Saturday, November 23, 2013

After Initialization

Good morning! Initialization is such a space age word that I couldn't help but use it today. Then I had to type it twice and immediately regretted my choice. I speak today of the time just after the start of something grand. Your salvation is a case in point. At first, we felt the powerful rush of the Spirit, either gradually or all at once, and then we may have felt left out to dry just a few days later. In fact, that time of 'drying out' may have all but eliminated the memory of that first rush. It's almost like we get a jump start from the Holy Spirit, but then God forgets to fill the gas tank of our little Christ1 auto. We sit in the driver's seat ready to roll, but the little car won't take us far. We get out on the freeway and there are some big rigs trying to push us off. Where oh where is that fuel station, and what do they take for payment?

We may feel the urge to just get the trip over with, so we merge into the fast lane. Immediately, a patrol car pulls up behind us, flashes its lights, and makes us go all the way back across the slow lane and stop on the shoulder. It seems that Christ1 autos are banned from life in the fast lane according to Legalist Control. The officer points to the slowest lane, one where all the dirtiest traffic is slowly moving along. How will this journey ever finish at that rate?

The longest journey begins with the first step, so we merge our little car into the trudging mass of the slow lane. The initial rush of that first love is over. The honeymoon with Christian living is done. It's time to slog it out in the slow lane. Of course, we look over and see some Christ1 autos clipping right along in the fast lane. What's up with that? Then, as we look around, we also see some Christ1's enjoying their trip in the slow lane. It seems that the first love is not exclusive to the few days after we knelt at the altar or accepted Christ in the prayer closet of our bedroom.

Every Christian faces the probability that soon after a time of close walking with Jesus, it seems that our Lord withdraws and leaves us out there in the valley of life's slow lane. Sanctification appears to go nowhere as old sins return to stay like bad renters that don't quite give sufficient cause for eviction. After the joy of initialization, we are left with a kind of trudging drudgery. We are tempted to give up, and that is just what our Adversary wants. Jesus has not gone away, but the child never learns to walk who is not let go to walk unsupported. The first steps are slow; progress may be difficult to detect. However, Jesus is right here with you and me.

His hand may be pulled back just a little for us to learn to walk and grow in faith. It is not easy, and the 'big rigs' of the demon powers want us off the highway and weeping in the gutter. Legalist Control wants us to be overwhelmed by more rules than a Christian can ever keep. Scorn is thrown at our little Christ1 from the fast lane of the world. A life given up to Christ is tough, and the dark powers of this world do not like us one bit. However, the love of Christ is sufficient to get us to the destination we now desire. Drive on in faith.


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