When was the last time you reconsidered your core assumptions? When did you last explore your core beliefs?
It may be that the very thing that is now holding you back is something that was at the heart of what has gotten you this far.
The challenge to you as a believer is to stay in an active relationship with God. Don’t let your assumptions become static or your beliefs become simply traditions. God wants to keep your relationship fresh.
In theology, the word for a belief or set of beliefs that is accepted without being questioned or doubted is dogma. So, the question is, is dogma good?
God wants you to know, not just assume. God wants you to see, not just assert. God wants you to receive, not just accept. And most of all, God wants your faith to be a relationship, not a tradition.
God is alive and is ready for whatever conversation you want to have with Him. If you have questions, God has answers. If you have challenges, God has solutions.
If you are being held back by what you believe and understand and you haven’t thought to explore your traditions in comparison with the living will of God, than God has a challenge for you.
You can choose more.
Take just one example — Christian baptism. Baptism is not really about the baptism of water, it’s about the promise of the baptism of the Holy Spirit. One is a tradition, the other is an actual relationship with God. One comes first, the other comes when the time is right and the believer is ready for the next level in their life.
This is not to say that the water baptism is unnecessary in any way, but rather that if you put your trust in the water of your baptism instead of pursuing the promise of the Holy Spirit in your life you will be living far short of the abundant prosperity of blessings that God has in store for you.
So, in this example, if you have not been baptized in the name of Jesus Christ that is definitely the first step in becoming a Christian. Your water baptism opens the door to the next level in life and brings about the opportunities that otherwise would be extremely hard fought or even unavailable. But God doesn’t want you just standing at the doorway of the home that He has prepared for you. He wants you to come in and rejoice in the super-natural abundance of His favor that is waiting for you. And to do this, requires reconsidering whether your core beliefs are still actually living reflections of God’s will for your life, or if you have left some of them at previous levels of understanding and allowed them to become disconnected from your current relationship with your creator.
A basic truth about life is that change is one of the only constants. When living things stop changing, they die. It is the same with your relationships. If you allow your assumptions and traditions to replace your personal investment and attention to a relationship it will go cold. Many marriages suffer when the couple allows their routine to become the definition of their relationship instead of making the effort to stay in the conversation and continue to grow and to change together. It is the same with your relationship with God.
There is no static place, no single insight, no level of understanding at which you can come to rest and be done in your pursuit of a relationship. A relationship is an every day interaction, conversation, experience, and achievement that dynamically changes as it grows and deepens and improves. There are no limits on the level of intimacy that can be achieved. There are no limits of the degree of understanding and of love that can be experienced. There are no limits to the super-abundant prosperity and favor that God has to offer you as you open your life to His blessings and His presence.
People say that change is hard. But to those who would let this be their dogma I would say something similar to what Winston Churchill said about democracy,
“Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all the others.”
Change is hard, except for all the alternatives.
Living in mediocrity. Limited by your traditional understanding of a situation or a relationship. Held back by an unwillingness to consider what is possible with God. These are the actual hard things in life.
Change is natural. Change is opportunity. Change is life.
So, choose life.
Consider what you have always believed and ask God for the insight and the understanding to realize where you may be holding back His desire and ability to bless you, to take you to the next level, and to shower you with the promise of His favor.
Don’t stop at the baptism of water or come to rest in your past beliefs. Continually pursue the active and living presence of God and a current relationship with Him. Only then will you receive His Holy Spirit and enjoy all of the gifts that He has in store.
God isn’t holding anything back. God is always in motion. God has a desire to bring you into a life that will continually improve forever.
So, if you find yourself coming to rest, accepting a static belief, or allowing your faith to become a tradition instead of a relationship, choose life instead. Get back in the game. Get back in motion. Look for the next big change and get excited about all the work that God is doing to improve your life and the lives of those around you through you.
God is looking for people of action. God is working a change every moment of every day. God is offering continual opportunity. God is offering eternal life.
It’s like the prophet Micah said, the life of a believer is a life of action, change, and motion in pursuit of a continually improving relationship with God,
“He has shown all you people what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” – Micah 6 (TNIV)