Scott DowningChurch, Faith

It’s over a week into the New Year, which means that most of our resolutions have probably already been broken because change is difficult and requires effort and intention. I’ll write about that later, but since it is still the start of a New Year, I wanted to write briefly about renewal.

Our God is a God of renewal. He is in the business of breathing new life into the weary and replacing that which is broken and flawed. This is true for you, whether you are feeling burdened by the responsibilities of life, shamed by a sin that is hanging on your shoulders, or simply bored and stagnant in what feels like the monotony of the day to day.

This stagnation is what I want to address specifically. It is super easy to become enthralled with some new goal, event, action, resolution, life change, whatever, and be all in, pumped and excited about it…for about 10 minutes, and then it becomes old-hat, familiar. It’s not exciting anymore. It has become stagnant, and we get bored. It’s not necessarily that the event or goal is actually boring or stagnant, it’s just not fresh, in our minds. This happens everyday, to everyone, about almost everything. It happens in terms of our faith as well.

Now, I’m not talking about getting bored with church, or the specific study you are going through, or program you are involved with. I’m talking about getting bored with God. Too often, God becomes “too familiar.” He is commonplace and we know what to expect from Him, or at least we think we do. The passion and excitement and radical life-change that we feel when we first submit to Christ’s rule in our life fizzles as we “forget our first love.” It doesn’t have to be this way though, in fact it shouldn’t be.

In Revelation, Christ speaks to the church in Ephesus, and while they are diligent and doing good and working hard, He says “’But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first.’ ‘Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first.” It is not that God is boring or that we have experienced all there is to know about God. He is an endless well, and living Word that is constantly offering something new for you to see and experience and learn. The problem is that we stop learning. We stop asking, seeking, knocking. We come to expect what we expect and don’t think God is or can be anything greater than those limited expectations or our slightly less limited imaginations. 

So, with the start of the New Year, or whenever you happen to be reading this, what is your attitude toward God right now? Does He thrill you, excite you, impassion you with joy and love or is He just another part of your daily routine, monotonous, stagnant, boring? If the latter is the case then I encourage you to ask God, as David did, to “’Restore to me the joy of your salvation…” God is a God of renewal, renewal of your mind, of your heart, of your life, and of your joy in Him. Let Him renew you today.

— Scott Downing