Don’t Be Crusty
…how to get out of your spiritual rut.
Part of being on mission with God is our continued growth as a follower of Jesus. It is realizing that we have not arrived nor will we fully arrive with God. As we are on mission with him we must continually hear from him, change, and draw ever closer to him. How do we do it?
When you first start following Jesus it seems like everything is exciting and new. Your spiritual life feels fresh and real. The Bible “comes alive.” You’re reading it and praying. You and God feel super close. It is almost like you can audibly hear his voice.
Then something happens. Those books in the Bible like Ephesians and Philippians feel stale. You try to read some Old Testament and it’s just confusing and hard. So you read a Gospel and it seems really long. All of a sudden your prayers feel like they are bouncing off the ceiling. You start going through the motions of church attendance and maybe a Bible study here or there. You take Instagram pictures of your open Bible next to a steaming cup of joe, that was made from locally roasted beans, but you don’t really read it.
You’re in a rut. You’re stuck in a moment that you can’t get out of (you even tried listening to U2 and it didn’t help).
How do you break out of it?
First, we need to understand that our spiritual growth was never intended to be a “me and Jesus” kind of thing. It was always intended to be an “us and Jesus” kind of thing.
With this in mind, I want to challenge you to enter more fully into the community of believers. For us to break out of a spiritual rut we need other people. When we study the Scriptures it is best done in the company of other believers. We gather around the Scripture and pray and talk and challenge one another.
Second, we need to realize that our spiritual growth is wrapped up in stuff that is everywhere. It’s wrapped up in the small, every day, seemingly meaningless kinds of things. As one ancient writer said, “Do not despise the day of small things.”
We need to slow down and catch on to the things that God is doing in our midst. When we are at a stop light and we catch some beauty or a thought pops into our mind, will we hold on to it or will we ignore it? It is in these moments that we experience kairos moments. A kairos moment is the in-breaking of God into our lives. Too often we ignore it and move on.
Third, the Bible is not Jesus. The Bible is not God. We do not have a relationship with the Bible, we have a relationship with God. While we believe the Bible to be the very word of God and that it is authoritative, we must understand that the Bible reveals God to us but it is not the end all in our relationship with God.
Along with the Scriptures we need an abiding prayer life. If we are all study and no prayer, then our spiritual life will grow cold. Prayer brings us into the spiritual presence of God. It is in prayer that we are changed deeply. Spending time in prayer transforms regular space into sacred space.
Community is the oxygen, the Scriptures are the fuel, and prayer is the match that lights a blazing fire in our soul.