Meditations for Real Life
“O to behold the beauty of the Lord,
and to meditate in his temple”
Christians should be the picture of tranquility and the fulfilled life, right? Our lives should be characterized by peace, power and a “Promise Land” mentality. Unfortunately, a more accurate description might describe us as worried, weak and “wandering in the wilderness”. Where did we go wrong?
We love the Lord and yet often our lives are just not working. We know we need to stop stumbling around in this never ending desert, but how? We know we have to trust God. We know his Word is our roadmap. We know that God has provided it to help us navigate the terrain of this daunting wilderness. Too often however, when we find ourselves in unfamiliar regions, we can’t seem to find the map. Unfortunately many of us come up short when it comes to knowing how to incorporate the fundamental truths of the Bible into the very real challenges of daily living. Or as J. Vernon McGee would say our faith is not having an impact “where the rubber meets the road.”
It’s not that we don’t read the Bible or hear enough sermons or teachings. There are great churches all over the place. The internet, and Christian radio and television broadcasts are jam packed with anointed ministers and communicators. Anyone who takes the time to tune in can hear a Biblically sound message. Christian books, magazines and newsletters are available in abundance. Christian music is easily accessible in nearly every conceivable genre through a large number of outlets and formats.
Our access to the entirety of the gospel message is certainly not limited for those of us living in the western world. In fact, we have access to the Bible in an almost embarrassing abundance, compared with much of the world. If availability of the word is any indicator, we should all be super-saints. But clearly, this is not the case. Why not?
Surely we don’t want to be described as a people who have eyes but don’t see and ears but don’t hear. But in truth, many Christians are living lives devoid of any of the victorious qualities we see described in the pages of scripture. Like the children of Israel walking around in the same old desert for 40 years, we have settled for a lifestyle that is far beneath our calling. We have been instructed to take possession of the land, but we seem more comfortable with the familiar environs of Egypt where we get to feast on the sumptuous fare of leeks and onions. We have chosen the land of tended gardens over the rich but challenging land that God has called us to possess.
How is it that so many believers struggle with the same maladies that unbelievers deal with? Depression, anxiety, anger, bitterness, guilt, resentment, unforgiveness, discouragement, and disillusionment, to name only a few are problems commonly found in every church. Christians struggle with addictions, broken relationships, and physical health problems at rates very similar to those who would seldom if ever darken the door of a church.
If so many verses of scripture talk about being renewed, restored, and transformed, why do so many of us feel defeated, depressed and forlorn? Somehow there is a disconnect between our knowledge of the Bible and our daily lives. We’ve read the scriptures but they don’t seem to come alive for us like the heroes of the faith we read about. We pray, but our prayers seem to lack power. Where have we gone wrong and what can we do about it?