God refuses to let me coast in this Christian journey.
–to continue to move or advance after effort has ceased; keep going on acquired momentum;
–to advance or proceed with little or no effort … (dictionary.com)
Yep. I can’t coast. I like to get momentum and then keep going after effort has ceased. I like to advance with little or no effort. I really do. But it doesn’t work that way for me in the Christian life. I TRY to coast. Often after particularly fruitful times, I try to keep up momentum without doing any work. I get distracted from reading my Bible. I may still pray as I go, but I don’t stop and cry out to God on my knees. But my walk with God just doesn’t work that way.
I’m utterly dependent on Him day by day. My sister says that if she doesn’t get time alone with God on any given morning, we really don’t want to be around her that day. I’m learning the same about myself.
I read this quote on a friend’s Facebook page.
“No amount of activity in the King’s service will make up for neglect of the King Himself.” –R.M. M’Cheyne
That quote has me pegged, and the author is exactly right. But it is so easy to fall in the ministry trap—where you are talking to others about Christian things so much that you forget your personal relationship with Christ. You talk more ABOUT Christ than TO Christ. I thank God He doesn’t let me get away with that for long. I thank Him because HE is my inheritance. God is the gospel, and that personal relationship with Him is the culmination of all the good that Christ accomplished for me on the cross. When I try to feast on Christian things instead of Christ Himself, I wither up and die.
I never excelled at 30 minute morning devotions, even when I didn’t have kids and was in Christian environments that pressured me to do them. I just am not very self disciplined. But there is nothing like utter desperation to get you doing something you’ve never been able to do with simple self discipline. I now keep a New Testament with Psalms along with a highlighter and magnifying bookmark (because I’m getting that old) next to my reading chair and laptop. I don’t get 30 minutes to read/pray. But I take 5 minutes here and 5 minutes there. I’m just reading the Psalms right now, because that’s about all my desperate heart can process. I envision one day reading a book of the Bible and researching it thoroughly again. I want to write a study on I Peter. But for right now, I’m just clinging to the Psalms, comforted immensely that someone else has struggled with heavy burdens and that God saw fit to record their cries in His written word as they lived out their relationship with God.
It’s so easy to get distracted from Christ by Christian things. But the walk of faith just doesn’t work that way. The culmination of the cross is that the veil is torn that separated us from the throne of God. Christ cried out in that moment, “It is finished!” And He had done all that He came to do when He opened the way for us to have free access to God Himself. This access to God is the heart of the gospel. God Himself is the gift. God is the gospel, and may we all remember we will wither in ministry for Him without availing ourselves of this relationship Christ has secured for us.
25 Whom have I in heaven but you?
And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you.
26 My flesh and my heart may fail,
but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.