Opinions on faith and life

Start Me Up!

2006-12-01

I’ve written much about salvation itself, but the most vexing problem believers seem to face is what happens after that. We get saved, the glow wears off, and then we start to worry. Why do I not have the fire anymore? Why is my Christian life a drudgery? Why am I on a plateau, not backsliding but not growing either? I go to revivals and concerts and get all pumped up, but then it’s back to the rat race. What went wrong?

It’s because somewhere along the line, we turn inwards and backwards. Remember the account of Peter walking on the water toward Jesus? As long as he kept his eyes on Jesus, Peter could walk on water. But then he turned away to look at the storm, and then his own predicament. Jesus saved him from drowning, but Peter learned an important lesson.

In the same way, we start to think that it’s the rituals, the habits, the things we do that keep the fire going. But that’s backwards.

Christian discipleship is like your favorite flavor of ice cream. It should be something you crave, something that requires discipline and restraint NOT to over-indulge in, something you’d give up food, sleep, everything for, if you could. You want to spend every free moment gobbling up the Word and the Relationship.

Why don’t we have that hunger, that drive? We don’t ask. And we don’t ask because we don’t trust. We are afraid of what God may have planned for us, and it might require something unpleasant or risky. We see the trials and suffering of the prophets and apostles in the Bible, and we don’t want to go there ourselves.

It’s a frightening thing to say to God, “I’m all yours. Do with me as you will.” But that’s what trust is, what faith is, what it really means to make Jesus your Lord and not just your Savior. It’s the difference between spiritual infancy and growing to maturity, both mentally and spiritually. Why do we find it so easy to trust Jesus with the fate of our souls, but find it so difficult to trust that same Jesus to make us like Him?

So you don’t need to get up an hour earlier, or buy a bigger daily devotional guide, or sign up for yet another small group. You need to drop all that and sit down with Jesus one-on-one, and you need to be honest. Tell him you give up trying to make your own fire. Tell him you trust him completely, no matter what. And then rest in the assurance that he will provide the power to be who he designed you to be. Take your hands off the wheel... and buckle your seatbelt.