Two weeks ago I posted about 5 ways to fail as a Christian Leader , it was a slightly sarcastic post that pointed out some things I think a lot of Christian leaders do. Today I wanted to post about ways anyone as a Christian (leaders are lumped in there too) can succeed in their walk with Christ.
1. Read your Bible
Boom! I thought I'd kick this one off as a really hard challenge. No seriously, it's hard. If you are honest right now, how often do you READ the Bible. Not skim it, not read it with your mind somewhere else. How often do you dig in and lose yourself in the text? My guess is for some of us it happens on occasion and others basically never.
If you are honest you will admit, that you don't read your Bible enough. But the challenge is hidden within it's pages (Joshua 1:8)- That's right I'm going to make you look it up.
Seriously, this stuff isn't rocket science. Prayer is a MUST when it comes to having a relationship with God. A phrase I have begun to use with my students is, are you a friend of God or a stalker? Sounds weird but lets look at the difference. A friend is someone who knows things about someone but also has a relationship and a big portion of having a relationship is communicating. A stalker is someone who follows someone knows lots about them, but doesn't communicate with them. Which one are you. Jesus even shows us how to pray. (Matthew 6:9-13)
3. Memorize Scripture
There is no test, no one is going to force you to recite scripture off the top of your head - unless you are in Bible school or some type of competition. But when talking to people or going through something in our own lives, we may not have the opportunity to whip out a Bible. By having God's words in us, we give ourselves a leg up.
Fellowship is a funny word that we throw around in churches and Christian Sub-culture a lot. But what we are really talking about is having friendships/relationships with other Christians and interacting with them. We often have fellowship after church- which for a lot of people means drinking coffee and talking about sports. But I would challenge you, take the time to talk to others about their faith after Church. Proverbs 27:17 says "As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another" It isn't talking about quick wit here. It is saying that we can sharpen each other in our relationship with Christ.
This one is the one that always hurts. We like to ignore it in church, but the fact of the matter is it's something we are called to do. God wants some of what He gifts to us back! The amazing thing is that if you do this, He will also bless you. (Malachi 3:10) This doesn't necessarily mean suddenly you will be rolling in your swimming pool full of cash, but you will see a lot of blessings.
Amy and I have seen this in our lives, we can be on and off again with tithing, but every time we go back to tithing God provides something we need. Recently, I was blessed with a change in a local paramedic regulation which allowed me to retain my license without having to spend another $200 to go back to school to redo my test.
I know people might look at this list and brush it aside because it seems to be redundant with what we always hear. There is nothing new and profound here. But I bet everyone who reads this; and even I as I wrote this; needs to work on at least one or more of these things.
So take up the challenge because our success as a Christian is not to do with being nice people, its everything to do with following and bringing glory to God.