Sorry about the lack of blog yesterday. Due to technical difficulties and a stereotypical Monday of hilarious mishaps, it just wasn’t a possibility. I missed you. Glad to be back with you on this beautiful Tuesday.
One of the most dangerous aspects of following Christ in the culture and spiritual climate we live in is that for the most part, in the Bible belt, people who claim to be Christians are intellectually overfed and spiritually malnourished. We are full of spiritual information and trivia about God the Bible while our lives are empty of true Godliness and repentance. We are spiritual gluttons; constantly wanting one more pre-processed nugget of spiritual truth from the Jesus buffet, and never putting His truth into practice. We don’t exercise enough. If this pattern of eating and eating and eating without ever exercising continues, we get to a point where we can’t lift our fat, lazy selves off the couch of apathetic comfort.
Go read Philippians 3:15-16
Paul straight up calls us out when he says “All of us who are mature should take such a view of things.” What view of things? Look back in vs. 12-14. Paul says ALL mature believers should take a this view. 1.) I have not arrived at the goal yet. 2.) By forgetting the past and straining toward what is ahead, I am pressing on toward the goal. What is the goal? Jesus -- knowing Him. Why does that fly in the face of our cultural spiritual gluttony? Because forgetting and straining so as to press on involves movement. It involves neglecting our past and letting Christ heal us. It involves seeking Christ actively as we strain toward what He has for us in the future. It has no room for complacency. It cuts to the heart of over-informed, lazy Christianity (if that is Christianity at all.)
<> Is your walk with Christ more marked by movement or stagnancy?
<> Is it possible to follow something or someone without moving?
The second one is kind of a trick question. It is possible to follow someone without moving if they stop moving. Go look through Jesus’ life and the times He stopped moving were for two main reasons: 1.) to teach people spiritual truth about Himself and 2.) to hang out with the Father. If you aren’t actively moving in terms of actions, then following Jesus’ example means you are actively helping push others toward following Christ or you are sitting at His feet getting to know Him – which means actively moving your heart towards Him.
<> Do you have long periods of spiritual downtime where you are neither moving in obedience to God or moving relationally closer to Him?
Read vs. 15 again.
Isn’t that beautiful? If you are mature then you will think like this: humbly accepting you are not there yet, you will patiently persevere as you press on toward Christ. BUT just in case that is not your attitude in some area of life, He will fix that too.
<> How can you see God changing your attitude toward a more mature pursuit of Him?
Living Up to What We Have Attained:
Go read vs. 16.
<> What have you attained?
When we put our whole hope and faith in Christ’s death on the cross to pay for our sins and His resurrection from the grave to give us new life in Him – we attain relationship with God the Father. We attain the Holy Spirit who comes to live in us. Over time we learn spiritual truth about what God says is the best way to live life.
<> Are you living up to what you have attained?
<> Are there major spiritual lessons you’ve learned that you are ignoring right now in your life?
<> Go back through any old journals and see if you have backslidden on areas God convicted you about.
If we are ever going to become and remain maturing believers, we can not constantly be working from ground zero. Imagine a baby that had to relearn how to walk through the entire process of crawling every day. That baby would never be able to run. We have to build on what we know. We have to grow. And in the process He’ll keep showing us that He is really the one growing us.