Wednesday, July 8, 2009

How Easy it is to Go Through the Motions!

I experienced a life-changing week in Africa. I felt first hand how God held me in His grip. I saw answers to prayer happen right before my eyes. I witnessed believers ministering to people in need all around them. And, I decided I wanted to live a life like that. What I saw in Africa was a REAL faith, the kind of faith you need to just get through the day, not the stale American faith where we have all we need at the local grocery store, or Target has it, or we can order it on-line with a credit card. How much do we really NEED God in this society?

Anyway - I digress.

Joe and I came home on fire! We were committed to being in the word for hours and then praying together multiple times a day. We prayed with our kids when things got tough or an argument would arise. We were turned off by the TV and instead would sit in silence, happily. Our worship was genuine. Our service was out of love.

We needed God so badly in the beginning. I couldn't make through an hour without crying to Him for help. But slowly, things got easier with George. I could make it most days without crying or breaking down. Then we moved. Then we started making job decisions. We got busy with the warm summer weather bringing us out to the pool, staying up late playing basketball with the kids, and going into town for ice-cream.

Bible studies in the summer cease (something I totally don't get!). Churches don't have Sunday School classes and they pair back a bit. Radio stations play re-run sermons. And, I slipped into mediocrity.

Yesterday, God gave me a gift. He gave me a beautiful morning on the front porch where He gently reminded me of how I had been going through the motions lately. He asked me, "How could you go from on-fire to ho-hum in such a short time?" It was a beautiful moment because there was no guilt or condemnation; just truth that I had let down my disciplines and so my faith became stale.

What shocked me was how I had been lulled into this sense that I was doing fine. I was listening to Christian radio stations, singing songs in the car. I was going to church on Sunday, listening to the sermons and even discussing them a bit on the ride home. I would tell people, "I will pray for you", but I never did. It was so easy to say that and then never follow through. The enemy had brought me to a place of complacency and I had become that luke-warm church that God spits out of his mouth. What was I offering anyone around me? Absolutely nothing for I was putting nothing in!

It is so easy around here to convince yourself that you are a Christian and doing the Christian things like K-Love and church. But, I saw how deep and rich a living faith can be when I was living moment by moment with God. It was so different! No one would have called me on this, because appearances said I was still following along. But, in my heart, I knew I had become so lazy.

Does a person need to be so disciplined to be a follower of Christ? I am here to say absolutely YES! I need to be in the word - significant time in the word - every day! I need to pray - purposeful closet-time - every day! That is where I need to start right now, word and prayer. I want to get back to that intimacy I was feeling a few months ago.

I just had a heart check and I saw that my heart and mind and soul were being lazy. I am totally borrowing a line from a song, but I don't want to go through the motions. I don't want to spend one more day without Your all-consuming passion inside of me. I hear those words and I know what he means! To once feel that all-consuming passion was amazing and I just have to get back to that place.

1 comment:

MzzLily said...

This is my struggle too. I think it is a common battle. Everyday life sets a pace and we fall into the rut.

We still have Sunday school classes, but yes, they do cancel a lot of things during the summer months. We surely DON'T need a vaction from God!