Growing up I would often hear my mom say, if you don’t use it then you’ll lose it. She was normally referring to my stuff but this expression can also apply to our mind, body and soul in various ways. With four nurses in the family I have witnessed first hand how people who are put on bed rest, lose so much of their muscle mass. They are unable to use it and no matter how much physical therapy the nurses assist them with it cannot maintain their muscle the way it was intended to be used.
I have a tendency to put my brain on auto-pilot. I am very laid back and although that has it’s benefits, it also makes thinking for myself and troubleshooting various situations in life a chore. If I am not purposeful in my thoughts and actions I can easily become focused on myself. That isn’t who I want to be though because I know that my life is much more valuable when I am focused on Jesus. My three young boys have often asked me how I have become so good at a task they just observed me complete and my answer is usually that practice makes perfect and this is also true when it comes to staying focused on Jesus and seeking His face. If I don’t practice what I am reading, then my focus will not be on God’s will. I find it is increasingly difficult in today’s society, with the media working overtime to draw you in, to stay focused on God’s will.
There are times, though, that I find myself in a ‘Spiritual high.’ I find that my prayer life is full and my mind is focused on what God has in store for me. I find that I am able to see beyond my worldly wants and needs to the needs of others. Then there are times that I struggle in reading scripture and focusing my thoughts. I often ask myself why I go through spiritual valleys in life. When you are on a high, it seems easy to forget how you got to the previous low. When things are good, it’s easy to lose focus in those times. There are two verses that speak to me during those times, Luke 17:5 says that we can pray and ask for an increase in faith and Romans 10:17 says, “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing the word of God”. These verses tell me that I need to pray continuously and to listen/read God’s word.
Of course it’s easier said than done. We all know the right thing to do. We are constantly making choices in life whether to be selfless or selfish but James 4:17 says, “Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.” If there is one thing we know for sure is that we will be held accountable on the day of judgement. We will all sit in that judgment seat. It’s hard to be accountable all the time. Often when talking to unbelievers about my faith, I get the feeling they just don’t want to be held accountable. People want to be at liberty to do what they please without penalty. They want to live their life how they choose because they can’t see what comes beyond that.
My last faith related conversation with a co-worker was interesting. He thought it was absurd to think that one “entity or being” could create the whole universe. I told him that self creation makes less sense. The “big bang” theory requires more faith than to believe that God created the universe. But I realized that it wasn’t creation that was the stickler for this person, it was the accountability that came with knowing there was a right and a wrong way to live their lives. If my co-worker did choose to believe that God is our creator, he would also have to come to the conclusion that there is a heaven and a hell.
As it says in Ephesians 6:16, take up your shield of faith to quench the fiery darts of the wicked. Keep your sword of the Spirit, which is the word of god, sharp by reading the word of God. Always be ready to share the hope in Jesus that you have inside you.