God provides a common good for everyone. But only those who walk in harmony with him gain access to the full array of his aid.
Walking in harmony with God requires us to be reborn spiritually, to commune with him regularly, and to live according to his principles and precepts as best we can.
Spiritual rebirth occurs when we confess our sinfulness to God, acknowledge that the death of Jesus is the only atonement for our sin, and trust him for our eternal salvation.
An intellectual belief in God, combined with a life of good works, does not constitute spiritual rebirth. Membership in a family that attends church does not qualify anyone for heaven. Water baptism memorializes our spiritual rebirth after the fact, but the ritual itself does not save us.
Only those who trust Jesus to be their personal Savior are reborn spiritually.
If you are unsure about your spiritual rebirth, here is a simple prayer that will resolve the matter once and for all. Your words can differ, but the themes articulated below are important. Your humility, remorse, and trust are essential.
Jesus, I want to have a personal relationship with you. I am a sinner, and you are God. I accept your death on the cross as the payment for all my sins—past, present, and future. Please come into my heart, grant me eternal life, and help me walk in harmony with you. Thank you for loving me all this time. I look forward to meeting you in heaven. In your name, I pray, Amen.
God promises aid and communion in this life, along with heaven in the next life, to anyone who trusts Jesus to be their personal Savior. He cannot lie because he is perfect.
Therefore, those who sincerely and contritely utter a prayer like this one are assured of God’s help and fellowship on earth and eternal life in heaven.
After we are reborn spiritually, God deems us forever righteous, regardless of our subsequent behavior. He calls us saints, his children, his friends, his heirs, and temples of the Holy Spirit.
If you pray a prayer like this one, record the date and place for future reference. And tell someone you have been reborn spiritually.
After our spiritual rebirth, walking in harmony with God means communing with him regularly and doing our best to keep our relationships with him and others aligned with his principles and precepts.
Communion With God
Spend time alone with God each day in prayer and Bible study. Memorize the verses you find meaningful.
Praise God for his excellence. Thank him for the beauty and goodness around you. Submit your requests to him with deference. Let him hold your needs and fears.
Trust that God always cares for you and has your best interests at heart. Refrain from worry.
Worship God corporately in church.
Honor God in your behavior. Surrender yourself to him. Grant him the authority to change your heart, mind, and habits as he sees fit.
Exercise self-control. Do things that please God. Stop doing things that displease him.
Avoid and resist temptation as best as you can. When you fail morally, confess your transgressions to God and repent.
Confession means to agree with God that what we did or did not do was wrong, and to express gratitude for his forgiveness.
Repentance occurs when we turn away from our sinful behavior and take proactive steps to restore and guard our obedience.
Seek and follow God’s will in all significant decisions. Permit him to reorient your life around his plans and priorities.
Dedicate your time, talent, and resources to his service. Use the spiritual gifts the Holy Spirit gives you to advance the Gospel.
Honor God in your interactions and relationships with others, both inside and outside of your family.
Accept them as they are, warts and all, without judgment. Treat them as you wish to be treated.
Help them as necessary. Forgive them if they hurt you. Do your best to live at peace with everyone.
Be honest. Be content in your striving. Do not covet what others have. Give cheerfully and generously to those in need.
Minister unselfishly to others on God’s behalf in times, places, and ways that are individually appropriate for them.
If you have a spouse, be faithful to them. Uplift them with your praise. Spoil them with your attention. Make allowances for their weaknesses.
(This does not require you to stay in an unsafe relationship.)
If you have young children, be kind to them. Encourage and protect them. Honor them with quality time. Do things they enjoy.
Instill in them a reverence for God by your example. Help them discover their divine destiny.
If you have adult children, recognize their uniqueness. Respect their individual differences from you and each other.
Share your wisdom with them without criticism. Let God deal with their shortcomings.
Honor your parents to the extent you can. If you are young, obey them.
If you are older, forgive their parenting mistakes, accept their eccentricities, accommodate their frailties, and thank them for the good things they did.
Subject to civil and moral laws, submit responsibly to those in authority over you without resentment.
No Quid Pro Quo
Walking in harmony with God does not oblige him to reward us with physical wellness or material abundance. If it did, every missionary would die old and rich.
Instead, walking in harmony with God positions us to experience true contentment in this life and eternal bliss in the next one.
The Holy Spirit
God knows we cannot walk in harmony with him through our efforts alone.
Our sinful nature renders us unable to align our lives with his principles and precepts consistently.
To remedy this situation, God himself, in the person of the Holy Spirit, indwells every reborn believer.
Subject to our surrender, the Holy Spirit strengthens our stamina, intensifies our noble desires, reinforces our self-discipline, and directly empowers us upon request.
He manifests in us the divine attributes that enable us to live contentedly in a troubled world. God calls this manifestation the fruit of the Spirit.
As we study the Bible, the Holy Spirit illuminates the truths that apply to our lives. Amid affliction, he provides guidance and direction, as well as comfort, strength, and hope.
When we are incapable of prayer, he intercedes with God the Father on our behalf.
Jesus relied on the Holy Spirit for spiritual fortitude as he walked in harmony with God on earth. If he did, we indeed must.