In marriage, there's a phrase called the 7-year itch. Simply put a spouse gets restless after 7-years and looks to mix it up. What leads to this and why is another topic for another day. Today I want to apply this to our relationship with Christ. A 7-year slump.
We create a fork in the road. Notice how I said WE create the fork in the road. We begin to debate this walk with the Lord. Is it worth it? Am I really impacting the kingdom for His glory? Does anyone even care? Why should I put up with all the ridicule?
Reason to venture down or drift off His path - for our lives begins to look much more appealing. Less stress - more freedom. At least for the time being.
Believe it or not, there's a term associated with what we're talking about. Prior to this lull in Christianity sociologists and theologians refer to this recently passed period as Christendom, the seventeen-hundred-year-long era with Christianity at the privileged center of the Western cultural life.
*Christendom is referred to the "blue laws" which gave us the Ten Commandments in school, "under God" in the pledge of allegiance, and exhortation to Bible readings in the national newspapers (circa 1963 via the Los Angeles Times).
Society developed an itch. The ways of Christendom were wearing on them. How did some deal with it? They developed an alternate route. One that would run parallel with Christendom but watered down. Over time this parallel route started to veer off. The "blue laws" began to disappear and before we knew we developed a new way of living - A watered down version of the gospel.
Notice again how I said WE developed a new way of living. Christ has never wavered from His mission - to be the savior and rescue His people from death and thus we in return faithfully follow Him and tell of his grace, love, and mercy.
Let's take a look at Romans 5:19 ESV
For as by the one man's disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man's obedience the many will be made righteous.
When we waver we distract from His mission. We then develop a watered down gospel that then makes many sinners. We must stay obedient to His mission for the sake of those surrounding us. Imagine if you will, Christ wavered. What would our lives look like? Thank goodness He didn't! Because He stayed the course we now have eternity in heaven with Him. Don't strip down His gospel. For the sake of those around you please stay the course!
Maybe you're reading this and seeing that you've ventured down a alternate path. What now? Where did we go wrong? Why?
We can debate all day long about the who, what, when, and why but we need to backtrack a bit. You see, in order for us to get back to His path, we must first backtrack. Backtracking gives us clarity. It shows us where we went wrong and how we can learn from our mistakes.
When we arrive back at our juncture we must take some time to review:
1. Review what went wrong
2. Ask for forgiveness and repent
3. Set appropriate boundaries to help prevent future forks in the road
4. Remember that the best investment of all is in Him - His path leads to eternity... our path leads to demise.
Despite what society wants to tell you His harvest is plentiful (Matthew 9:37-38 ESV). More so today than yesterday but the workers are few. Are you ready to work? Are you ready to embrace the suck and develop an adventure-or-die mindset?
Christ has never given up on His people. We must never give up on him. This mindset (adventure-or-die) is the only way we'll stay true to His path. How do we stay true to this? Surround ourselves with a community - a community of faithful Christ followers.
We're going to leave you with a quote from the book Canoeing The Mountains by Tod Bolsinger:
"Leadership is energizing a community of people toward their own transformation in order to accomplish a shared mission in the face of a changing world."
Don't let the challenges of this world corrupt the His mission to bring His light to those living in the dark. Remind your self of the Sunday school rhyme:
This little light of mine.
I'm going to let it shine
Jesus gave it to me
I'm gonna let it shine
Everywhere I go
I'm gonna let it shine
Live for His glory... Succeed for His kingdom!