Philippians 3: 13-14: “Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead press on toward the goal…”
Have you ever felt stagnant in your faith? Have you ever known someone who is? Are you that way now?
I stumbled across the “Plainsimplefaith” webpage run by Ben Giselbach, a pastor at Montgomery, Alabama and he makes some interesting points that tie in well with Chapter 5 of Crazy Love.
First of all, you cannot be stagnant if you are truly a Christian. Stagnant means “still, motionless, static, stationary, standing, dead and slack.” Either a Christian is growing stronger or they are growing weaker. They are either moving closer to God or they are moving away.
In Hebrew 2:1, the Bible says “We must pay more careful attention therefore, to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away.”
What are 4 signs that you are drifting away?
1.Your relationship with God becomes “old hat.” It is not interesting anymore; in fact, it is boring. The amazing opportunity God has provided for you is not exciting. He asks you to try to love Him and follow His commandments and promises you will feel a peace, you know that peace “that passes all understanding.”
Folks that is real and it is the payoff of a life devoted to Christ.
That in itself is excitement enough for anyone.
But you are not feeling that anymore. You are drifting.
2.You don’t understand the Bible any better this year than last year. I was talking to a Bible teacher yesterday and he is looking forward to teaching a class at church and he said something that is all too true. “I hope I cause some people to pick up their Bibles and knock the dust off of them.” That’s the state of things in too many churches today. If you are not growing, Bible study has probably stopped. You are drifting.
3.You need coaxing to grow. You aren’t excited about worship. You aren’t excited about attending any events at church. You are shying away from taking the lead on anything that needs your help. You need motivation and encouragement to get up and go to honor your God. The problem with all this is that you should not need encouragement. You should want to go. You are drifting.
4.You have reached the point in life where you know you are beginning to blur the line between right and wrong in your life. Pastor Giselbach says “Do you find yourself constantly trying to justify sinful behavior? Are you reluctant to take a stand on moral issues? Are you always willing to ‘push the envelope’ when it comes to your own moral boundaries?” Moral stands are tough and it is hard to comb through a complex issue and figure where the truth is. It is not bad to keep an open mind and collect facts before coming down hard on an issue. However being wishy washy forever and having no stand whatsoever is the sign of a weak moral character. Eventually Matthew 5: 37 comes into play: “But let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No.’ For whatever is more than these is from the evil one.” You are drifting.
“Spiritual growth is a result of a determination to grow” Pastor Giselbach says and he is right.
God does not want us to be stagnant.
Let us press on in life to the point where we desire “solid food”. That is the food for the mature Christian.
This drifting is bad, for it is moving away from God. It is a slow process and it occurs in increments. We drift further and further away every day until we are no longer capable of calling ourselves Christian. There is nothing that would distinguish you from any worldly person walking down the street.
You have forgotten your Christian goal.
You are drifting…