With our destination over journey mindset we often reach a place in our lives and then stall out for a season (sometimes forever!). Our suburban sprawl feeds into this trap because we are a people of minimal standards when achieving social acceptance. Our social pressures push us to be good enough parents to fit into the culture at large but we don’t want to exceed those and then be viewed as too much of a ‘goody goody.’
When it comes to spiritual things and the church the same pressures apply. Our social influences push us toward being pious people who are raising a family that has spiritual values and beliefs. However, once we reach that point we must not move ahead into the zone of ‘holy rollers.’ It is nothing short of heartbreaking for me when I meet someone who has a great story of finding Jesus and experiencing a great season of growth early on which was followed by a long and dry plateaux. Let’s be honest, the idea of a plateaux is just an overly polite metaphor. There is no such thing. Those seasons which we call a ‘plateaux’ are really seasons of decline.
Often times these seasons will creep up on us. Maybe it is because of a crazy season at work, or the addition of one or several children into our home. There are countless reasons that our spiritual growth can take the back burner amidst our priorities. However, at the end of the day it is just that, a priority issue. If we are honest, we must realize that we do accomplish those things which we view as top level priorities.
People who are fanatics about exercise will walk out the door and go for a run in raining, freezing, or snowing weather because it is that high of a priority in their life. They have tasted the benefits of their priority and then have placed it as a value in their life.
Have you tasted the joy of growing in your understanding and experience of Jesus Christ? Have you felt those ‘heaven touching earth’ moments when you are reading the Bible, or even a great author who is writing about biblical things, and clarity strikes you in such a humbling manner that it takes your breath away? Whether you have been in a relationship with Jesus Christ for two weeks or fifty years, DON’T STOP NOW! There is so much more… keep growing in your experience and understanding of Him!
Maybe you are reading this and thinking about your own life over your recent past and you are realizing that you have been in a season of spiritual decline. Thus, the joy of growth has not been a recent and regular emotion in your life. If so, then this post was written specifically for you.
Challenge: Give yourself a goal over the next 30 days. Aside from reading the scriptures each day, read a book by someone who God will use to help you see the scriptures in a new way. If you are not a reader, then put some good sermons on your iPod for your run or commute to work.
Questions: If you have experienced a season like this before what has helped you claw your way out? Going forward, what is it that keeps you from slipping back into another season of decline?