The following quote from Francis Chan's book Crazy Love has been rumbling in my heart for a while now, and I just have to share.
"Following Christ isn't something that can be done halfheartedly or on the side. It is not a label we can display when it is useful. It must be central to everything we do and are. If life is a river, then pursuing Christ requires swimming upstream. When we stop swimming, or actively following Him, we automatically begin to be swept downstream."
Wow, it's that last sentence that gets me! I can so relate to that. It's just not enough to label myself a Christian. How do I wear that label? Being a Christian is an act of ... well, action. It's a daily pursuit of my Savior, an ongoing relationship with my Creator. The minute I stop reading, praying, praising, loving I am quickly whisked back into this world, into a clouded perspective, into a societal focus.
I can talk it, but if I don't live it, it's pretty evident. See, I've been there. I've gotten busy and let my relationship slide. "I'll read tomorrow. I'll pray later." Do you know what I'm talking about? But tomorrow turns into next week and next week into next month. In the meantime there is something brewing inside me.
Not only has my perspective changed, so has my attitude. I become skeptical, cynical, critical, jealous (ouch!). I begin questioning other relationships. "Why is so-and-so acting that way? Why did she say that to me? Why doesn't she speak to me?" Have you been there?
When I stop actively pursuing the One who gives me purpose, I begin living for my own purpose, in my own weakness, walking my own crooked path. When I stop receiving the love of the One who loves me so much, I can't give or receive it according to the Word. It's so easy to love those who love us back, but we are commanded to love the stranger, our enemy, even the one who would harm us (many times with their words).
When I'm floating back into the murky waters, they permeate every part of my being. My spirit. My attitude. My relationships. My heart. My actions.
Where are you today? Even if it's been a while since you've talked to your Heavenly Father, He's ready to listen. He's ready to speak to you. Let's swim upstream together!
Lord, please give us the desire to daily swim upstream with you, actively pursuing you, saying yes to your plans, shining your light in this dark world. In Jesus' name, Amen.