Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Expire (08/01/13)
TITLE: Stay Tuned In
By JoAnne Billison
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For some of us daily exercise is a chore, whereas others love it and naturally build their lives around it. One thing is certain though, whether we love it or hate it, if we don’t do it, eventually our health will expire. Various aches and pains in our bodies become sad reminders of our neglect. To put it plainly, exercising is a vital part of keeping our bodies strong and healthy.
Did you know that if we don’t exercise our faith, it can expire too? If we don’t nurture our spiritual lives, in time our spiritual health suffers and we grow dull of heart.
The human heart is the gateway for communication between God and us. Basically, the heart is the place where our spirit or soul communes with God. The good news is, God gave us the Bible to teach us the best way to commune or stay “in tune” with him. Many of the stories found in the Scriptures also alert us to dangers that cause our hearts to stray or “tune out” of this connection. For instance, in the book of Judges we are told over and over that the Israelites of that day did what was right in their own eyes. By reading their stories, we learn that when we stop worshiping God and follow what we believe is right, we end up walking away from God altogether. And in first Samuel, the Israelites of that day asked for a King because all the surrounding nations had ruling Kings (1 Sam 8:5). First Samuel teaches us that when we desire to be like everyone else, we sacrifice our relationship with God.
God’s ways drastically differ from the ways of the world. If we don’t stay “tuned in”, we may think we are following God, but in reality have fallen away. One of the consequences of being out of tune with God is a failure to understand his ways. Tragically, we reject God’s morality and justice and let our wandering hearts determine what seems right or just. The reality is, what we feel is right or just may not be in line with what God deems as right or just. Additionally, if we aren’t in the habit of “renewing” our minds with scriptural and biblical teachings, then society becomes our only example for relational life. We fall prey to sound bites from other religions and are easily seduced by cultural practices. Ultimately we begin to live our lives in the same manner as the ancient Israelites did, by doing what we feel is right in our own minds. We conform to what we see around us rather than transform into Christ like beings.
When our faith becomes sluggish, in time our hearts dull and we no longer hear God’s voice or discern his ways. Just like exercise is needed to keep our bodies healthy, developing our faith is needed to keep our spiritual lives healthy. The benefits of staying in tune with God far outweigh any inconvenience. Reading the scriptures, praying and spending time with God allows us to explore the endless riches of our relationship with him. Searching through the pages of the Bible reveals answers to our questions, gives encouragement to spur us on, offers support to help carry our heavy loads, provides healing to bind old wounds, and delivers hope that keeps our hearts soaring towards the heavens. And if that’s not enough, Paul points out that when we renew of our minds, our senses awaken to the reality of just how good and perfect God’s ways truly are (Rom 12:2). In other words, by staying tuned in, we gain a greater depth of knowing what is right and just.
Staying “tuned in”, gives us a key to understanding God and that helps us flex strong spiritual muscles that won’t expire.
The opinions expressed by authors may not necessarily reflect the opinion of FaithWriters.com.
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