When you go to a drive-thru or fast food restaurant, you already know you probably aren’t getting the healthiest option for your body. So why go? It comes down to 3 main reasons:
- time (doesn’t take long)
- money (doesn’t cost much)
- convenience (it’s readily available)
I wonder if we treat our own spiritual lives this way, too.
You can’t live all your life in a healthy way on a fast food diet, and
we can’t live our spiritual lives on
Trigger warning: what I’m about to say is very counter-cultural and may not sit well with you. I pray that we all lay our pride aside and, even if you don’t remember the words, take hold of the Scriptures and grow grow grow.
So then, my dear ones, just as you have always obeyed [my instructions with enthusiasm], not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence, continue to work out your salvation [that is, cultivate it, bring it to full effect, actively pursue spiritual maturity] with awe-inspired fear and trembling [using serious caution and critical self-evaluation to avoid anything that might offend God or discredit the name of Christ]. | Philippians 2:12 (AMP)
Most of us who claim to be followers of Jesus Christ would say we understand that the Christian life entails endurance, patience, and trust. And yet, more and more I see—in my own heart and in the lives of others—a desire for wanting a quick satiation from Christianity as opposed to really “working out” my salvation.
This may look like:
- going to church just because that’s what you do on Sundays (not out of wanting to worship and be taught)
- reading a chapter of your Bible every day to make you feel good
- sharing a verse on social media
- reading a blog about growth
But the thing is…nothing can replace time spent alone with the Lord and truly knowing Him better by experience. Nothing can replace memorizing Scripture, and nothing can make you suddenly spiritual overnight.
Sometimes growth happens naturally and easily, but as we get older in the Lord, it is still just as important to get that spiritual nourishment.
And sometimes it ain’t easy.
I just wanted to encourage you with 3 things. As I mentioned the reasons that people go to drive thru restaurants, so I believe we should be willing and committed in an opposite sort of way to our walk with Christ:
- TIME: set aside serious chunks of time to spend in the Word, in prayer, and worship. Sounds basic, but maybe we need to lay aside our pride and realize we spend more time reading blogs than the Bible…
- DISCIPLESHIP: count the cost daily with the Lord…ask Him to help you surrender all of yourself to Him.
- DISCIPLINE: start building some good habits, such as fasting or memorizing, and replace old “junk food” with healthy spiritual food.
Therefore, believers, be all the more diligent to make certain about His calling and choosing you [be sure that your behavior reflects and confirms your relationship with God]; for by doing these things [actively developing these virtues], you will never stumble [in your spiritual growth and will live a life that leads others away from sin]. | 2 Peter 1:10 (AMP)