In Physics, Inertia is the reluctance of an object to change state or move. I am convinced that there is a spiritual equivalent because spiritual inertia is the best expression for what I have been through recently.
As this is hopefully the first of many posts, a bit of background on how I got here seems appropriate. Shortly before the birth of my first child, my wife and I moved closer to my in-laws and it meant my daily commute to work and back would become over 3 and a half hours. That’s a lot of time on a train every day, but I have come to love my commute because it has given me time to study my Bible, read great books, reflect and ultimately, grow spiritually. However, I haven’t had an outlet or put differently, I have been reluctant to find an outlet due to fear and indecision.
Spiritual growth [I mean this in the context of following Jesus] for me implies that when I look back, I can honestly say I haven’t stood still. Having read the Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan recently, one of my takeaways, which is simple, but profound to me is that Christian [the book’s primary character] would not have reached the Celestial city if he stood still. Quite simply, the Christian life has to be lived. Not discussed, not debated, but lived. It is lived at the mountain top and in the “slough of despond”. It is relevant in both circumstances and in the mundane in-between. Jesus says that if anyone wants to follow Him, that person must pick up his cross daily and follow Him. Not to labour the point, but if a Christian does not live out the gospel, he or she deceives him or herself because God cannot be mocked.
I say this because Jesus commands that I not only live the gospel [in word and deed] but that I should share it. Put simply, there is no such thing as a closet Christian, for in living and sharing my faith, I do my part to advance the kingdom of God. So am I living and sharing the gospel? That has been the question I have been wrestling with because everything that God has given me, my very life, is to be used for His glory. This is why I have purpose, so each day I must ask myself, “Am I being a good steward of what I have been given?” If I believe God is revealing things to me which may be helpful to others, am I not duty-bound to find an outlet to share?
I endeavour as much as possible to listen to Bible teaching or study the Bible on my commute and as I do this, messages emerge which I jot down. Some are for me but some are not directly relevant to me at that point in time but deepens my understanding of the Bible. For the 6 years, this has happened, I have spoken to numerous friends and family who have through time encouraged me to find an outlet. So I started wondering how to go about communicating these messages that emerge when I do my Bible study. I second-guessed myself because I wondered how I will be perceived if I am over-reaching and ultimately, I did nothing for 6 years. I can be guilty of overthinking things to a point where I take no action, this was a case in point. This stasis is what I have termed “spiritual inertia”. In trying to figure things out and ensure the best plan is laid out, I did not progress with anything. Could you too be suffering from the same stifling fear or indecision or both? I believe that when you truly know God, you realise purpose, you realise your uniqueness or as David puts it, “you are fearfully and wonderfully made” [Psalm 139:14]. You are special and gifted, we all are. Paul tells us in Romans that in Jesus we become adopted children of God and the same [Holy] Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead is at work in us. This explicitly implies that each child of God has something to offer because the Holy Spirit in us is at work and we are endowed with His gifts.
In recent months, I have tried to do something. I tried a youth bible study group which did not work out, which only increased my self-doubt. Putting those messages in the form of a blog is my latest attempt. I do not know what will come of it but I believe that God can use one of these posts to touch one life and claim that life for His kingdom. If that’s all that happens and even if I never get to know the person, then it would all have been worth it. I say this because God loves us as individuals and if I had been the only person on the planet, Jesus would have still come to die and redeem me. Jesus says that there is much rejoicing [I prefer ‘full-blown party’] in heaven when one sinner repents. So, this is my way of trying to overcome my spiritual inertia and do something for God’s kingdom.
I write as a fellow pilgrim, I am on my own journey to the Celestial City. I do not know it all, but what I do know makes sense to me and challenges me each day as I carry my cross. God wants to be known but above all, he wants us to have faith in Him, which means that we trust Him to guide us in and through life. His Word must be relevant to how we live life, how we do life. Being disciples of Jesus means we follow His example, seeking to live out our lives in direct congruity to the example He set. It is there that “the rubber meets the road” as the popular colloquialism puts it. I aim to spread the gospel because it is relevant to how we live life, it speaks to our choices and relationship, with God and others. If the word of God doesn’t make sense to you at any point, ask questions, dig deeper until you find answers because God wants to be known and promises answers to those who seek Him. Also, if He is God, the Creator of all, then what He says about life must be relevant and true in every sphere of life. His truth is timeless because He is not constrained by time. He steps into time like He did in Jesus, He steps into our reality so that we can perceive Him but He is not constrained by our reality. He is sovereign, all-knowing, and omnipotent amongst other things but yet He wants to partner with us to redeem this fallen world.
Do not let spiritual inertia hold you back, step up and do something for God, for His kingdom and share His gospel, in word and deed. That’s what I aim to do with these posts. If anything I write resonates with you [and I expect that there will be things I write that don’t] or could be helpful to someone, please share it. I am happy to talk through on scriptural basis why I hold the view I do because I believe that I will have to account to God on the view I hold, my principles and how I lived my life. We all will.