TOPIC: The Characteristics of living things: Am I dead or alive?
Just as the youth stage of life is a moment of doing great and resounding exploits, it’s also, unfortunately, a stage where the incautious can make future-endangering and life-ruining mistakes (Daniel 3: 16-30; 1 Samuel 3:19-21; 2 Samuel 13:1-17). Such moments of looseness have led many into slavery with the attendant unending regrets.
We should never forget the soon coming of our Lord Jesus as He promised (John 14:1-3; Col. 3:4; 1 Cor. 15: 51- 54). This calls for a daily, sincere and thorough scrutiny of our lives ((2 Cor. 13:5; Proverbs: 4:26-27) as we x-ray this topic, borrowing an acronym that describes the characteristics of living things, MR NIGER D.
We shall briefly describe each of these. Please read the corresponding scriptural verses.
M – MOVEMENT (locomotion in the case of animals):
This is an important feature of all living things (plants and animals). Whereas plants, remaining static, move their branches and leaves in the direction of an applied force, animals move from one place to another.
In our context, a living Christian has moved away from every form of deadness (unrighteousness) to life (righteousness) (Romans 10:9; 2 Cor. 5:17; John 1:12-13; 1John 5:17; James 1:15). You must consciously decide to leave all your evil ways to return unto God like the prodigal son (Luke 15:1- ) and return to Bethel like Jacob’s family (Genesis 35:1 – 3).
Another aspect of this characteristic is improvement. This entails a constant conscious appreciation of who we are and what we have been called to do. Knowing that one’s movement does not stop at repentance, but proceeds till death or rapture, a living Christian daily yearns for higher ground (Phil. 3:13-14)
Breathing is definitely an essential part of human life, the absence of which is a medical emergency that can lead to brain damage and death. After that God had moulded man from clay, He breathed into him (man). It was only after this that man became a living thing (Genesis 2:7, Job 33:4).
The breath of God in our context is the Spirit of God, without which a believer can be regarded as dead (2 Cor. 12; 2 Tim. 2:19; Ephesians 1:13). Besides the seal of the Holy Ghost at repentance, intimacy with God’s heifer is of extreme importance for one to remain alive (John 1: 12, Judges 14:18). The importance of God’s Spirit in man cannot be overestimated (Psalms 104:30. John 14:17; Job 32:8)
Feeding is an indispensable aspect of our lives; we eat to receive the nutrients necessary to live. Living things require a balanced set of nutrients, including oxygen (for animals) or carbon dioxide (for plants) for their growth and survival. Failure of this (starvation and unbalanced diet) results in impaired growth and development in the short/midterm, and death in the long term.
God fed Elijah for strength (1 Kings 19:4-8); He fed the family of the widow (1 Kings 17:15-16). When Ishmael, Hagar’s child was thirsty to death God opened her mother’s eyes to a well (Genesis 21:19). God gives seed to the sower and bread to the eater (Isaiah 55:10).
However, in this article, we are concerned with what the spirit man feeds on seeing that man shall not live by bread alone (Matthew 4:4). This shows that one cannot live without the Word of God (Job 23: 12; Jer. 3:15).
Also, it’s only a dead man that won’t place a premium on prayers and fasting. Fasting and Prayers liberate us of demonic toxins, even as the negative clouds, walls and imaginations are destroyed (1 Cor. 10:4-5; Pro. 16:3; 1 John 3:8b).
Praises are also part of this balanced diet needed for the nourishment of the spirit man (Psalms 104:33, Psalms 6:5).
This refers to sensitivity. Living things are sensitive to light, touch, temperature etc. and respond accordingly. For example, plants tend to grow in the direction of light (positive phototropism); the plumule will continue its search for sun rays because it is sensitive to light and needs it for photosynthesis.
A Christian who has lost sensitivity to the Spirit’s still small voice is dead (1Kings 19:11-12). We must decide to be sensitive to spiritual, godly persuasions and instructions.
Our godly parents, pastors and counsellors are great resources that should be held in esteem and their counsels followed (Proverbs 11:14; 15:22; Pro. 15:31-32) Things like disobedience and lack of respect for elders should not be once named among us (Pro. 5:1- ).
Sensitivity to the whispering/pricking of the Holy Spirit is an attribute of people who are alive (John 14:26; Romans 8:14).
Shall we rise to our feet as we cry unto the Lord for repentance, restoration, revival and renewal.
To be continued —— Here is Part 2
*The above article was written on May 2, 2015.