically what you want me to do and I will do it!"
And then there is no answer . . . . So you ask again . . . and maybe think you "heard" something and start doing that . . . but it eventually doesn't feel right and you have a nagging feeling you haven't really yet quite "found it" . . . so you ask again . . . maybe try something different . . . and so on, not realizing . . . that all you are doing is still trying to follow your own hidden (carnal/fallen/dead) will . . . and really, truly, you have not yet turned it all over to God (are still failing to TRUST in Him) and still secretly following another god--YOU.
It is a matter of complete shift of focus.
The first and surest way to find out God's will for you . . . is to see what He has already told you to do in His Word.
Perhaps . . . before attempting, for example, some big "mission for the Lord" . . . or some great social work . . . or this or that "project" . . . instead . . . you work on not being covetous . . . .
Maybe . . . you finally learn how to not lust in your heart . . . how to guard and control your thoughts so that they are not of anger, hatred, jealousy, competition . . . . ?
Right there is enough "doing the will of God" to last a life time!
And we are to let our light shine . . . not hide our light under a bushel . . . .
We are to honor our mothers and fathers. Do we do that?
If your right eye offends, have you plucked it out? If someone asks you to "go a mile" with them, do you instead go three? Do you bless them that curse you? Do you love your enemies? Have you learned to pray unceasingly? Have you "salt" in yourself and peace with your fellows? When you make a feast do you call the wealthy, the clean, the popular; or beggars, the poor, the sick, the lame?
Oh . . . there is plenty to do . . . already written clearly, which is God's will for you!
Within His Realm and His Volition (Will) . . . God has given you a realm of free will and volition. A mistake can be made in thinking that "God is Sovereign", "everything is predestined", and so we are to go passive . . . and wait . . . and not act . . . not do . . . renounce all works . . . .
God IS Sovereign, and He does know the end from the beginning . . . but it is part of His glory that we are allowed a sense and real experience of reciprocating to Him--and be involved with the sanctification process.
Paul said to BE STRONG IN THE GRACE THAT IS JESUS CHRIST . . . . You are to FAN INTO FLAMES THE GIFT OF GOD . . . . (2 Tim.1:1-7)
So, you've received THE GIFT . . . . NOW FAN IT! Remember . . . the Spirit that is in you is the same Spirit that raised Jesus from death! It is the same Spirit that created the universe! THAT is the power you have to WORK with . . . in performing your loving deeds and works for God! He is THE most powerful Spirit of any and all . . . and infinite . . . and now in you always!
One of the first and most important "things to do" . . . is to pray . . . to get the "love of Christ". It is often because you do not really and deeply love Him that you do not feel inspired to do even the most basic commands, already provided, in His Word. When the depths of your own, innate depravity and sinful nature are faced . . . and then you realize whole-heartedly what a profound and magnanimous sacrifice and gift He gave . . . at the cross . . . and you recall the meaning of such a gift daily, hourly . . . deeply and earnestly . . . you will start to fan the flames of Holy Spirit . . . and His power will begin to help you do the things you ought, and reject the things you ought not.
There IS a role--an active role for you to play, to work, in the sanctification process, as the Spirit graces you, progressively . . . to do.
Spiritual sloth and lukewarmness is abhorrent to the Lord. "Whoever is slack in his work is brother to him who destroys." (Prov. 18:9)
God wants you to bear fruit. He has created and designed you in such a way that you are ABLE to provide (spiritual) fruits from your (spiritual) labors and He takes great pleasure in the work you DO in your growing love and gratitude for His mercy--yea, even for His basic reality! The simple fact that HE IS . . . AND that He loves and created YOU . . . is a realization so all-consuming--it becomes a fire . . . whose flames you can fan . . . which begins a process (of sanctification) that will burn away the old you, steadily, surely, . . . and starts presenting a NEW creature in its place . . . .
Take part! Pick up your cross, deny yourself and go! Arise and walk! These are commands. Do not let the devils fool you into self-centered passivity, disguised as "waiting on the Lord" . . . bearing no fruit, useless in the vineyard . . . .
Fan the flames! FAN THE FLAMES!
God blesses you in this, amen!
your brother in the fire, thomas