“There I will go to the altar of God, to God—the source of all my joy. I will praise you with my harp, O God, my God!” ― Psalm 43:4
Our goal every day should be to know Jesus a little better than we did the day before. But then life happens, and we have trouble staying focused in an age of unprecedented distraction. Our desire to get closer to God bogs down a little and then a little more. Then one day you realize that the closer you get the farther away you seem to be. Somewhere along the line, you had settled for where you are rather than where you should be in your relationship with God. You feel stuck. And your lack of progress makes you wonder if you have arrived at the zenith of your spiritual development; if this is as good as it gets.
C.S. Lewis said, “The only thing Christianity cannot be is moderately important.” When you have taken the relationship with God as far as you can take it, you have arrived at the point that you turn the relationship over to Him. Remember what you can’t do, He can. God never created a finish line this side of heaven. Thus we are an ongoing project. And like most projects, there will be times we stumble and even fail: to the point where we start to second guess how we can go.
The Gospel is simple: Jesus died for our sins, was buried in a tomb, and came back to life three days later. If our love for Jesus and our relationship with Him isn’t based on the reality of these events, following Jesus can become a matter of routine. If that is the case we need to change the routine. I think sometimes we can forget that it takes an everyday effort and an everyday surrender. We have to consciously make a choice to choose Him every chance we get. We have to consciously make time with Him our priority and center the rest of our days around Him.
As Christians do we arrive? Is there a time when all of our hard work and efforts will pay off? The answer is no. We are still a work in progress and will be until we meet Jesus face to face. The life God uniquely designed for us to live and for which our hearts yearn cannot be achieved by our own efforts, no matter how disciplined we may be. In fact, our desperate huffing and puffing to please God, scrambling to win His favor and attempts to fix myself accomplish little. Fortunately, desiring to follow Jesus isn’t about being complete and perfect; it’s about doing my best and trusting God to finish what He began. Its about living with His grace daily, remembering what matters most, getting to know Jesus better, figuring out where we need to grow, and focusing on the future.
- Have you ever felt that you have arrived, that your relationship with God was about as good as it gets?
- What can we do this week to keep our relationship with God from becoming routine, or going through the motions?