It’s no surprise that I highly value—and consistently teach about—the importance of daily, spiritual practices. As I’m fond of saying, at first you make your habits, and then your habits make you.
Spiritual practices are things you do on a daily basis (habits) which help you know and walk with God.
But they serve another purpose as well. They help you guard against falling away from God.
Larry Osborne is a pastor in California. He says this: “Spiritual failure is seldom an explosion; it’s usually an erosion.”*
That, my friends, is a powerful truth!
We can mistakenly think that spiritual failure (falling away from God) is the result of some massive event or moral failure—what Osborne calls “an explosion.” But more often than not, it’s a slow erosion—the gradual-but-increasing neglect of God and his ways, and a gradual-but-increasing acceptance of habits, thoughts and choices that dishonour God.
The Bible… “Nah, who cares.”
Prayer… “Maybe sometimes.”
Weekly worship… “Not my speed.”
Small group… “Too much of a hassle.”
Volunteering and serving… “I’m too busy.”
In the parable of the sower, Jesus offers this warning: “Those on the rocky ground are the ones who receive the word with joy when they hear it, but they have no root. They believe for a while, but in the time of testing they fall away” (Luke 8:13).
Don’t let that be you.
Root yourself securely in daily, spiritual practices which, in turn, root you securely in God.
What do you do on a daily basis which helps you know and walk with God?
After you finish reading this devotional, I encourage you to close your eyes, take a minute, and answer that question.
“Spiritual failure is seldom an explosion; it’s usually an erosion.”
By Matthew Ruttan
—Announcement: After Monday, August 3, the Up! devotional will be going on vacation until September 2.
–[New] This Sunday (Aug 2, 2020) I’ll be teaching about “Soul Fatigue.” Maybe you don’t know what this is—or maybe you do! I’ll offer a response based on Jesus’ words in Matthew 11 as we seek to find rest for our souls (Matt 11:29) in this weary time. If you’re not on our list, click here for the Sunday morning email reminder that connects you directly to our live-stream on YouTube.
–*Larry Osborne, “5 Keys to Sticky Preaching,” accessed on July 28, 2020 here. Originally posted October 7, 2014.
–Bible quotes are from the NIV.