What is Driving My Faith in Jesus?

     I often ponder: “Why do I do this?” You might be surprised how many things we do without thinking about them. The other day I experienced this driving home from the office. I had driven down a stretch of road that included several stop lights and a couple of turns. It was then that it hit me, “How did I get here?!” Now, my mind was on others things. I was driving safely, but I was on autopilot.

     The same thing can be true in our spiritual lives. The other day, immediately after reading a chapter in my Bible, I could not remember one thing I had read. I know that I read the words but my mind was not engaged. If I were reading just to get a check mark for a task accomplished, it might have been acceptable, but if my intent is to grow closer to and more like Jesus, then it is unacceptable. I have learned to catch when this happens. I reset my mind, ask the Lord for help and then re-read the section with more intention.

     I continually marvel, when reading the Gospels, how the religious leaders were on autopilot and not really grasping Jesus’ ministry. I guess we could call this an early case of “Jesus Derangement Syndrome”. The result was, instead of realizing the blessings Jesus offered, they were trapped in blindness reflected by their bitterness and jealousy. Of course, in their minds they had it all together. But Jesus did not leave them in their brokenness. He challenged their superficial religious practices.

     We read John’s account from one such interaction after Jesus had healed a man who was an invalid for 38 years! He writes, “This was why the Jews were seeking all the more to kill him, because not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God.” (John 5:18). How sad they missed the clear demonstration of God’s work in our world. They chose to hold onto man-made rules rather than embrace God working in their midst.

    I guess this brings me back to my question in the title: “What is Driving My Faith in Jesus?” It is easy for us as Christians to live out our faith on autopilot. There may come a point where we think we have gained enough understanding of God’s Word and God’s work in our world that we stop investing in our own spiritual development. The results are often that we let our own opinions about life trump God’s truth. Our lives lack spiritual conviction. We grow cold and indifferent to the spiritual joys of the Christian faith. Our attitudes become critical of others and negative about the world around us. We also fall into justifying our spirituality and not seeing our own spiritual apathy.

    If you find yourself on spiritual autopilot, the good news is Jesus desires to help you get back on track! One of the greatest blessings for me is to see the spiritual fire revived in those who are willing to get back to the basics of our faith. If you are thinking: “How did I get here spiritually?” we are here to help you!

-Pastor Joe Parkinson

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