by Richard Mansel
We cannot answer that question about each saint, but we can address some challenging ideas that are of great importance to the Lord’s Church. In the meantime, maybe we can ignite our own passion for the Lord.
It is easy to look around and think that the Church is dead because we’ve grown accustomed to showy, physical, emotional religion. However, we must dig deeper.
“The Pilgrim’s Regress” is C.S. Lewis’ allegorical novel recounting his conversion. His hero, John, meets many philosophical ideas designed to discourage his search for the Island, which represents heaven.
John finds a hermit who helps him discover the right path to the island. John asks why he can’t find any further craving for the island. He asked the hermit, “Why should it wear out?”
The hermit says, “Have you not heard men say that it is like human love?”
John wonders aloud, “What has that to do with it?”
The hermit’s reply is important.
“You wouldn’t ask that if you had been married. Do you not know the way it is with love? First comes delight, then pain, then fruit and then there is joy of the fruit but that is different again from the first delight. And mortal lovers must not try to remain at the first step. For lasting passion is the dream of a harlot and from it we wake in despair. He must not try to keep the raptures. They have done their work. Manna kept is worms.”
When we begin dating someone and fall in love, we are hopelessly giddy. We speak of our new love as often as we breathe. When we get married and embark on our honeymoon, that euphoria is intensified
After a decade of marriage, we’re no longer on a high, but our love for our spouse is much deeper. No one can maintain that emotional high forever. At some point, it will be replaced with a more mature perspective.
Seasoned Christians should not be expected to be perpetually giddy. They’ve settled into their spiritual lives like comfortable clothes. Visible excitement alone is an unwise barometer of love and devotion.
When we are immersed into Christ (Romans 6:3-4; Galatians 3:27; Acts 2:47), we must undergo a transformation (Romans 12:1-2). The process is not instantaneous because we must learn a new way of life.
We walk by the calling of Christ (Ephesians 4:1) and immerse ourselves in the Word (Psalm 119:105). If we’ll do that, and daily engage the Lord in prayer (1 Thessalonians 5:17), we should be on the right path regardless of whether we are doing somersaults or not.
We must ask ourselves:
First, are we constantly growing as a Christian? Are we putting in the work necessary to mature spiritually?
Second, are we hesitant to have a visible faith because we are afraid of the world? The Lord said that we must not fear the faces of the evil ones (Jeremiah 1:8; Acts 5:29).
Third, are we too comfortable in a sinful world? (Amos 6:1).
Abraham Lincoln is credited with saying, “Commitment is what transforms a promise into reality. It is the words that speak boldly of your intentions.”
We must pay the price of selflessness and be excited about being a child of God because the world is watching. If we aren’t happy being a Christian, what incentive does the world have to come to Christ?