Do you want more of Jesus? Do you long for more intimacy with Him? Are you searching and searching yet feeling you never make any real spiritual progress? Do you ever feel there must be more to all of this Christianity thing? That there is some kind of “secret” to Christianity to which you have not been privy?
I know a lot of believers who suffer thoughts and feelings similar to those described in the preceding paragraph. Many such people suffer from spiritual burnout and depression. I suspect it is part of the reason 70% of pastors are reportedly suffering from depression at any given moment in time. We long for God yet are too often left longing. But is this just a fact of our faith or is something terribly wrong with our understanding of it? Is spiritual longing and lack of fulfillment the true nature of the “normal Christian life?” Or are we missing something which might be found?
“Without faith it is impossible to please God for anyone who comes to Him must believe He exists and that He rewards those who diligently seek Him.” — Hebrews 11:6
The above passage is a promise. God does not take His promises lightly. He always fulfills His promises. We can depend upon them with total and complete confidence. If we seek God with diligence He will reward us. The diligence is a life of death to self. The reward is an intimate relationship with God.
A huge number of people living in the United States are living a simple, convenient kind of “faith” they call Christianity which has little to do with genuine Christianity. There is no call to repentance from the life they are living in order to be “born again” to a new life in Christ. There is no call to death so there might be resurrection to life. When this faith turns out to be lacking in any real, tangible power for a changed life, they begin to doubt the veracity and authenticity of what they believe to be Christianity. But the simple fact is they have yet to actually try real Christianity. They have instead followed a religion of fantasy wrapped in religious language to mimic Christianity.
“Christianity has not been tried and found wanting; it has been found difficult and not tried.” — G K Chesterton
Why is it that so many regularly attend church and yet live a “faith of fancy” so easily? Why is it that so many can avoid church attendance altogether and feel comfortable calling themselves a Christian while claiming a vibrant relationship with God? The answer is a simple one; when one buys into a lie long enough it becomes real, true and concrete for the one believing the lie.
The church cannot be a party to the fantasy created by those who deny the sacrifices of Christianity while claiming the blessings of the faith. We cannot continue to pat these folks on the back and offer comforting words of affirmation as they deny the truth and live a lie. We become complicit in their damnation if we tacitly affirm their chosen road; a road which will lead to damnation.
LOVE MUST BE TOUGH!
Sometimes love must be tough! If we refuse to lovingly rebuke those running after falsehood on a road headed for hell we more rightly call ourselves “chauffeurs to hell” than “watchmen on the wall” or “guide to heaven.”
The irony in all of this is that kids, students and young adults of today are looking for a cause for which to live and die. They want to be a part of something bigger than themselves. Young adults are looking for meaning outside of themselves. Jesus is calling all of us to such a life but too many churches are doing all they can to mitigate such sacrifices from any call to discipleship.
So to those who feel their faith is lacking:
- Have you genuinely repented from sin and turned to Christ and asked Him to save you?
- Have you genuinely placed trust in the Cross of Jesus for forgiveness of your sins?
- Have you genuinely given your life to God?
If you can answer in the affirmative to the above questions:
- Are you regularly spending time with God in prayer?
- Do you regularly fast and pray?
- Do you daily die to sin in order to choose obedience to Christ?
- Is there some sin in your life that you are allowing to remain?
- Do you regularly spend time in God’s Word?
- Do you daily pray against the work of spiritual forces of darkness in your life?
- Do you daily, In the name of Jesus, bind the spiritual forces of darkness at work in your life and command them to leave and go back to the place from which they came?
- Are you connected to a local Bible believing church?
The above is not an exhaustive list but you get the point? Are you diligently seeking God through time with Him? Are you regularly participating in the spiritual warfare going on all around you? Are you connected to other believers in Christ who are walking the same road as yourself? A group of believers who might encourage, bless, support and pray for you?
Spiritual lethargy and burnout are remedied by diligent seeking after God. When we seek Him with all of our heart, die to self and have faith in Him for our life, He rewards us. Seek!
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