There are days I still have to do it. Refuse the religious treadmill that is. It seems to beckon me when I have momentary lapses of the knowledge of this wonderful thing called grace.
Please don’t misunderstand me.
The Christian life is a disciplined walk of body, soul, and spirit with the Lord Jesus Himself. The deeper truths of God’s Word are just waiting to be dug out and the high call of God in Christ Jesus is there to be climbed. All this requires an effort on our part to receive. As one of my favorite pastor’s like to say, “Nothing just happens.”
What is the difference in a religious treadmill and walking with Jesus?
The treadmill only makes you tired as you have a lot of religious practices that wear you out but take you no where! You walk, trot, or run your way into exhaustion trying to become fit enough to walk with the Lord. And herein lies the issue. The religious treadmill beckons to make us acceptable to walk with Jesus…but how fit must I become? When I read the Word the principles and precepts always seem so deep and high that I’ll never be able to achieve any of them.
Walking with Jesus is the best way to become fit to be with Him.
Please think about that statement for a moment. Jesus bids us all to walk in fellowship with Him no matter how unclean we may be as we begin in the journey. I think about the 12 apostles here and the call to follow Him that He bestowed upon them. Rough fishermen, a tax collector, a cynic, and an ever-present doubter just to describe a few. He did not put them on a religious treadmill to make them fit before they could come with Him…He simply invited them to walk with Him and that walk would in turn make them fit.
I hope you come to understand this important difference.
I for one have never been able to function under the treadmill mentality for very long. It seems the more requirements I put on myself to measure up, the more destitute I become in my relationship with Him. My spirit man begins to weaken because I have begun to run in the flesh and not the Spirit. Fresh word and revelation seem to dry up because I have chosen to walk in the place of my own efforts rather than walk along with Jesus in His. The struggles of the world begin to overwhelm me when I forget I’m never walking alone no matter how much trouble surrounds me.
When I jump off the treadmill and begin to walk with the Lord everything becomes easier. Prayer is not something I must do but rather becomes constant communion with the One I walk with. Revelation flows like a river because I am in the presence of the One who is speaking. The struggles of the world around me become less significant because I am with the One who has never faced an impossible situation.
No wonder Jesus said…
Matthew 11:28 (ESV)
28 Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.