How does our spiritual posture affect our Christian life?
Let’s look at two great leaders of the Jews, both in moments of crisis, and the difference in their eternal posture.
Elijah – 1 Kings 19
The Israelites were teetering between two gods, Baal and the God of the Bible. Elijah, one of the most powerful prophets, killed 450 false prophets of Baal. When Jezebel found out that Elijah had killed the Baal prophets, she went after Elijah hard. She sent a messenger to tell him she was going to kill him. His response was to run for his life and request that he die.
1 Kings 19:3-4 Elijah was afraid and fled for his life. He went to Beersheba, a town in Judah, and he left his servant there. Then he went on alone into the wilderness, traveling all day. He sat down under a solitary broom tree and prayed that he might die. “I have had enough, Lord,” he said. “Take my life, for I am no better than my ancestors who have already died.”
Effects of poor posture:
– worsens the effect of stress and depression
– causes digestive issues
– prohibits healthy breathing for singers and athletes
– back, shoulder, neck pain
– tension headaches
Our spiritual posture as Christians and leaders in the church has just as much significance to our abilities to be effective in loving God and loving others.
For Elijah, we find his posture responding to his circumstance. He is focused on himself and what the world has presented.
Jesus – Matthew 26
Here we find Jesus in a similar crisis.
– in the Garden of Gethsemane
– life in danger
– threat of attack
– moments away from the sins of the world being on His shoulders
We see Jesus show us eternal posture.
Matthew 26:38 He told them, “My soul is crushed with grief to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.”
He prays to the Father.
Matthew 26:39 He went on a little farther and bowed with his face to the ground, praying, “My Father! If it is possible, let this cup of suffering be taken away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.”
Matthew 26:42 Then Jesus left them a second time and prayed, “My Father! If this cup cannot be taken away unless I drink it, your will be done.”
Both men are in dire situations saying the same thing, “Take my life.” The difference was their posture.
– Elijah turned to this world and the concerns for himself.
– Jesus turned to eternity and God’s will for His life.
Our posture dictates our vision. Elijah lost his vision because of his posture.
1 Kings 19:3 Elijah was afraid and fled for his life.
Here was a man that had just shifted an entire people’s view of who God was when God demonstrated His sovereignty. He took 450 false prophets who were leading people away from God and executed them. One woman comes chasing after him, and he forgot who God was and what God did. He took his eyes off of God and put them on the details.
Many times that is us. God does this work in us and in our lives, then when trial comes we forget. We cannot let our circumstances dictate our posture.
Jesus, not wanting to endure what was coming, asked God to let it pass, yet submitted to God’s will.
Jesus knew what was coming, and it was worse than anything we will ever face. His posture never wavered from being focused on eternity, and as a result he never lost vision for what God was calling Him to. He had eternal vision and posture.
It all boils down to our hearts.
Proverbs 3:5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding.
Matthew 6:21 Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.
Our hearts dictate our posture.
Your heart is the seat where what is most important to you, what you trust the most, what you are committed to sits. What sits there will dictate your posture.
One of the greatest examples of having this eternal posture as a leader is MLK Jr., civil rights activist when he gave this famous speech.
“I’ve Been to the Mountaintop” by Martin Luther King, Jr.
“We’ve got some difficult days ahead. But it doesn’t really matter with me now, because I’ve been to the mountain top. And I don’t mind. Like anybody, I would like to live a long life. Longevity has it’s place. But I’m not concerned about that now. I just want to do God’s will. He has allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I’ve looked over. And I’ve seen the Promised Land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the promised land! So I’m happy tonight I’m not worried about anything. I’m not fearing any man. Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord!”
He was killed the next day.
Jesus sat in the seat that dictated that man’s eternal posture.
Ask Jesus to sit there and take your life.
– What posture sits in your life today?
– How has your eternal posture affected your spiritual life?
– How has changing your posture in the past changed your spiritual life for the better?