By Rites of Passage in this particular article, I am referring to a person’s transition from one status or phase to another. In the church we have various ceremonies that mark different phases of spiritual and biological maturity; I.E. Baptism, First Communion, Confirmation.
The Book of Job shows that in spite of God bragging about Job’s righteousness and obedience to Him, Job wasn’t exempt from trouble. Yet, as Job righteously responded to each challenge and tragedy, God restored and doubled the prosperity of Job. While tragedy strikes many people, very few ever see everything they lost doubly restored.
There was a very wealthy businessman who was brought up in a very cultured and educated environment. He felt like he was not connecting emotionally with his twelve year-old son. He knew that his son loved the rugged outdoors—getting dirty and playing sports.
Whatever you are thankful for in your life multiplies.
I remember one day I was very discouraged and realized that I was discouraged because I was focusing on negative things and wasn’t thankful. As soon as I began to thank God for the blessings in my life I immediately received strength.
It is evident there are many in the Body of Christ who attempt to integrate their Christian faith with the pursuit of happiness. Some have even gone so far as to have a theology of happiness, in which they obey or disobey Scripture based on what gives them the most happiness. Several years ago a prominent pastor in New York City divorced his wife and married someone else in his church because, he said, “God wants me happy!”
As a product of the Word of Faith movement in the early 1980s, I will forever be indebted to the books and teachings of Kenneth Hagin Sr., Smith Wigglesworth, John G. Lake, T.L. Osborn and the like. These were holy men of integrity who turned the world upside down with their faith and teaching.
In this article I am using the term “religion” to refer to man-made effort that utilizes works to please God. It is very easy to mistake being religious for having a relationship with God. All religions in the world are based on religion which is a man-made attempt to reach God. However, Christianity is supposed to involve having a genuine relationship with God (2 Corinthians 13:14). Unfortunately, it is very easy to unwittingly replace this precious relationship with a religious spirit (meaning a lifestyle or attitude), which is the default position of sinful human nature. The purpose of this article is to help people become self-aware, not to condemn or judge them. Hence, if you use this to judge others you yourself are guilty of one of the following signs.
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