Spot of Grace
November 9, 2016
It’s Time For a Restart – Why?
Today I’m beginning a new series that calls each of us to think about personal revival. I’ll start with a word picture:
In the last year I have found that my eyesight is starting to fail. I notice this when trying to read small text, close up. It has been especially obvious when using my iPhone. So, I decided I needed to get some reading glasses. I used to have perfect vision, but I don't anymore. I have noticed my need for glasses when I'm tired and when I do lots of reading. I recognized my need for help.
I'm learning that I also need regular spiritual help. I need God to draw me back to Himself. Maybe, like me, you find that you go through “seasons” in your spiritual life. Sometimes I get dry, sometimes I get discouraged, and sometimes I realize that my spiritual health needs to improve. I want to spend the next few weeks encouraging you to join me in a time of a spiritual restart … a time of spiritual renewal. Let’s begin by considering how a season of drifting starts.
My seasons of drifting start with the war I fight against my flesh. I live with this constant tension in my life. My soul searches for God. I want to know Him, I desire to worship Him, and I desire to be faithful. (I remember, as an example of this desire, that as a teen I called the Gideons and asked for a study Bible.) But my will often is in rebellion to God. I feel the conviction that I am living independently of my King. I sense the drift toward living to please myself – living selfishly. I take my walk with God for granted and I settle for my focus being elsewhere – and I drift. Do you know what I mean by drifting? It isn’t losing your faith or making some awful decision but, slowly but surely, becoming discouraged, dry, or weary spiritually. In a season of drifting, I perceive the gap between where I am and where I need to be. Do you sense that as well?
So here is this series in a sentence:
It’s time for a restart.
My prayer is that, during the coming weeks, we will seek to understand those seasons of drifting in our lives and through them, we will seek to grow closer to Christ. Here's the central passage I have been thinking about:
“Now this I say and testify in the Lord, that you must no longer walk as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds. They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart. They have become callous and have given themselves up to sensuality, greedy to practice every kind of impurity. But that is not the way you learned Christ! — assuming that you have heard about him and were taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus, to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.” Ephesians 4:17-24
Have a good week.