Questions & Answers
Q. How do I know when I or someone else is in Christ or Satan? Sometimes I don’t know when I’m in belief or unbelief.
A. What I hear you asking is, how do I know when I am being operated by Christ or Satan?
First of all, anyone involved in biblical sin is being operated by Satan. Further, any time we believe that we are operating as just an alone I , not joined with Christ’s spirit, we are being operated by Satan. Satan’s trick is to make us believe that we alone are doing whatever we do, good or bad, which generates pride or condemnation. Seeing this sometimes takes some doing though. For example, someone might say "I am just the kind of person who is shy and have a hard time participating with other people." Or conversely, "I am just a born leader. I can take charge of a situation and organize things." Do you see that in both of these examples the person is thinking he is either incapable of fellowshiping or capable of leadership. But we know this can’t be true. Even Jesus himself, when called "good master" said, "Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone" (Luke 18:19). Even Jesus knew that he was just a vessel expressing His Father and doing His Father’s will. And as John tells us, "As He is so are we in this world" (I John 4:17). So, we can’t take condemnation or pride over what we do. I may feel shy but Christ through me can fellowship. I may feel like a born leader but it is really Christ leading through me. The leadership talent is His, not mine. Remember, whenever I believe it is just me living, it is really Satan operating through my members. This is sin. But whenever I believe I am just a vessel containing Christ’s spirit, powerless to do the good or the bad, then He is living His life as He pleases through me.
Q. I have a sister who is not saved. She has really been on my heart lately. I have prayed for her a lot but she seems as uninterested in Jesus Christ as ever. What is the next step for me?
A.Your desire for your sister to be saved is God’s desire through you. You can be a spiritual light to her if you are in contact with her. She may see a change in you and want to know what is different. Or, she may not. By faith though, you can say and believe that God is changing her want. "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen" (Heb. 11:1). Not only can you trust that your desire for her to be a Christian is God’s desire but also your place is to remain in steadfast faith that God’s desire is done. God "calls those things that be not as though they are" (Rom. 4:17). No matter what the appearance is, God has changed her desire. God may cause an intercessory involvement by you in a physical sense. He may cause you to take a specific action such as verbally bringing the gospel to her, or conversely, cut off any communication. You can trust that God will show you if any action should be taken. In any case, your job is to believe. In the words of C.T. Studd, "Faith laughs at impossibilities and cries it shall be done."
Q. What is personality and how does it fit in with this message?
A. Personality is really God’s Spirit expressing Himself through our humanity. Whatever God has put into us-various abilities, talents, tendencies, capabilities-are for His use to reach the people He wants to reach through us. We all have different backgrounds and experiences. I may have been born in the South with an ability in math. You may have been born in the West with an artistic flair. Our personalities are like stained glass windows with the light coming through. Each window is different but the same light comes through each one. In our analogy, the light is God’s Spirit shining through us. God’s Spirit is the reality that makes the stained glass visible, vibrant and beautiful. Each one of us is vital and unique in the body of Christ, just as each organ, eyelash, and finger is vital to our physical bodies. All parts work together for the good of the whole body, as is true in the body of Christ. Generally then, personality conflicts among Christians would occur only when one person does not see the other as the vessel containing God’s spirit working through that person. He is seeing the other person as just an independent self with an unlikable personality, rather than as the unique expression of Jesus Christ.
More Articles from The Intercessor, Vol 10 No 2
- Questions & Answers
- To All Believers…It’s As Simple As This
- Editor’s Note
- Excerpt from The Intercession of Rees Howells
- No Grey For God
- The Nature of Faith
- Moments with Meryl
- A Look at a Book
- Word of Faith
- Just Say the Word
- A Life with a Purpose
- Reflections on the Twelve Steps
- The Mailbox
- Words to Live By
- Christianity’s Lost Chord