How often just when it seems we have struck a chord spiritually does something come along and dampen all that lovely resonance? Just when you thought you had settled into a nice rhythm something comes along to disrupt it. There are many different forms this dampening or deadening influence can take, but rest assured it has one of three basic entry points.
The ancients of our faith have categorized these entry points of all our problems in the spiritual life into three forms: the world, the flesh and the Devil. All are very real weaknesses and must be acknowledged and identified as such for anyone to successfully navigate all the pitfalls they introduce. I have long contended that one of them really presents the primary battlefield though, and that is the flesh. After all, if it were not for the flesh, the temptations of the world and the Devil would have no appeal. So by God’s grace, let us determine to discipline the primary weakness which manifests in so many ways, ranging from laziness to self-sufficiency. This failing flesh is the root of our detuning and declining.
The result, the external experience of on-going struggle to stay in tune with what the Spirit is doing all around us, to echo the life of Christ. This often leaves us listless, lifeless and languishing spiritually. But the struggle, just like the weakness is not primarily and external one, but internal, just like the temptation.
Our experience leaves us asking “Do I have what it takes?” We begin to question our resolve and even our desire. Frustration sets in and we feel guilty, yet restless. Our spiritual life feels stale at best and at times it seems as though there is no way to truly break the cycle and initiate a new one, even though we possess a persistent sense that there is something more than all we have experienced.
So what is really going on here? We have a deep awareness that our experience does not match our standing. Jesus has made a way for us to be resonant and invites us into that journey. We are confident that we do not have to feel this way, yet we are not sure how to establish, and maybe even more importantly maintain, a better way.
Longing for a different path? We believe you are. That’s why you are still here.
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