Lord, if we were to uproot only one bad habit a year, we should soon be much better people. The contrary, however, is often the case. We feel that we were better and purer people when we were first fervor of our conversion than we are after many years in the practice of our faith. How can this be, Lord? How can it be that a Christian would not make any progress in holiness after years in the faith? We ought to be ashamed.
Our fervor and progress ought to increase day by day; yet in the church, it is considered noteworthy if a person can retain even a part of their first fervor. Surely, this is an unacceptable situation for any devout believer.
We expect too little of ourselves, Lord. We talk about having goals in the world. We talk about material achievements. Perhaps we should be setting spiritual goals and measuring spiritual achievements.
A student who sets out to learn a subject will set measurable goals. For example, if she wants to learn to be a brick mason, she begins by learning to mix mortar, then she lays concrete blocks. She completes some simple projects, then she moves on to more difficult projects. After a period of learning and development, she becomes a journeyman mason.
We should expect and strive for a similar progress in our spiritual life.
Surely, the development of our soul, which will live for all eternity, is more important that the development of a material craft. Yet we are constantly meeting Christians who not only have not made spiritual progress, they do not even desire to make progress. Many have no notion that such progress is possible. They regard religion as something they get when they sign on as a church member. They have no concept that they might draw nearer to Christ. They never think of becoming a better Christians. This is the great failure of the church in our time, the lack of a desire for holiness. Enflame our hearts, O Lord with a zeal for things divine. Give us a new live for the world and a love for your presence in our prayers.
Teach us that sometimes we need to take hold of ourselves and live courageously and turn away from old habits, and develop new habits, habits of holiness that promote the peace and happiness of our souls.
Teach us to resist temptation and overcome small things so that later on we can overcome more difficult things. Teach us to resist temptations in their very beginnings and to unlearn evil habits, and thus we become more like Christ and less like the devil. Amen.
If you have questions or comments, email Tony Grant
Copyright 2000 York Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church
Last Modified: 01/14/08