[Papercut Press] 2000-08-30 - Renewing Our Spirit

1 Corinthians 4:16 Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day.

A couple of days ago my wife and I bought mountain bikes so that we could exercise together and spend time together doing something that was good for us. We have been on a couple of rides and I can feel all these muscles screaming out, "enough, enough." Muscles I have not used in years are now active again and I know this because I can feel it.

When I was at my office today I noticed my Scripture memory file. I have not reviewed it in a while and those thousands of verses I used to know word for word are now rusty in my mind. My Greek, not having been reviewed in some time is slipping away, and my Hebrew is equally hurting. I now need my grammars and reference works to use the languages.

When things are not used they often become harder to use than when they were freshly in use. I know that when I review my Scripture memory every day, those verses are on the tip of my tongue whenever I need them. But when I am not reviewing every day I find that they are less and less available to me.

This is true also of our spiritual walk with Christ. When we begin to trust ourselves, we trust Christ less. When we have days off from reading Scripture, it is harder to begin to read Scripture again. When we take off from praying it is harder for us to begin again to pray. These disciplines must be exercised and used or they also become rusty.

Just like my muscles, which have developed the habit of not riding a bike, we can develop spiritual habits that put us on a course that leads to uselessness. However, my muscles can be reactivated, and they are telling me now that the process has begun. And our spiritual life can also become active again, if we have let it slide.

Renewing our spiritual life might seem strange at first, but as new habits and customs form, the rusty, foreign nature of these habits begins to disappear. We become accustomed to a lively spiritual life and while the newness might disappear, it is replaced with the very thing we were seeking when we sought the Lord, and that is consistency in our walk with Christ.

It is so easy to fall into ruts in our lifestyle and habits. Wouldn't it be nice if those habits we found ourselves falling into were the types that led to spiritual development and growth? These, of course would not be ruts, but rather a vibrant and lively Christian walk. May the Lord lead us into this.

Soli Deo Gloria,