Tag Archives: journey

Spiritual complacency


by Richard Mansel

C.S. Lewis said “that security is mortals’ greatest enemy.” When we stop stretching and dreaming, we wake up and realize that life has passed us by.

Discipleship cannot occur on autopilot. If we turn off our minds, we can’t follow Christ. How do we give up the fleshly for the spiritual, eschew vengeance in the face of wrong or love our enemies without a conscious affirmation?

Christianity is about transformation (Romans 12:1-2) and we must remain awake and active throughout our days. When we become too secure and comfortable, we become easy prey (1 Peter 5:8).

Asa was the king of Judah and he went against the evil ways of his father and walked in righteousness (1 Kings 15:1-11). He restored the worship of Jehovah (2 Chronicles 14:2-6), and allowed God to lead his forces into battle (2 Chronicles 14:7-15).

Asa’s wealth and power made Baasha, king of Israel, jealous. Baasha came against Asa and instead of turning to God, Asa took a portion of his wealth to seek help from Syria (2 Chronicles 16:1-3.

God sent a prophet to indict Asa of his sin and the king jailed the man of God (2 Chronicles 16:7-10). Even later, when Asa became ill, he relied on doctors instead of God (2 Chronicles 16:11-12).

What lessons can we learn from the story of Asa?

First, familiarity can be a villain. Asa became too comfortable. God’s and Asa’s things became blurred in his mind. He began to take God for granted and decided that God would follow him wherever he went.

As Christians, we serve for decades and we begin to think we’re above the masses and we have things figured out. Then the trap is set.

Second, Asa forgot God’s enormous power (2 Chronicles 14:11; 16:8).

Third, Asa became too big to repent. He had arrived and decided that God favored him, so he could do as he pleased. We foolishly think that we’ve built up enough points so God will overlook our sins (Ephesians 2:8-10).

Fourth, Asa forgot that we can’t reach our destination without finishing the journey. It doesn’t matter how righteous we’ve been, we’re called to be faithful until death (Revelation 2:10).

When we get too comfortable physically, we get sleepy. Why should it be any different spiritually?

From Strength to Strength

by J. Randal Matheny, editor
Traveling is tiring. As helpful as modern contraptions like the automobile and airplane are, taking a trip still tuckers me out!
Psalm 84 presents the traveler going up to the temple in Jerusalem to participate in one of the feasts.
“They go from strength to strength, till each appears before God in Zion” (Psalm 84:7 NIV).
By extension, the verse above has something to say to the Christian who walks toward eternity and the presence of God.
First, the objective of our seeking is God himself. We want to present ourselves before him, putting our lives at his service, living in his shade, enjoying fellowship with him. Zion is where God “lives,” where his presence may be known, the place of revelation. In obedience, in the body of Christ, in our devotion to him, we will find God waiting for us.
Second, instead of getting tired during the trip, the traveler acquires greater and greater strength. The phrase “from strength to strength” may mean one of two things.
One, that each day a new strength comes to allow him to continue his journey toward God — his strength is renewed daily.
Or it may mean that his strength grows with each step he takes. It might even mean both, do you suppose? (Compare 2 Corinthians 3:18, “from glory to glory,” and John 1:16, “grace upon grace.”)
Third, this journey is a real possibility for everyone. “Each” will appear before God. No traveler need fall by the wayside. No one will be forced to drop out while the others step their way to the final destiny.
This doesn’t mean it’s impossible to fall from God’s grace and lose one’s salvation. It does mean that every person who begins the journey and perseveres will find strength to complete it.
It’s good to know that, as tired as I may feel when I travel, it’s always possible to reach my goal of arriving in God’s presence.
What a celebration that will be when I get there!