I’ve talked with Christians and other Christian leaders and many agree that we have an unfortunate issue in our culture. They say in countries where Christianity is illegal or where Christians are persecuted, the Church is experiencing the most growth. Conversely, in a country such as ours, where we have virtually complete freedom, Christianity is on the decline. Some would say that our freedom and wealth have lead us to lose our perceived need for God. I would agree with that because of evidence in my own life.
I’m training for a half-marathon. After a long break from running (about half a year) I’m getting back into it and it’s not very comfortable. But I’ve been reminded of something. When I’m in the middle of a run, I feel closer to God and I think I’ve figured out why.
In my day-to-day life, what need do I have of God? On my own initiative and strength, I go to work and earn a paycheck. With this money, I purchase things that meet the needs of myself and my family. If I have a problem, I can work it out on my own or if I need help, with my wife or a friend. I’m never without something I need (in fact I often have extra to spare).
When I run, though, something happens. I get to a state of physical distress. I get to where I am gasping for breath and my muscles are aching. Oxygen and blood are on short supply and I sometimes feel as though they may run out. And suddenly, I am in a state of great need. I am at the end of myself. And I have an awareness of my need for something greater than myself – God. On the surface, it’s a need for God to help me get through the run. But it awakens me to something deeper than that. It helps me realize that I live a life that takes no risks. A life that does not require God’s provision. There is so much I do on my own strength while God sits the bench. I may be lucky God doesn’t just say “Sianara, I see I’m not needed here.”
How do I order my life in a way where I need to rely on God more? I suppose I could ask God to show me. Where does God want me to sacrifice? Where does God want me to take risks? Where does God want me to have to trust Him? Hmmmm. Sounds scary. But what do I want to do – lay on my deathbed one day regretting that I always played it safe? Seriously. I’m sure an awesome revelation of God’s power and faithfulness awaits anyone willing to risk a life of sacrifice and obedience.
I feel like I don’t have the courage. Case in point. I don’t have what it takes. I need God to give it to me. I do need God.