TEEN TREE OF LIFE
THE DOCTRINE OF POSITIVE VOLITION
April 16, 2017
BEFORE we begin, if you are a believer in Jesus Christ, take a moment to name your sins to God the Father. This will allow you to be filled with the power of The Holy Spirit as you read this booklet (EPH 5:18 & 1JO 1:9). IF YOU HAVE never believed in Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, you have that opportunity right now. Simply tell God the Father that you are believing on His Son Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior. If you make that decision, you are now a believer and will always be a child of God! When you die, you will spend eternity with Him forever in heaven! (JOH 3:16 & ACT 16:31).
There are many distractions to positive volition! But we are going to focus on the one that causes the most problems – arrogance. Arrogance can suffocate positive volition toward doctrine because it causes a believer to concentrate on personal problems instead of focusing on the doctrine that is being taught. Remember this when you sit and class and your mind keeps wandering to your problems at school or at home. If problems are on your mind while listening to doctrine, you won’t hear anything!
The Word of God is the essence of life and demands perception, concentration and focus. You can’t think about problems and learn at the same time. You will always have problems – everyone does! The believer must use self-discipline and restrain himself/herself from wandering thoughts and concentrate on the doctrine that’s being taught.
Under the principle of self-discipline, the believer must be filled with The Holy Spirit in order to approach Doctrine with objectivity and concentration. Self-discipline demands that learning overrules preoccupation with personal problems. The filling of The Spirit helps you to concentrate during Bible class. When you think of your problems during Bible class, you are operating in a form of arrogance and caused yourself to be distracted. You might not immediately need what is taught in class at that particular moment, but the doctrine that is learned will be needed at some time in your life. Personal problems are a distraction to objectivity and the ability to metabolize Doctrine. When you are in class, all personal problems should become non-essentials and doctrine should become the center of the universe. Failure to set aside problems creates roadblocks to the perception and metabolization of what is being taught. This neutralizes positive volition and hinders spiritual advance. You are saying that your problems are more important than doctrine. This is a type of egotism that leads the believer into a cycle of unwarranted self-importance.
Christian fellowship with people can even be a major distraction to positive volition. If you are a believer, the Plan of God calls for His Word to be your number one priority in life. The believer cannot see God and there is no way to come to know Him except through His Word. A relationship with God is an invisible one; therefore, it depends on your ability to grasp doctrine that is the determining factor in how much you will learn about God and His activities. Never put fellowship with people above fellowship with God. And by fellowship with people, we mean spending time with other Christians. There is nothing wrong with this but it can never replace learning God’s Word.
Christian fellowship can be a distraction to Bible doctrine through preoccupation with friendship. Christian fellowship can sometimes lead to acquiring incorrect views of Bible doctrine. Fellowship with the wrong Christians is detrimental to spiritual growth and will soon cause you to become self-centered and arrogant. It should be mentioned here that Christian fellowship can also be a wonderful thing. Whether fellowship is detrimental or wonderful does not depend on the fellowship as such, but the mental attitude and virtue of the Christians who participate. If you do not put God first, your relationship with people, in any situation, will be a mess and will have no spiritual significance. If you have fellowship with positive believers who have virtue, integrity, and who recognize the privacy of your priesthood, you can have wonderful relationships and make some of the greatest friendships in life. The advantage of such relationships is that you are not depending on people, but you are centering your life in The Lord.
Now, let’s look at suffering in relation to positive volition. Many times, God has to bring a certain amount of suffering into the life of a believer to intensify positive volition and to prevent the believer from living in arrogance. One day, you well might wonder why you’re being put through suffering when you’ve had positive volition. It is God’s way of increasing your positive volition! This type of suffering is called preventative suffering. Preventative suffering motivates the believer into positive volition toward doctrine. Let’s look at the results of this type of preventative suffering: Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I keep your word. You are good and do good; teach me your statutes. The arrogant have forged a lie against me; with all my heart I will observe your precepts. Their heart is covered with fat, but I delight in your law. It is good for me that I was afflicted, that I may learn your statutes. The law of your mouth is better to me than thousands of gold and silver pieces. (PSA 119:67-72)
In these verses, we see that the psalmist has learned that suffering eliminates arrogance and motivates the believer to learn doctrine. He developed such a love for the Word of God that it became more valuable to him than silver and gold. So, in analyzing the entire situation, we discover that suffering is actually another grace provision from God. It is designed to protect us from the greatest sickness in the human race: the disease called arrogance. Suffering motivates the believer to be positive toward doctrine and that doctrine in turn insulates the soul from arrogance. Positive volition toward doctrine leads to respect for God, which in turn leads to a fantastic life on earth and indescribable riches and rewards in eternity.
The believer with positive volition will become a winner in God’s Eyes. The believer with positive volition will be eligible for rewards at the Judgment Seat of Christ. One of the main reasons for being on earth is to bring glory to God and He is only glorified by what He does for us, not by what we do for Him. We can only be rewarded when we live inside the Plan of God and grow in His Grace and Knowledge to reach spiritual maturity. Rewards are for those believers who through thick and thin, through good times and bad, in periods of prosperity or disaster, did not give up on Doctrine. They fought the good fight and came out victorious through their positive volition toward the Word of God.
Once we become part of God’s family, we belong to God forever and He has a special Plan and Purpose for us. He wants to have a special relationship with us. This fellowship is only possible through positive volition and filling of The Holy Spirit. It is by means of our daily decisions that we establish a firm foundation enabling us to move forward in the Christian way of life. Here is an important principle to remember: Becoming saved is easy, but being a disciple is more difficult and requires much more effort. Salvation is a one-time decision, dependent on faith alone in Christ alone, but being His disciple calls for daily positive decisions toward God and His Word. We express our willingness to be disciples by taking up our cross daily: And He was saying to them all, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me. (LUK 9:23) This means that we should have the same mental attitude that The Lord Jesus Christ had when He was walking upon the earth. Our Lord’s mindset throughout His life was to do the will of His Father who was in heaven (JOH 5:30). During His entire life on earth, it was the Lord’s purpose to always fulfill the Father’s Plan. He never wavered, not even once. When He was facing the most painful death that could be imagined, He did not back away. When He was facing the prospect of spiritual separation from God The Father and God The Holy Spirit, He stayed the course This is what it means to take up the cross daily.
We express our willingness to be disciples by studying God’s Word every day under the pastor-teacher that God has provided. Doctrine is God’s way of talking to us; it is His way of telling us about Himself, His Plan, His Purpose and how we should live. It is His desire that you know Him, and think the same way He does. He wants to show you His Wisdom and Power so that you can handle any situation in life. God wants you to have a life of meaning and purpose, filled with great blessings. The more you read and study the Bible under the filling of The Holy Spirit, the more you will come to know about the things of God. The only thing standing between you and this wonderful relationship with God is your own volition. Don’t miss out; be positive and take hold of all that awaits you as a His child.