Getting Back on Track

Description

A mature Christian isn’t someone who never falls down. A mature Christian is someone who gets back up and keeps going.

Bible Reading: 1 Peter 5:5-7

Humble yourselves under the mighty power of God, and in his good time he will honor you—1 Peter 5:6.

“I believe in Christ, but he doesn’t have a lot to do with my daily life,” Trent admits. “It’s not like I don’t want to read the Bible to figure out what God wants, but I don’t have time. God never seems as close as other people say he is. I still know that he cares for me, though, so when I hit a big problem, I pray hard.”

Life can be a struggle when you call the shots. You lack joy, at times your anxi­ety level is high, and peace is in short supply. You don’t have much power over temptation, and you probably get discouraged more than you care to admit.

So where are you in your relationship with God? Do you decide each day to give Christ the leadership of your life? Are you letting God’s Word break through to grow your faith? Your relationship with God still might not always be all you would like, but that’s the path to finding spiritual satisfaction.

If you feel like a half-hearted, bogged-down Christian, here are some practical steps to help you get going:

Remember that God loves you unconditionally. You are his special child. When you disobey God, you grieve him (see Ephesians 4:29-32). You might feel his disci­pline (see Hebrews 12:5-12), but his love for you never changes.

Confess your sin. Letting your sinful nature dominate your life results in disobe­dience—and a lot of disappointment. Admit your sin to God and ask him for help to move on. After all, a mature Christian isn’t someone who never falls down. A mature Christian is someone who gets back up and keeps going (see Philippians 3:12-14).

Count on God’s forgiveness. It’s hard for most people—Christians included—to fathom how God could welcome us back like the father in Jesus’ story about the prodigal, wandering son (see Luke 15:11-32). But Christ’s death on the cross has al­ready purchased your once-for-all forgiveness (see Hebrews 10:12-14; 1 Peter 3:18). Accept God’s forgiveness. It’s already yours!

Turn to God in trust. Trusting God means changing your attitudes and actions and making a decision to turn to God instead of continuing to think or do things that cause you to drift in your relationship with Christ. On your own, it’s impossible to change. But by trusting in God, you depend on his power and strength to live the Christian life (see 2 Timothy 2:22). And as you yield to him each day, you experience the radically remade life he planned for you all along.

REFLECT: How are you doing in your relationship with God? What’s the next step you can take to grow closer?

PRAY: Tell God you want to get closer to him—and tell him you want to do your part.

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