It may well be an urban myth, but reputedly there is a sign at a junction on a rugged Alaskan road which reads ‘Choose your rut carefully, you’ll be in it for the next sixty miles’.
How easy it is to get stuck in a rut! Without realising it we become settled in the routine of our lives. Nothing wrong with that in itself, but when this happens the results can be deadly to our spiritual lives.
In the Bible, Paul says we should be filled with the Holy Spirit, and go on being filled with the Holy Spirit. Our lives should be continually open to the renewal of the Holy Spirit, yet we often settle for simply coasting along, doing what we’ve always done the way we’ve always done it. And things can be even more deadly in our life together as God’s people. Without realising it we become too comfortable and forget what he has called us to do and be.
A year ago I reminded us of the words of David Watson: “God breathes into his church fresh life by the renewing power of the Holy Spirit: man likes what he sees, organises it, regiments it, and the patterns therefore continue for decades, if not centuries, after the Holy Spirit has quietly made his departure. God’s plan for continuous renewal becomes the Church’s Society for Historic Preservation.”
I do believe that this is a moment in our church’s history when we need to keep on asking ourselves how deeply we desire the renewing work of God in our lives and church. I believe God wants us to be a renewed people, responding to his love with heartfelt and inspiring worship, devoted in prayer both individually and corporately, serving him faithfully and sacrificially in every area of our lives, and thoroughly committed to making Jesus known in our community by whatever means possible whatever the personal cost.
Are we ready to catch a vision of the church as God sees it, are we willing to change where necessary, and above all are we determined to keep our lives continually open to spiritual renewal?