Winter finally rolled into the south – with a vengeance! It was bone chilling cold, windy and dreary. The sun refused to peek out, even for a minute. The day was a burrow-under-the-warm-blanket kind of day. With a good book.
Sadly, I hadn’t exercised in days, and my body was letting me know. The aches and pains of being a slug were screaming at me. Off to the treadmill I went.
Opting for the high intensity interval program, I started off walking at a snail’s pace. So, I upped the speed. A few minutes later, I realized my mistake: increasing the speed at the beginning, also increased it for the full workout. I was actually having to run instead of simply walking briskly. Horrors!! I couldn’t catch my breath. I was ready to quit and crawl back under my warm blanket.
Suddenly, in my flailing run, my arm hit the emergency cord and pulled it out of it’s socket. The treadmill stopped. Finally! Exercise is hard work, and I was tired. Now was my chance! I could stop.
Or, I could keep moving forward.
My spiritual walk can be like that at times. I childishly think I’ve served enough. Shouldn’t the younger folks take over now? Can’t I just be a pew sitter again? I obstinately will not sprout and grow, opting to hide underground instead. I just want to coast.
It isn’t just me. I think we all go through those times of spiritual laziness, when we just don’t want to move. We’re comfortable. We’re lazy. We’re slothful.
Scripture warns us against against this:
“so that you may not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.” Hebrews 6:12 ESV
Sluggish means lazy, slothful, slow and apathetic. It’s as dangerous in our walk as being lukewarm or spiritually fatigued. Maybe even more so, because it’s a choice we make. That day on the treadmill, I chose to continue. I was taking care of my physical health.
On the other hand, when we choose spiritual sluggishness, we become stagnant. We’re not moving forward in our walk with Jesus. We’re remaining immature.
How do we avoid becoming sluggish? Well, it isn’t about adding more to our spiritual to do list. It isn’t about doing at all. It’s about becoming.
The author of the book of Hebrews was encouraging the recipients of the letter to continue to grow and progress in their faith, to persevere until the end. How?
“And we desire each one of you to show the same earnestness to have the full assurance of hope until the end” Hebrews 6:11 ESV
Earnestness, or diligence is used in this verse to infer moving toward something. We grow and progress forward in our faith by moving toward Jesus. The closer we get to Jesus, the more we are being transformed into His image. We become spiritually mature and heavenly minded. Through faith and patience, we inherit God’s promises.
God will carry us along to maturity. But as believers, we also have to do our part. We have to put one foot in front of the other to move forward, not back. Becoming spiritually stronger, we’ll be able to stay the course and finish the race God set before us.
-What hinders your spiritual growth?
-What can you do to continue to move forward?
-Are you moving from spiritual milk to solid food (Hebrews 5:12, 1 Peter 2:2)?
We become what we behold. ~William Blake
Until next time,