If you’re a typical North American Christian, you’ve been told… and toldandtoldandtold, over and over again, by pastors and teachers and books by famous people, that five foundational truths sit at the bedrock of a vital Christian life. They are… in no particular order:
1. If you truly want to find God, you have to seek him with all your heart.
2. If you want to get closer to God (presumably once you’ve found him) you need to engage in regular spiritual disciplines.
3. If you want to enjoy the blessing of God (like answers to prayer) you have to claim them and pray until you get them.
4. The hungrier and thirstier you are for God, the better. So pang away.
5. You must learn to defeat the devil in spiritual warfare (or he’ll pick your bones clean for a late breakfast).
They sound so good, don’t they? So right! The kinds of things you’d tack up on your fridge as a daily reminder. I preached ’em all myself, with gusto. Boo-ya.
Problem was, they almost killed me. Not physically. Spiritually. Cause I went for it, folks. Whole hog, as the deer pants for the water, rabid, God-chasing, full on, Christ seeking devotion. And one day I literally ended up in the fetal position on a youth retreat I was leading (no kidding), exhausted, disillusioned, and confused because my Christian life was empty. EM-TEE. And I didn’t know what to do about it. I’d been to the end of the devotionally-correct rainbow and there was no pot of gold waiting for me there.
You heard me. I sought God with all my heart, engaged in 2+ hours of spiritual disciplines a day, claimed my blessings, nurtured a consuming hunger and thirst for God, and even learned to spar with the devil — and at the end of the day, I had a gaping hole to show for it. Go figure. I crashed.
So I asked God to rebuild my faith from the ground up, and slowly but surely, he did. Know what I learned?
Well, I’ll start into that tomorrow.