So in “part 1” i introduced the overall need for discipline, here we go into the effects of discipline (and the lack), here goes. . .
I can’t overstate how easy and commonplace it is to fool ourselves into comfort and ease. You may have an intense love of God in your life today. But it’s easy for Lewis and Company to equate that feeling and security with “falling in Love” with Jesus. And that’s a good thing; I love to see people excited about loving God and being forgiven, full of wonder and expectancy. The problem comes when we expect this to be a constant in our spiritual lives. That expectancy is soon turned to disappointment; first with our own lives and second with the Christians surrounding us. And then what happens to your faith?
I believe that it goes one of three ways, and keep in mind this is all after getting saved, these are positions taken in the church, not outside:
1. Mundane Christianity— the most common alternative to living the abounding and fruitful way you think a Christian should. Most people in this category are often happy on the outside, still attending church many even becoming leaders themselves, but in their inner lives they have accepted that lifelessness and sin are simply the “way it is” and are too afraid of damnation to leave the boundaries of faith and too afraid of their own inadequacy and unbelief to challenge their faith to a higher level.
2. Muted Christianity—fairly common. This is when someone gives up on the power and purpose of God altogether. These people usually view Christianity as “a harness for the young and comfort for the old”. They may wander in to a service once or twice a year to maybe rekindle that once magical feeling of knowing God. Then it’s back to real life without Christ and his constant weight on the conscience.
3. Motive Christianity—rare, very rare. This is where a person starts building something that overcomes the ups and downs of their feelings and seeks the permanent joy of being daily challenged to live in the place God has called them. They may experience problems or turmoil but nothing moves them outside of sacrificial living and servanthood.
Many people in the faith (especially young ones 30 and below) say, “mundane and muted? That would never happen to my relationship with God”.
Pay close attention to what I’m about to say: If you do not start to build a lasting impenetrable faith now in your own hearts and lives, it will most assuredly and without notice happen to you. Like I said before it’s rare to get to motive Christianity after faith runs out. If you don’t start wrapping your minds around spiritual discipline you will have little if nothing to hold on to when the feeling goes away. And be assured the feeling goes away. For many it happens after the excitement and accountability of youth groups for more critical thinkers it’s earlier and for some it’s later in life. Whenever it happens you can see it in the distance, a little blurry and faint at first. Maybe you’re already getting tired of the church because (1)it’s not living up to your expectations or (2) your not living up to God’s standards. I’ll tell you now the secret to getting past this. PRESS IN!
That’s usually the beginning, you might start feeling like you don’t belong with this people /- press in. Possibly it’s too hard and not worth it. Wouldn’t it be nice to just be like the world, free of restrictions and discipline /- press in. Now is the time to really find out who God is and what He wants from you, you can’t slow down, you can’t stop /- press in. The race isn’t for the quick but to who those who endure /-press in.