Spiritual Discipline—the thing that upholds a relationship with Almighty God
Many people want a reason, asking, “Why should I focus on this? Isn’t my relationship enough to carry out my faith for the rest of my life? Are you saying I’m not Committed to God because I don’t adhere to your standards of holiness and stupid rules?”
That’s quite the litany of questions but nonetheless they represent the hostility and attitude of a generation that wants to see God but hasn’t seen value placed on discipline and standards by the previous generations. Their most notable examples are leaders and spokesmen failing to uphold spiritual discipline or, to the other extreme, enforcing standards that seem to only weigh down and restrict the excitement and hunger they have to see a “new thing”.
My answer to these questions:
Yes you may be committed to God, but are you committed to the power of God to save. [Have you learned to hide flesh behind Spirit and the sacrifice of the cross? to not allow yourself to shine through, but instead the living Christ?] Paul says two things are at the forefront of his relationship with the father and those are “to know Him and make Him known”. I would go as far as saying that these things are twofold much like faith and works. Proving one is purposeless and powerless without the other. So if you are banking on knowing him without making him known then your faith is not only purposeless (although it might save you) but furthermore quite literally infinitely selfish. How can you claim to serve and love a loving God, merrily living your life in a cruise liner of blessing while watching the world drown in the tides?
I don’t think God hands out his best to be squandered on a faith like that. The opposite is also noticeable. We have all been witness (or involved) in a marketing strategy to convert souls and get people into church by a seemingly scripted “oh looky here, isn’t our pastor dynamic, or wasn’t that worship intense” mentality of making Him known, but not going the extra mile to know Him. This is what the world sees the most of, a way of capitalizing on the fear of death and unimportance to boost church attendance and Sunday morning offerings. [I, by no means, am implying that you have this attitude but that’s how they see it nonetheless]. But what if instead of seeing us as superspiritual leaders and evangelists they saw our drive and focus and wondered at our devotion, marveled at our willingness to give, or, heaven forbid, asked about our lifestyle? That’s the place where I want to be – Making Him known because I know Him.