Being involved in any meaningful relationship takes work. If there are never any days when your closest relationship don’t take work, effort and sacrifice then you are doing it wrong! Of course relationships have their seasons as well- winter seasons when things feel barren or dry or even dead; spring seasons when everything feels new and fresh; summer seasons of warmth, when you can relax and autumn seasons when things drastically change. As bad or as good as thing get in an intimate relationship, one of the things that will cause the most damage is routine. It’s the same in our relationship with the Lord! Routine kills passion.
To keep your relationship with the Lord fresh and filled with newness, there must be effort and it can never end, even though we grow so comfortable in our routines! We read our devotions, sip our coffee, listen to sermons online, put on some worship as we drive to work, go to church, go to Bible studies and similarly beneficial actions- but where’s the fire? Those things bring growth, but if you want passion– that has to come from within! In light of the recent pandemic events, as the church experienced a season of disconnect from each other, Christians have responded in various ways: Some dug deeper into the Lord and asked hard questions and stood in faith for the answers and fought and cried and cried OUT, while some departed from the Lord and wandered into the weeds of “who” and “where” and “when” and “why”, while some blamed God and some allowed the cares of the world to choke out what they thought they had when everything was fine.
If your relationship with the Lord isn’t hot- it’s COLD- not because you intended it to be, but because you didn’t intend for it not to be.
As the doors of the churches have closed, the doors of people’s faith responses have been blown wide open- and what has been revealed? One challenging thing that the Lord has lovingly shown those who have eyes to see, ears to see and hearts to understand is this: What we thought we had in Christ was, perhaps, more based on routine than on the relationship itself. What does that mean? It means that the Lord is calling us all deeper, and He always has been, but we all get snared by our own good intentions from time to time, don’t we? What a beautiful and loving reminder God has brought amid this difficult season to, “build yourselves up in your most holy faith. Pray in the Holy Spirit. Keep yourselves in the love of God while you are waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ, which leads to eternal life.” (Jude 20-21)
Paul told Timothy to “fan into flames” the gift of salvation that was given to him. (2 Timothy 1:6) David cried out to the Lord, “Restore to me the joy of my salvation!” (Psalm 51:12) Why did you choose to follow the Lord, all the way back to that first day? Why did you weep, fast and pray, become desperate to know more of God? Way back when you were filled with passion in worship- why did you want more? Why were you compelled you to get up early and pray? To get your knees and worship? Just like in any important relationship of value, you must continually work to keep things fresh and vibrant and alive. If you’ve struggled in your faith, or if you’ve grown cold, or if routine has replaced revelation – your flames may need tending!
Thought for today
Jesus warned us that “the love of many would grow cold” (Matthew 24:12) because of wickedness, but routine, disappointment and unanswered questions can be just as harmful. Think about it this way: If your relationship with the Lord isn’t hot- it’s COLD- not because you intended it to be, but because you didn’t intend for it not to be. Choosing to walk with the Lord is not a one-time decision, but a daily one. Each day that you wake up, you have the opportunity to start fresh and to stay fresh. He has never left, so where are you? What are you busy with? In your devotions, when was the last time the Lord showed you something unexpected, new, interesting? If you can’t remember, you may be trapped in routine. God is interesting! God is intelligent, funny, wise, loving and He hasn’t changed. If you’re not experiencing the Lord like this- your routines and priorities may need examination. Loving the Lord isn’t a mental decision, it’s a spiritual one and you cannot act on it with natural actions, but must use spiritual ones. There is more for you in Christ and if that’s what you want, pursue Him in prayer, worship and His Word and don’t stop!