Apply this question to yourself. It will make meaning to you that way: Why am I unstable? Do you know what it means to be unstable? It means not firmly fixed. It means not emotionally or spiritually balanced. It means likely to change, fail or fall. In essence one is said to be unstable, when he/she is not congruent in character or behaviour. That is, not in agreement or harmony with what is normally expected. It means you are not a person of integrity. It all boils down to the fact that you cannot be trusted. Your ‘yes’ cannot be taken to mean ‘yes’ and your ‘no’ cannot be relied upon to mean ‘no’. You are unstable. You keep rising and falling; a rising and falling Christian. When you rise, people around praise God. When you fall, they say, “And you call yourself a Christian.” Are you really a Christian? Are you a true believer in Christ?
There are four groups of people in the world.
- The unbelievers
- The nominal Christians(Not born again)
- The carnal Christians(born again but carnal)
- The Christians (born again, spiritual and in discipleship relationship with Jesus).
An unbeliever is one who does not believe. One who does not accept any or some particular religious belief.
A nominal Christian is one being a Christian in name only; named or associated as a mere matter of form, being trifling in comparison with actual value.
A carnal Christian is one who is not spiritual: merely human; worldly; temporal, lustful, impure, and gross. That means a carnal Christian endures for only a short time. The experience is not lasting. It is an arrangement with no thought of continuance but with the idea of being changed soon. It is transient, that is in the process of passing by and which will therefore last or stay only for a short time. So, on the overall, the person is morally unstable, coarse; lacking refinement and as such offensive to a sense of propriety or modesty.
A Christian is one who believes in, belongs to and exhibits a spirit proper to a follower of Jesus Christ; He exemplifies in his/her life the teachings of Christ. He is therefore spiritual, decent, respectable, presentable, and humane. He/she is tender, compassionate, merciful, kind hearted, polite, and refined. He/she is relatively congruent, stable, and balanced.
Our topical question can be reframed thus: What is the cause of your instability as a Christian? The rising and falling Christians are believers who are Christians but carnal. They are born (for lack of any other word to describe them) again. The flesh is dead so to say. But what is the problem? You are born-again not by mouth, not by reciting certain words put into your mouth to say after someone. You genuinely encountered Christ. You came to a realization that your life which you acquired by the natural birth was useless, futile and an impossible road to heaven (1 Peter 1:18). You knew then for sure that it was a life useless to you and therefore not of use even to Christ. You cried to God, “Lord, what will I do with this useless life? I cannot give it to you, Jesus, because since it is not useful to me, how can it be useful to You? Help me, Lord.” God then opened your eyes and you saw that on the Cross at Calvary, more than 2000 years ago, God siphoned that life (Mr. Flesh), and it was nailed with Christ on the cross. And when Christ died, you died and that there was an exchange of life-New life of Christ for the old useless life of yours. Christ was poured into you in place of that old life. You shouted Halleluyah and you became free- born-again. It was a genuine revelation and encounter. But then, that encounter was short-lived, lasting only a few months or a few years. Now things have changed!
You yourself wondered what happened. The things you dropped, you have picked up again. The worldliness you hated with passion has swallowed you up again. You now dress anyhow and paint everywhere. What even surprised you most was that the person under whom you have been has not been saying anything about your ‘look’. Maybe he/she has become tired. Or maybe he/she is one of those ‘disciplers’ who believe that your eyes would open one day not realizing that he/she needs to instruct you as a believer. For God says, “My people perish for lack of knowledge… (Hos 4:6). Even though they are God’s people, they need knowledge through instructions on all matters of the kingdom lifestyle if they will not perish.
Even if your ‘steward’ appointed by God to manage and supervise your life and growth is not talking to you about such things, materials written by matured Christians abound on such matters. Let me quote some of them:
“You may have prayerfully and diligently desired a victorious and vibrant life in the spirit to overcome sin, the flesh and the devil in every area of life. You desire to dwell daily in God’s tabernacle and on His holy hill. Yet, for all your efforts made in fervent and sincere zeal, a spiritual breakthrough in your life is perhaps still a distant dream. You may also have claimed all the promises in God’s word that you have known, and have made positive confessions based on these consistently, yet, your daily spiritual experience remains that of failure and defeat…”
“…accepting as normal your embarrassing, segmented Christian experience, is a wonder in heaven, for God has indeed set us free… Yet having received and appropriated God’s grace for your deliverance…your next concern must be to please the New Man (Jesus Christ) in you. You must carry about your cross-the symbol and public declaration of your death-daily…”
“Henceforth, the furniture of the old man in your tabernacle should be packed out, for the New Man Jesus Christ to have His own arrangement as He likes…”
“Following Jesus is not something to be assumed. It involves action. It means keep close to Jesus, cleave steadfastly to Him… that means do nothing without Him. Do not separate yourself from Him. Walk in the Spirit. You need a lot of diligence to ensure that you do not only follow in His direction and in His steps, but you must also ensure that there is no gap between you and Him. No gap of relationship, no hidden agenda, nothing between. It means living in accordance with the word of God. It means being led of the Holy Spirit always in all situations. That means you must be CONVERTED from your former way of life in order to be FORMED. You must be ready to change and be conformed not PARTIALLY but WHOLLY to His example (From Concept of Discipleship, Peace House Publications).
“A lot of Christian women today are more concerned about dressing and maintaining a beautiful appearance. Even though there is nothing in this, we must remember that there is a beauty that lasts and there is a beauty that fades. To concentrate attention on beautifying the body at the expense of ‘inner’ beauty is to place priority on things that are temporary and that are eternally inconsequential.” (from the Book “Unfading Beauty” by Sade Akanni).
So why would you remain UNSTABLE?!