I made an enormous mistake in regards to my attitude to chemistry classes in secondary school. Finding the material rather uninteresting from the start, I didn’t consider it worthy of my full attention (Oh, folly of youth!). I reckoned I could get away with largely ignoring what was being taught and planned to start heeding the lessons later on, once they might become more interesting. What a mistake! As it turned out I had chemistry classes for four long years. Frequently I was at a total loss, as the materials taught later on were based on the building blocks which had been explained the first year. I had ignored the most elemental lessons in chemistry theory and now had to somehow get by through strenuous conjecturing and a fair amount of guess work. It was like trying to erect a building without having first laid a foundation. Obviously, my marks weren’t overly impressive!
How many Christians today make the same mistake in regards to their walk with God? How many people want to get to a place they would fancy, but are unwilling to pay the price in the nitty-gritty, day-to-day aspects of discipleship? Quite a few believe they are called to be teachers, preachers, leaders or prophets. And wouldn’t it be nice to do, see multitudes saved, and witness some miracles in the process?
Yet, as it is with chemistry, so it is with God. We can’t expect to excel in the ‘exciting stuff’ if we don’t ensure we’re fully grounded in the most elemental foundations of Christianity. Here are some things many of us try to skip, in our efforts to find that elusive shortcut in our walk with God: diligence, virtue, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness (2 Peter 1:5). Later on (verse 9) the Apostle adds that if we lack these things, we’re short-sighted, or even blind. Ouch! We might ask ourselves: “How much have these items featured in my prayer life recently?” And should we mention things like patience, humility, servanthood, and self-denial?
Challenging words, I know. But wouldn’t it be best if we all made sure we obeyed God day by day and left the ‘big stuff’ up to Him? After all, from a biblical point of view, becoming greater really means becoming less (Matthew 18:3; and John 3:30).
Prayer: Father in heaven, thank You for Your great mercy and love for us. If I have ever sought a shortcut to ‘spiritual greatness’, please forgive me! And help me, please, to be fully grounded in basic Christian discipleship. May You indeed become greater, whilst I become less! In Jesus’ name, Amen.
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