To the person who spent a majority of your life growing up in church:
After all those Sundays, it became ritual. We sat in the same section of pews. We sang the same songs. We listened to the same altar call. After all those years, it felt like an obligation on our schedule rather than a truly personal desire to worship the Lord and study the Bible.
I know that feeling. I spent six out of the seven days of the week at the campus of my church as well as its connected private Christian school. Don’t get me wrong; I am so grateful for the education I received there and the time I spent in my second home. I’m who I am today distinctly because of each person that poured so much into me from this church, and I genuinely thank the Lord for these blessings. But looking back, I struggled with the natural tendency of complacency.
I’ll be completely honest. In those past years, I struggled with reading the Bible daily. Sure, I read it in Bible class when I was told or when a pastor taught a passage, but I never desired to open the Bible for myself. I missed moments of deeper relationship with the Lord. I’ve always known He has a huge plan for my life, and I’ve always desired to serve him; however, I missed relational aspects such as the longing to “pray without ceasing” that Paul talks so richly about in 1 Thessalonians 5:17. These recent months have taught me how truly amazing it is to have the Holy Spirit with me in every situation and that the Lord cares about every detail of my life, not just the big things. By writing down in a journal at least one moment from my day where the Lord was at the center, He began to open my eyes to His work in everyday life. This shifted my focus from me to Him.
It’s not very often that you hear a testimony from a pulpit of someone who has followed the Lord and is then reaping the rewards of trust and patience. But I want to tell you that, after personally seeing mentors and friends in college on the other side of completely stepping out in faith, I see now that it is one of the most rewarding things in life. Don’t let the world lie to you; there is absolutely nothing more valuable than giving 100% of your life to the Lord. The Lord is so faithful to keep his promises to those who surrender everything to Him (Psalm 119:65).
If you’re where I was, I want you to know that the God of the Universe wants to love you with a type of love that can’t be found anywhere else…but you must be willing to receive it. If you give Him your complacent thoughts and attitude, He will not fail in changing your heart. He will never turn away your prayer or turn His faithful love away from you (Psalm 66:20).
I earnestly pray that we (myself included) don’t allow complacency to take away the joy the Lord has for us.
A Growing Church Kid
“You have multiplied, O Lord my God,
your wondrous deeds and your thoughts toward us;
none can compare with you!
I will proclaim and tell of them,
yet they are more than can be told.”