Recently my heart has been broken by spiritual heroes who gave up on a faithful life. It hurts deeply and leaves a feeling of personal betrayal even though we know it is not. Our first reaction is often to judge, but we must instead pray for the one who has fallen and for those who were hurt. Reality tells us that any one of us could be one step away from making the wrong decision.
“So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall!” 1 Cor 10:12
My husband teaches students at every SLU 101 for the last two decades: Focus on being faithful and finishing strong. It is truly a daily battle. We get tired. We get lazy, complacent in our spiritual life, and often overwhelmed by the negative noise of the world. Don’t let the world shape your thought patterns. Rise up and fight with time in the quiet place of prayer.
“The hidden life of prayer is the secret of an open life of victory.” Author Warren Wiersbe
One of my favorite study Bibles is the Maxwell Leadership Bible. In Matthew 6 and 7, John Maxwell defines core values as laid out by Jesus for his disciples.
- “Do the right things for the right reasons. (6:1-8)
- Pray God’s agenda, not your own. (6:9-13)
- Relationships will make or break you. (6:14-15)
- Prioritize eternal things, not temporal things. (6:19-24)
- Don’t sweat the small stuff. (6:25-31,34)
- Judge yourself before you judge others. (7:1-6)
- Stay true to your convictions; don’t wander from the narrow path. (7:13-20)”
These values make sense and are a wonderful list of daily habits and decisions, but the truth is we they are not enough. Underneath all good intentions must be a passionate love for Jesus who is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.” It is only through intimacy with the Lord God that we obtain the strength and passion to continue on faithfully and to finish strong.
“This is the testimony of saints through the ages. Prayer—secret, fervent, believing prayer—lies at the root of all personal godliness.”William Carey, missionary pioneer.
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Always Expect Amazing,
Diane Strack, Founder and President of She Loves Out Loud Global