Being All In Is The Only Way

When was the last time you were fullhearted in anything?

Halfheartedness seems to be the default mode for the modern American person. We have our laptop out while watching TV, our phones out while watching our kids games, music in while reading a book, and screens on while we eat. Do we ever just fully devote ourselves to a task or an event or a project?

The Christian life is not a life that can be done halfheartedly. Jesus’ command to take up a cross, no our cross, and follow him is not a call for halfheartedness. It is a call for fully devoted surrender and sacrifice that starts to require our entire self – from our thoughts, to our use of our body, to the choices that we make.

Yet, we try to get by with a halfhearted faith.

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Photo by Aloïs Moubax on Pexels.com

We let other people pray for us, we open God’s word just on occasion, we substitute blogs and podcasts for real Christian community, and we fill up our time with endless distractions that have zero eternal significance. Dallas Willard says, “When we are halfhearted in our faith, we are halfhearted in our thinking. And the halfheartedness defeats the whole project.”

Do we ever practice loving one another or being generous or sharing the impact God has made on our life? If you are like me, generosity and love and sacrifice doesn’t come easily and it won’t come at all if I remain halfhearted in my commitment to Christ. My life of following Christ requires all of me.

This world needs halfhearted followers of Christ like I need a hole in my head. You can be distracted while watching TV or brushing your teeth but when it is time to live this Christian life, commit your everything to it. This is why I write this blog, so that readers can Grow Up to a fullhearted faith and leave their halfhearted ways behind them.

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Looking For Something Holy

Shortly before I graduated from high school, a friend and I traveled 40 miles to see Rich Mullins in concert. It was unlike any Christian experience I had witnessed in my short life. I still remember some of the things he said and the spirit present in that small town church.

As I began to recently research his life, I found out that Mullins’ concerts were legendary as spiritual, holy experiences. Mullins’ manager, Gay Quinsenberry, said of his concerts late in his career, “God spoke through Rich in ways I had never seen before or since.”

Mullins didn’t see his role as performer there to entertain and garner applause. For him, playing music and creating was a calling. He believed that his shows should have a message: “You know what? The world is full of musicians. What the world is starving for is Christ. If I wanna just go to a concert, I’ll go see the Chieftains, or a symphony, or a jazz concert, or a rock concert. But if I go to a Christian concert, I want to be reminded that He is a loving God, and that He has forgiven me, and there is hope.”

I hope there are places that you go where you are reminded that God is a “loving God” and that there is hope. Mullins, in his abbreviated life, ruthlessly pursued God and found Him in unlikely venues and scenarios. I want to follow his example of heeding God’s call on my life, wherever it may lead.

 

How To Recharge Your Spiritual Life

I woke up this morning and listened to a two-minute devotional, then I prayed for a few minutes, then I read the same Psalm for 10-minutes and then I sat down to write about Christian Spiritual Formation. None of this is strenuous, none of this required large spiritual muscles. I simply found a few things that I knew were important for me to do and started to do them. The hardest part was simply carving out time in my day for 20 minutes of Growing Up activity.

If you have reached a dry patch in your spiritual life I would suggest that you do two things. One, find the 10 minutes that you are going to devote Growing Up. I do mornings because no one else is up and I am not mentally drained from the day. You may choose a different time and that is fine but stick to that time for at least a week.

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Secondly, start experimenting. Use that first week as a laboratory for finding a set of practices that bring you closer to God. Do not try to fit some ideal found in a book or what your Pastor has outlined for you, the point is to make it work and be sustainable. If you stick to it long enough, God will show you what activities and practices need to be added and which ones need to be dropped. Be flexible. There are many aspects to your spiritual self (your non-physical self) and growth in all of these areas will not happen over night. But, if you remain consistent and are open to the working of God, you will see change.

Here are a few ideas to get you started:

Read one Psalm everyday for a week

Pray the Lord’s Prayer

Memorize the 23rd Psalm

Sing your favorite worship song or hymn

Write a spiritual note of encouragement to a friend

Take a walk without your headphones or looking at your phone

Pray for God’s will to manifest itself in your life

Thank God for 3 things