My biggest frustration is living an inconsistent church life. It drives me absolutely crazy because after a particularly good month of being in spirit and partaking in the richness of the divine flow, I follow it up with a flat month where I’m either on autopilot or just unable to raise my spirits for a significant period of time. The best analogy I can think of is that of a football player (this analogy works for both types of football) who has been given tremendous skill and talent. One game he is on scintillating form; he’s enjoying playing and he is destroying the opposition. Then the next game he is just average. Sure he may score the easy goal or touchdown, if you put it on a plate for him, but he won’t produce that game changing move. Even the basic things he will fail at and this leads to him becoming more and more frustrated.
My inconsistency really bugs me because I find it really hard to snap out of it. Just one day without adequately touching the Lord can lead to a whole week of unredeemed time. I have found that there a few things which lead to this:
Overconfidence after a enjoying the Lord – In warfare, especially when you’re outgunned, best time to strike your enemy is when he has had a few victories. Complacency due to overconfidence is dangerous especially in a young Christian. As we get deeper into Him, we reach new levels of enjoyment and it is so tempting to just drop our defenses, relax and just lie there for a little while. You’ve built up a store of consistent attendance at the meetings, you’ve really gotten into the Morning Revivals and you’ve discovered new truths in the ministry and the Bible. It’s hard not to feel untouchable but we must be wary. From experience, I know that this is the time I should surround myself with the saints even more because I know I’m becoming complacent and I’ll need someone to snap me out of it.
Overloading yourself with work – During my undergrad I created a set of rules to regulate myself. I was not allowed to do any work on weekends or after 8pm. This forced me to do my assignments as soon as I got them and meant that I only did 2 all-nighters during my 4 year degree. When I started working, I adapted this to not working beyond my allotted time (6pm) and ignoring all out of hours work emails until the next working day (we have clients in Asia and America so this was very tough). This isn’t because I wanted to be legalistic over how many hours I was being paid to work. This was because I wanted to be clear about the time allocated to work and the time allocated to the Lord. The Lord can be blent into my work but not the other way around. It was working until this month where, in an effort to make up for the work I’d miss while in Poland, I began to leave work half an hour later. Then I started working at home on Saturdays. Before long I was working until 3am in the morning because it was really humid and I was unable to sleep. This is time I’m taking away from the Lord. On top of that, I’m tiring myself out which means when I wake up, I am less likely to have a rich Morning Revival. In fact what happened was that Morning Revival just became another task on my to do list.
Youth – This is something that we can’t do much about. The younger you are, the less polished and consistent you are. You may be very talented, but chances are, your talent comes in fits and bursts because you don’t know how to use it. The same goes with our Christian lives. Rather than becoming frustrated, like I usually do, we should strive to exercise and hone our spirits to continually seek the Lord. Just like our muscles need to repeat things in order to become consistent, we too need to repeatedly seek the Lord in order to achieve consistency in our pursuit and love of Him.
In my natural man I am a perfectionist and so recurring failures really tick me off but I’m realizing that this is all part of my spiritual immaturity. What is true is that when I do start enjoying the Lord and building up a consistent and healthy habit of spending time with Him, I am able to go even deeper than before. We learn much more from our failures than our successes and so, for me, this is an area where the Lord is perfecting me. I think He will be able to do an even greater work in this area when I move into the brothers house. Full time education is a great time to build up good habits.