I'm really good at starting things. I get excited, I buy all the necessary supplies, I get the gear I need, feel completely pumped up and then, in 2 weeks, my excitement and motivation slowly starts running out. I get this way with home projects, exercise routines, just to name a few. Heck, I even convinced myself I was going to learn Russian once (I can greet you in Russian. Then I'm useless.). I wish I wasn't like this but I know I'm not alone. There are many other people like me who start well but don't finish well (if they finish at all).
If we aren't careful, this bad habit can bleed into our spiritual lives. We can start reading a book, hear a sermon, take the Spiritual Growth Self Evaluation or jump into a new vision, such as The Anatomy of a Disciple and the "One", get on board and then quickly run out of steam, going back to our old way of life and thinking. How do we counter act this? How do we elicit real life change and not just try an "add on" to our life, quickly disposing of it as soon as the excitement runs out?
I am convinced that true life change cannot happen outside of consistent and regular personal time with the Lord in front of His throne and His word. That is where we can take the truths from that book or sermon and truly digest it in the ways that God wants it to be applied in our lives. And more than that, He is our Father, Creator, and Master, deserving of our time, affections, and our whole selves. Without time with Him, we are trying to create change on our own, and failing. Our personal times with him allow us to be encouraged and convicted by his Holy Spirit, which causes us to trust him more, become more dependent on him, and in turn allow us to love others better. If our cup is not filled with the love Christ, then what we are producing is merely from our own efforts and will power. Not only do our own efforts run out quickly, they do not point back to Christ.
Many times I don't even realize that I'm running on my own fuel. Until I run out and I get frustrated. That's when I realize I haven't spent quality time with my Father in weeks. No wonder I'm struggling! I'm not including the one person who I'm doing this for. CH Spurgeon has said, "Many hours are spent with men, how many with your Maker?"
So as we are now focusing on the "One" let's remember and not neglect the one relationship that fuels all change in our lives and in the lives of those we are ministering to: our relationship with the One who conquered it all so we could be his disciples, Jesus Christ.