No Shortcuts

Occasionally I read something which strikes me as so profound that I find myself going reading it again and again, trying to plumb the depths of its wisdom. This week I found a quote which so perfectly sums up my own experiences in what I call the "quest for holiness" that I want to share it with you.

"People do not drift toward holiness. Apart from grace-driven effort, people do not gravitate toward godliness, prayer, obedience to Scripture, faith, and delight in the Lord. We drift toward compromise and call it tolerance; we drift toward disobedience and call it freedom; we drift toward superstition and call it faith. We cherish the indiscipline of lost self-control and call it relaxation; we slouch toward prayerlessness and delude ourselves into thinking we have escaped legalism; we slide toward godlessness and convince ourselves we have been liberated."

D.A. Carson, "For the Love of God"

I am no legalist who demands hours of prayer or volumes of Bible reading. I am no fatalist who believes that we, like the hapless crew of the Titanic, are doomed to failure and frustration. I am no cynic, angry with the way God made us. But I am a realist. I have learned that we may occasionally stumble onto a shortcut to life's higher callings, but not often. I have seen that in the long run, my tendencies take me toward the easy way, the simple way, the less-demanding way, and that this way is usually the opposite direction from where God's call leads me.

The choice to grow in holiness lies before every man and woman. We each choose to either remain static or move ourselves into growth and maturity. Others can push us to choose growth, but nobody else can grow for us. Nobody else can make the sacrifices which growth requires.

Are you traveling or just drifting?

Mark Phillips
2000 Matrix Development, Mark Phillips. All rights reserved.

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