Eccl. 12:13The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. 14 For God will bring every deed into judgment, with every secret thing, whether good or evil.
"God is most glorified in Us when we are most satisfied in Him." J.Piper
Phil. 2:12 Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, 13 for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.
1 John 2:3 And by this we know that we have come to know him, if we keep his commandments.
9 Whoever says he is in the light and hates his brother is still in darkness. 10 Whoever loves his brother abides in the light, and in him there is no cause for stumbling. 15 Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 29 If you know that he is righteous, you may be sure that everyone who practices righteousness has been born of him. (The entire book of 1 John is good to read for this).
In response to yesterday's post and comment-thanks Kim- here is my response. I hope that there will be others, especially the ladies, who will chime in on this, as the girls generally have a different angle than the guys.
We can know that we are saved. Hatred of sin is a great place to start. Love of obedience is a good place to start as well. How do we know we have a relationship with our spouse or friend? How does a parent know that their kids love them? In the spousal relationship it would be mutual submission, self sacrifice and communication... In the parent child relationship it would be obedience, honor and willing submission... As a parent do you see you child increasing in the joy of serving the family by doing things w/o being told? In our spiritual relationship we should be ever increasing in our desire to communicate with The Father and to be in fellowship with His people.
Where are your affections? For sure we will love our kids and our spouse; but do we love them more than we love God? Could God allow their removal from our lives and we still say that God is good? If God took away everything from you today, could you say with Job, "Though He slay me, I will hope in Him"? Are your affections not only for God but are they growing hotter? If our affections are lukewarm, like those of the Laodiceans, then we can be sure we are not saved.
I often have made this too hard. It is not about what we do. There is no works we can do that will prove we are children of God, but our lives should have evidence of the fruit of the Spirit. We are not going to be perfect while we are here in these tents, but our affections and obedience should be growing. We are either going up or down but we are never stopped.
The fact that you may be concerned about your own salvation is good. If someone is not concerned about their salvation and they are not living in obedience to the Word; this should raise a red flag.
God knows we have weak faith, He knows we are but dust, but He has also prepared work for His children to do from before the foundation of the world, and we need to walk in them, Eph. 2:10.
So for my friend Kim, I would say to pray that God would place His desires over the top of your own desires, that He would increase your faith-help your unbelief- that He would grow your affections for everything that is connected to Him.
The Christian life is hard and living on unseen things is very hard, but God is the One who works in us to delight ourselves in Him and then He in turn gives us the desires of our heart.
None of the change that He has made in my life has been from me. All of the change has been Him changing my affections, growing my love for others, giving me more of a heart for the lost, and giving me a desire to be in The Word and to be praying. I don't know that we can get any of those things w/o being in the valleys. While it is encouraging to see our spiritual growth-to see where we were and where God has taken us- in this case the best view of growth seems to be from the valley floor, rather than the mountain tops. Our growth from year to year is more easily measured by how low we are willing to go with God and still be delighted in Him. If the trials you are facing today are much more difficult than they were last year and you are more delighted today in God than you were lat year, then I think it is safe to say that God is working and you are a Christian. If your delight in God is based on how much He is physically blessing you right now, you may have room for concern.
I am sorry for what seems to me as a really jumbled up answer. I feel very inadequate to respond to questions like this, especially electronically. Will some others please chime in.
Kim- I will pray for you and your daughter. God is so good, we must trust Him with all that we are and let Him work. Thanks for your openness.