31 May 2005

I feel less devoted as Christ becomes more real

Submitted by theshovel
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Hey Jim, I have been thinking lately...mostly stimulated by feelings and thought I'd share them with you. Ever since Christ and His life have become more real to me it seems that I have been less "devoted" to Him. I'm almost in tears right now because I feel like I am hurting Him by not being "dedicated" to Him. Like I don't spend time with Him in the morning like I use too and I don't read His word as much. And then I wonder how my relationship with Him can be when I am not even spending time with Him. I mean, why don't I desire to spend time in the morning with Him? Why do I see less "good" in me now that I'm learning to live under grace then I did before. I feel like I've lost ground. Don't get me wrong, I know Jesus is the answer, but why doesn't Jesus DO in me what He says He will? I guess i am at the point where I really do know in my heart that Jesus is my Life and that means I am everything God wants me to be now, but why do I still do things I don't want to do and why do I have all these feelings? I don't know, sometimes I just feel lost....and then I am reminded that Jesus is my life and it brings back assurance. Sincerely, Dave

Hi David!

What exactly is this devotion or dedication you speak of that has been fading from your life? And what does it mean to "spend time" with him? Now, if you believe that your relationship to Christ is based upon your scheduled meetings in the morning, then to let that schedule go is to let your relationship go. But is this true ... or is this merely your learned perception of what is true?

Now, you don't specifically say it here, but I have to wonder if you are slowly realizing that your former dedication was all about your efforts to keep it going. You say, <>, but I have to ask what you base your judgments upon? Was the sense of keep your relationship going by scheduling time with God the good you now use to compare against the lack you now sense? Was your scheduled time really all what you now remember it to be? Or it is possible that much of your quality time with God was forced and empty ... or even boring? Perhaps you have a few fond memories from the bulk of mostly uneventful times that stand out as being representative of the whole. Hey, I was there, too. I remember.

It's like the lottery. If you don't play you can't win. Dedication is the key, for the more you play the more chances you will win something. If you're not consistent it's possible - and feels more probable - your numbers might win the day you don't play them. The very idea of no longer playing leaves one with a sense of loss, even though the total cost far surpasses any winnings. The feelings are similar, even though there is no real basis for them. But it's hard to shake the sense of losing something because of no longer doing the "right" thing.

Do you assume that God's working in you revolves around this concept of a relationship built upon scheduled time with Christ? Do you assume that if he doesn't at least give you the desire to keep it going that your "grace" relationship proves to be inferior? Is it possible that your concept of morning time with God might actually get in the way of you seeing that your relationship with him is not bound by time? And if so, could it be possible that the sooner you let it go the better?

Now, I personally love morning time, and I often find it a wonderful time of day to reflect on life in Christ. But I am not bound by it. The irony behind my having let it go is that I have had far more times of awareness of Christ as being my life by NOT trying to make it happen. I have seen it when running to the beach to take photos of the sunrise, or watching movies, or examining the legal system of the world around me ... even though I did not stop to pray or read the Bible first. I still love reading the Bible - at times, that is - and have often found encouragement in the reading. From time to time I have caught myself wondering when the last time I prayed might have been, often only to realize that I had been speaking to him already. The only thing that really kills my taking everything to God is when I think I have to schedule it in order to make it happen. You know, scheduling things is probably not the source of the problem, rather it is more than likely our belief in the power of scheduling, as if scheduled life is true life. I think he is found both in the schedule and out of it.

Okay, I've rambled on long enough. :)

Hey Jim,
     Thank you once again for taking time to reply. You want to know something? I already knew the answer to my questions before you even wrote. In other words, my spirit agrees with the words you have written and it only confirms what I have known all along. thank you for taking time to write these words so that God can bear witness to what He has been saying to me. You have helped me more than you will ever know. My life has changed over the last few months more than I have ever expected. If people were to look at me 4 years ago compared to now this would probably be their observation:
     1. David seems to be doing less for God, but God is definitely alive in His life.
     2. David seems to have lost his passion, but he is passionatley aware of God's grace at work in His life
     3. David doesn't seem to be the dedicated Christian he once was, but He seems closer to God than ever before.
     4. David was a "good" church-going, dedicated, active, Christian, but now he appears to be backslidden, undedicated, inactive, AND yet he is more FREE than ever before.
     Anyway, Jim my heart is full of thanksgiving for how you've ministered to my life. It amazes me that you even take time to read my emails, not to mention you reply to them. Your friend, Dave

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