Monday, 25 May 2020 01:27

Christianity Was Never Supposed to Be Easy

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For years, I struggled with daily Bible reading. I would tell myself, “Starting tomorrow, things will change!” - but it never did.

Then three years ago, the breakthrough came. 

I arrived home from an intense No Longer Music tour, and thanks to jetlag, I was up really early in the morning.

Feeling emotionally “off,” and unsure of what the next month held, I started a new routine. I decided to wake up before anyone else did - at 5:15 am. 

I committed to thirty minutes of Bible reading and thirty minutes of prayer. Most mornings, I peeled myself out of bed and staggered into my dining room. It was hard, but I didn’t give up. 

Today, this is an immovable part of my daily routine. 

Some days, I “break through” and experience God’s presence; other times, it’s a struggle. Every day, it’s hard work.

Modern Christianity rarely equates faith with hard work. Paul had no such qualms. 

He says in 1 Corinthians 9:24-27, 

“Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way as to take the prize. Everyone who competes in the games trains with strict discipline. They do it for a crown that is perishable, but we do it for a crown that is imperishable. Therefore I do not run aimlessly; I do not fight like I am beating the air. No, I discipline my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified.”

Terms like “running to win” and “discipline” aren’t common subjects in our modern churches, and yet they are undeniably part of our faith. 

We labor and toil and fight against powers and principalities (Ephesians 6:12, 1 Timothy 4:10). As the missionary Elizabeth Elliot reminds us, “Prayer isn’t sport, it’s work!” 

When the COVID-19 fog descended on the globe, social media was filled with lockdown resolutions. As the weeks rolled on, I suspect most goals went unmet. This is inevitable as the newness of a workout or practice program fades around the fourth time we engage in it. 

But for those willing to push through after the novelty fades, the reward is great! 

Don’t waste this time. Embrace the discipline of the Christian walk and commit to the power of long-term spiritual habits. Get up before everyone else does, find a quiet space, start small, and then stick to it! 

Ben Pierce

Ben Pierce is the Director of Come&Live! and is the younger son of David and Jodi Pierce. Come&Live!’s vision is to create a worldwide mission community that will provoke and inspire Christian artists to use their God-given creativity to revolutionize the world for Jesus.
Instagram: @nzbenpierce
Twitter: @benalanpierce

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