“Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ”. 1 Corinthians 11:1
I get psychologically charged whenever we’re preparing to visit my in-laws cabin in northern Wisconsin. For me (and Leah) that place provides the ultimate opportunity for rest and spiritual reflection. There’s nothing quite like it. The only sounds to be heard is the sonnet of nature, extolling the wonders of its Creator. We thoroughly enjoy our times there. And though the trip requires sitting behind the steering wheel for several hours, I hardly ever feel rushed to get there. It is not uncommon for us to pause our journey in order to enjoy a meal or take pictures of some extraordinary view. It does not matter so much how fast we get there. But what consumes our thoughts is the anticipation of the joy that awaits when our feet finally touches the ground and the journey has finally come to its end.
Do you view your sanctification (spiritual growth) as a journey towards an end destination? If the answer is no than you are unquestionably someone who deals with not a little frustration and self-doubt. The process of growing in Christlikeness is much like a very long road trip that only ends when we have come face to face with Him (1 Jn. 3:2). Writer David Powlison provides helpful insight on this point. He suggests,
“The key to getting a long view of sanctification is to understand direction. What matters most is not the distance you’ve covered. It’s not the speed you’re going. It’s not how long you’ve been a Christian. It’s the direction you’re heading”.
On the journey in which believers are being perfected there may be times when we feel stalled, or even times when it feels like we’ve veered off trail. If we lose sight of the fact that our journey has been initiated by God (Phil. 1:6) and that He is very, very patient with us, we may find ourselves sliding hopelessly in a pit of despair. However, if we are able to recall to mind that we are people “being kept for Jesus Christ” (Jude 1:1) then are we comforted with the knowledge that we are yet heading in the right direction. We simply need to start moving once again.
So, the question begs: What direction are you heading in? If by the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ your life is safely in the hands of God, I assure you my friend, you are heading in the right direction.