As most of you know, I am serving in Egypt doing medical missions. I ask that you pray for myself and my team!
This week, my dear friend, Ashley Carr, has written a post for us. Ashley has a heart for Jesus and loves teaching God’s word. She uses her gifting as our Bible Study Fellowship’s Teaching Leader, as well as serving in her local church. Ashley is funny, witty and has a costume for every occasion, but more than that, Ashley loves Jesus and it shows in all she does.
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If you are like me, there is a list of goals that you want to get around to someday. Get in better shape…declutter my house…learn to properly braid my own hair… you know #goals. In each of these categories, progress is attainable, if I want the outcome badly enough. Unfortunately, however, I end up choosing the path of least resistance in each area which leaves me kinda in shape, somewhat decluttered and… we won’t even talk about the hair.
The truth is that in today’s world there are countless paths of least resistance that lead us astray from the goals we are wanting to work towards. One area where we can be guilty of this is when we say, “I want a deeper relationship with the Lord.” This is the highest goal we can aspire to, yet I ask honestly, “How badly do you want it?” Again, the path of least resistance will lead us to lukewarm, halfhearted effort even when we have great intentions.
What is the path of least resistance?
You know the feeling that you have when you start a project you are excited about? Whether it’s a new workout regimen or a new bible study, you start out with all the best intentions to attack it head on. But when things start to get difficult the snooze button is more alluring, youtube and instagram are more tempting, the couch is just so darn comfortable!
As humans we will always tend to choose the path of least resistance. It’s just human nature. Why do something the hard way when there is an easier way to do it? There is nothing inherently wrong with choosing the path of least resistance, but it can lead us into laziness in areas where we would rather opt for results that only come with digging deep.
When it comes to our time spent in the word I know all too well how I gravitate to the same scriptures over and over again and avoid the more challenging areas of the Bible. Why? Because it’s easier. Or maybe the path of least resistance is opting for a short devotional that gives a quick, neatly packaged, feel good message. Again, there is nothing wrong with a devotional, but thriving spiritually on reading devotionals is like trying to thrive physically by eating fruit snacks.
When we want to connect on a deeper level with God and his word it requires that we dig deeper.
Why would I want to dig deeper?
God’s holy and perfect character is put on display throughout the pages of the Bible. Almighty Creator, Righteous Judge, Loving Savior all there in the rich canon of scripture for us to know him better in every aspect. When we avoid the challenges that come with digging into the works of the Law or the time of the Judges and the depth of the prophets, we cheapen our understanding. When we study scripture we should have our focus on God not on ourselves. Yet, so often, we seek wisdom from God’s word in reference to our situations and concerns. And truly, we tend to avoid the scriptures that hold us more accountable and opt for the ever popular “I can do all things through Him.”
Admittedly, when I dig deeper I find things that are hard to understand, things that make me uncomfortable, things that cause me to look from a different perspective. But the same God that patiently ministered to his people thousands of years ago is the same God that will patiently walk me through his word.
When we seek him, he will be found.
How do I dig deeper?
Every journey begins with a single step. The first step to leaving the path of least resistance is to ask God to help you. The great news about this journey is that God never expects us to take it alone! Take the challenge to make a commitment that you aren’t going to give up when the going gets tough. Keep a journal and be honest about your struggles. Ask a friend to keep you accountable. Make some goals that you know are attainable, like setting a time and a place where you will dedicate your attention solely to prayer and reading of the word. Write down what you see about God in the passage you are reading, focus on his character traits and attributes. Praise him for who he is and all that he has done. Use the time to seek out things about God.
I love to compare the quest for spiritual fitness to the quest for physical fitness. One of the goals of physical fitness is to strengthen the core. All of our strength radiates from our core. When we make God the core of our study we will find strength emanating out from him into the other areas of our lives. When God is at the core of our worship and prayer time we will find ourselves naturally seeking him in other areas. When we get a taste of the richness of His character we will willingly begin to shy away from the path of least resistance in search of that which comes from a more vigorous path.
Dig deep. It’s worth the effort.
“…but when they turned to the Lord God of Israel in their times of distress and sought him, he was found by them.” 2 Chronicles 15:4.