Dangerously Familiar

When’s the last time you had a spiritual EKG?  An EKG measures the electrical activity of the heartbeat.  Have you considered what makes your heartbeat?  Let’s have a look…

Does the good news of Jesus drive you each day?  Or is it shelved each week to be remembered again on Sunday?  Are you freshly excited about God?  Or are you drifting in boredom with familiar biblical concepts?  Are you restless with desire to know Him more?  Or are you comfortable with a casual pursuit of Jesus?  Are you passionately engaged in hungry pursuit?  Or are you dispassionately withdrawn with indifference?

If your vital signs are waning, you are in serious danger!  As the saying goes, familiarity breeds contempt!  As we grow in the knowledge of Jesus, how could we ever grow bored, comfortable, and casual?  To know the holy, almighty Creator of the universe, and to be accepted by Him despite miserable failure in sin, is immeasurably outstanding, and cannot yield indifference!

Jesus Himself offers a humbling rebuke for this disposition, saying, “Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love” (Revelation 2:4).  We are all susceptible!  As we sing in the hymn, Come Thou Fount, we are “prone to wander, Lord, I feel it!  Prone to leave the God I love!”  What is it that slows our heartbeat from a vibrant love for Jesus above all?

Here are some practical steps to restore our passion and awe for Jesus:

  1. As you read Scripture, pause and rest in the story or letter. Don’t disregard the powerful things you read, just because you already know them and are used to them!  Wonder why God chose Jacob over Esau, or David over Saul or Eliab.  Be surprised when Jesus rebukes the religious leaders, and feel the offense they felt.  Feel the disciples’ despair when their master is arrested and executed.
  2. Marvel at God’s character! Truly there is no one like Him!  So many Bible characters were confronted with this truth and proclaimed it with praise!  Think of Moses (Exodus 15:11), Hannah (1 Samuel 2:2), David (1 Samuel 7:22), Solomon (1 Kings 8:23), Ethan (Psalm 89:6-8), Jeremiah (Jeremiah 10:6), and Micah (Micah 7:18).  Read their stories and learn what brought each of them to this declaration.
  3. Consider God’s work in your life. Circumstances are a tiny part of it!  The bigger picture is God’s rescue mission by which He loves and accepts wretched sinners like you and me, and credits us with Jesus’ righteousness, our sin debt wiped clean, and now, “By the grace of God, I am who I am” (1 Corinthians 15:10)!
  4. Practice God’s grace daily, moment-by-moment, by stepping out in faith to trust God’s promises and His commands. If God is good and has my best in mind, my greatest joy is fulfilled in following Him – when it doesn’t make sense, when I don’t feel like it, and when I face opposition.  See it for yourself, “that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God” (Romans 12:2).

Don’t give way to familiarity as though God’s character, word, and work are mundane.  Enjoy Him with freshness and pursue Him eagerly.  May we never lose our awe of God!

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