Many things are simple to understand but incredibly difficult to master. For instance, a curve-ball. All that is required for a baseball to curve is placing a forward-right rotational spin on the ball. Pretty easy, right? Well… try to throw one. If you somehow manage to throw a curve-ball without wrecking your arm, now throw it at 85 mph so that a professional batter swings at and misses it! While the dynamics of a curve-ball are easy to understand, the ability to throw a solid curve-ball is rare and few have perfected it (the ones who have make millions each year!). The same is true of Christianity.
Think about it… Christianity is rather simple to understand:
Pretty simple, right?
The message of the gospel is that we can approach God without fear of judgment and condemnation because Jesus bore the full weight of the wrath destined for us. Christianity is a relationship with God instituted and initiated by God. It is rather simple; in fact, a child could grasp this. However, living this out is not so simple. Why? Our desires.
In Romans 1:24-28, Paul sheds light on the desires that motivate our wickedness. These desires are: 1) Our lust for impurity; 2) A thirst for degrading sexuality; & 3) a mind that elevates itself. All of us naturally yearn for the things God forbids! Meaning, we are born with an inherent thirst for evil. When we hear the gospel call us to Jesus, the core of who we are and what we desire must change. The need for such a change is easy to recognize and impossible to enact in and of ourselves.
You see, the difficult part of Christianity is not knowing the truth, the difficult part is walking in the truth. The truth is we do not have the power to live a godly life and in and of ourselves. This is why Christianity is so difficult for so many of us—we think we have to perfect and change ourselves through our own abilities! But this is not the case (see Gal. 3:1-5). Additionally, Christianity is not a one-time ticket purchase of a “get-out-hell-free card”—Christianity is a life-long, dynamic, and deepening relationship with God. Christianity is difficult for us because we face a constant temptation to dumb it down or live through our own power.
We like the easy road far more than we like the right road. Just as a pitcher practices throwing a curve-ball every day, so we too must practice the presence of God every day. In the course of time and practice, the young pitcher finds it easier to throw the curve-ball, and he does so with more speed and curve. In the course of time, we find it easier and more enjoyable to enter into the presence of God and enjoy Him.
This brings me to my question for the day: ARE YOU PRACTICING THE PRESENCE OF GOD?
Knowing that we should desire and do these things is not the same as DOING these things (James 1:22). It is easy to say we should seek the Lord, but the difficult work is the task of ceasing from the desires of our flesh and, instead, choosing to abide in the presence of the Lord. But know this… you are not alone or ill-equipped for such a task! Just as the young boy had a coach teach him to throw a curveball (and still does), we have a God teaching us and strengthening us to walk with Him!
I hope this encourages you to seek the Lord and enjoy His marvelous presence today!