Quick summary from my last post, Part 1: It’s so easy to just drift through life and have no practical idea where we are in our relationship with God. In his book Prayer, Tim Keller provides us with an easy framework, built around an analogy with boating, to help us take a quick spiritual inventory. Of which spiritual season we find ourselves in.
So assuming you’ve read Part 1 and know which season you’re in, what can you do about it? After all, our lives move forward and honor God as we become ‘doers of the Word, and not hearers only’ (James 1:22).
God With Us: Something You Can Do, Wherever You Are
Like King David (again, see Part 1), and anyone really, each of us experiences all of these seasons. And more than once.
However, it’s likely that you’re in one of these seasons right now as you read this post. Here are quick ideas you can prayerfully apply today, regardless of where you are.
- sailing. If the wind is at your back today, take a moment and praise God. This is a gift from him that should be enjoyed and celebrated. But hold onto it loosely and be sure to place your hope in God, not your circumstances.
- rowing. More likely, your life is not effortless today. It probably has some hard spaces that will tempt you to give up and drift. Ask God for wisdom and grace to do what he’s calling you to, then leave the rest to him. ‘Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure’ (Philippians 2:12, 13).
- drifting. I can remember a day at the beach where I was having fun in the ocean with my kids. Sometime later, we looked up and realized that the lifeguard looked a lot smaller than he did when we started. We had drifted, and the lifeguard’s frantic whistling and waving was our chance to return to safety. I pray that God will use this post as a wake up call for those of you who need it, before you have your own ‘Bathsheba moment’. Returning is always a process, but will you get honest with God and seek help from another Christian who can walk with you? ‘Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion’ (Hebrews 3:15).
- sinking. But what if you’ve already more-or-less given up on living like you belong to Christ? Books have been written on this, but looking at David’s life after his fall with Bathsheba is a good starting place. Here it is in miniature: God confronted him (it had been a year; 2 Samuel 12:1), David confessed his sin quickly and without excuse (12:13), accepted the consequences (12:22-23) and started seeking God again (12:16). How can you follow this pattern in your own life?
As you already know, because we live in a broken world, most of life is a choice between rowing and drifting. Until we get promoted (die), there will always be painful, difficult circumstances that present us with this choice.
If we choose to drift (yes, it’s a choice), we’ll eventually sink when something hard comes our way because we’re not vitally connected to Jesus.
But if we choose to row and fight, when God brings the winds of more favorable circumstances, we’ll be ready to sail again.
What season do you find yourself in today? What one, small step can you take to join what God is already doing in your life? I hope you’ll consider sharing with our community in the comments below.