Weekly Devotional 11-30-20
The Testimony of a Dear Brother in the Lord
What About When the Novelty Wears off?
I’ve had a concern. How many times throughout my life have I known the exhilaration of a new “thing” acquired; and then the inevitable staleness that would set in once the novelty had worn off? Whether it was a new possession, a new idea, a new love of anything; with time the passion would leave and in its place would be left the empty “nothing new under the sun” lack of feeling – especially by a traumatic loss or set-back.
What if my new love for Jesus becomes vulnerable to becoming just routinely reciting prayers, to fearful daily anxieties, to the inexorable losses of advancing age, leaving me more impotent and vulnerable?
Against this there are the obvious and true remembrances of His Grace in saving me – experienced as Amazing-ly real events in my life – seminal events that had a clear chain of precursors – behaviors, attitudes, disastrous results – all rescued with a singularity that could not be second-guessed or doubted. I had never felt such profound gratitude as when I was saved.
How could such gratitude eventually grow stale? Well, here is one simple answer to this fear: Before, there was nothing! Now, there is “Something!” And that Something is a more absolute and substantial reality, experienced every day with a growth that sustains me. Instead of passively living my life as I had before salvation – reacting unthinkingly to every momentary happening, reacting with no direction, reacting too often poorly – I now believe that everything happening in my life (both as participant and witness) has a coherent meaning, a purpose, an opportunity to learn, to act with a propriety directed by Something greater and better than me.
Please know that this is not a vain, self-congratulatory testimony. At this point I still get it wrong too often. But for me, being born again was just the beginning of the life changing work of God. This will continue until He calls me home. Gradually, the fog is lifting; as I read Scripture and try to change my behavior and character according to Jesus’ teachings, the clarity is growing. I sense – I know – that it is all part of some form of training program, where Something is leading, teaching me. Call it a new intuition if you will. I will call it the Holy Spirit.
Bottom Line: This new “Something” is better than the nothing that was there for the seventy years before. This alone, should suffice for whatever years I have left. With humble, grateful, loving daily effort on my part, Jesus will never leave me with that nihilistic, depressed apathy that once was mine.
Psalm 86:11-13: “Teach me Your way, Lord, that I may rely on Your faithfulness; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear Your Name. I will praise You, Lord my God, with all my heart; I will glorify Your Name forever. For great is Your love toward me; You have delivered me from the depths, from the realm of the dead.”
True love does not grow stale.
What an alert and what a reminder that we should strive against spiritual apathy. God has given us His word, the Holy Spirit, and Christian brothers and sisters to keep us aggressively energized toward Him. However, to avoid apathy we must be actively engaged. Being involved in ministry, a local church, a daily Bible reading program, group Bible studies and daily communicating with our Lord (prayer) are great helpmates to that achievement.
Transforming Power; the Work of God on Behalf of Man