More and more we have become a “grab and go” culture. We don’t limit this methodology to just drive-through dining and microwave meals. We quite often are satisfied to get much of our information, form our opinions and establish our values on paper-thin and shallow sources. Our attention spans are shrinking and the sturdy “shovels” with which we may have once dug deep to uncover spiritual details, meanings and truth are dangerously close to being exchanged for tiny plastic shovels like children use in sand boxes. Seeking depth, even grasping for truth is too often not as great a concern as getting a quick “read” on things. Though God’s word needs no outside validation, it takes time to validate truth from what is presented to us as “fact.” And it takes time, excellent resources and perseverance to apprehend wisdom. In his prayer over his disciples then and forever in John 17:17, Jesus asked this of his Father for our benefit: “Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth.”
Though we might like to think otherwise, “mainstream” Christians often suffer from a lack of the spiritual nourishment that is necessary for them to live as Christ and fight the trials, temptations and battles all mankind experiences. God desires that we emerge as his witnesses with a life that demonstrates such virtues as peace, patience, joy, long-suffering and of course, love. This is a transcendent life, the one God calls us to through Christ as his image bearers in a troubled and confused world. Are we exchanging shovels for teaspoons in our pursuit of the spiritual wisdom, truth and power God wants us to possess? We must become diligent seekers of God’s word. It is no exaggeration when God says in Deuteronomy 8:3“that man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord.” God’s word breathes life!
The trend of information production is working against us. We are bombarded! It’s very quick. It’s brief. And it’s often amidst a flood of other competing information. Take the nightly news for example. At least three things are working at once which invite our attention. We have the lead spokesperson, a running banner headline at the bottom of the screen and usually some smaller boxes of what’s next to come. We are being trained (especially our children) to not just multitask but to process information in a saturated environment. Hence the often shallow absorption of what breezed by us. Our spiritual disciplines are constantly being challenged and competed against. We must learn to relax our pace when we engage with God’s presence and not hurry or time-limit his work in us.
May I appeal to you not to approach your spiritual life in the time-crushed manner you may be approaching other aspects of real time real life? God has intended for you and I to enjoy him. Does joy characterize your Christian experience? What about peace? Have you come to the place in your life where your passion for God and growing understanding of him allows you to relax and enjoy his presence . . . and to seek it more? That is when it’s really happening!
We seek the counsel and wisdom of God not so that we become better theologians, but that we might experience the life Christ died to give us and that his Spirit within us yearns to have us experience. God wants us to savor the personal process that comes from abiding closely to him as much as he enjoys leading us on the journey. We cannot not changewhen we submit to God’s sovereign will over us. God’s Spirit is exceptionally dynamic and at salvation actually takes up residence within us. Though we may become discouraged or disappointed over what we perceive to be a “lack of progress,” our God is not one to ever let go or disdain us for our weaknesses and shortcomings. He’s a much better parent than we are.
The good news is this: The longer we closely follow Jesus, pursue his will through our hunger for and absorption of Scripture and submit to his leadership, the more our own heart’s desires will align with his purposes as his will and wisdom become supernaturally our own. “Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart.” (Psalm. 39:4) Take heart and take action. This is both a noble pursuit and a renewing process. (See Romans 12:1-2) Think About It.