One of the questions I get asked the most in student ministry is “How come I don’t feel spiritually connected?” And this might surprise you, but these questions generally come from students who have been saved, they are involved, they are not getting into trouble, they read their Bible regularly, they pray regularly, but for whatever reason they are not feeling spiritually connected. Maybe you, reader, are feeling this way right now.
After being asked this a couple times, I was able to figure out what the common problem was with these students. The problem was they were treating their faith like a plane ticket. They packed their bags, they stood in line, they paid the money, they went through security, and now they are sitting in the terminal thinking, “I arrived! Now why am I not growing?” See, the problem is that if you treat your faith like a plane ticket, thinking “once I read enough of the Bible, once I pray enough, then I’ll get all the peace and joy that other Christians have”, you’re actually just sitting in the terminal and that ticket is going to waste. In order to take full advantage of all the bible reading and prayer that you are doing, you actually have to get on the plane.
But getting on the plane is scary. That’s because a lot of the time we expect following Jesus to be like riding a 747 business class. But you get out on the runway, and you find out that your flight is actually and one-seater bi-plane, and your “seat” is actually just being strapped to the wing. You might think, “This isn’t what I signed up for!” Let me tell you what you signed up for. When you prayed that prayer and put Jesus in charge of your life, you didn’t sign up for comfort, but for pilot who is going to take you to a destination.
For the believer, that destination is Christ. Take a look at 2 Thessalonians 2:13, 1 Corinthians 6:11, 1 Peter 1:2, Galatians 5:16. Do you know what these verses have in common? They all show that sanctification is by the Spirit. It is not our works that make us more like Jesus, but rather the Spirit that does a work in us. Yes, getting into the Word and praying daily are awesome disciplines, but eventually we have to realize that all of those things should lead us to trust the pilot with our lives.
So for you, reader, what is the first step to getting out of a spiritual rut? I would encourage you when you pray to ask God to be in control of your life, and that you would willingly give it up to him. Once you have done that, and you begin to trust God with your spiritual growth, that’s when you will begin to see an awesome work done in you.