Each year I write down questions to answer over the course of a two-week period. This year, one of the questions I asked is, "Do I still believe what I preach"? I know that may seem like a weird question or even one that comes with an obvious answer, but let me explain.
Like anyone, I can fall into routine. I actually love routine; when I go out to dinner I eat the same foods, drink the same drinks, and choose the same restaurants. We all live within the cycle of routines. We watch the same shows, get coffee at the same place, go to bed around the same time, get up at the same time... Life, in a way, is a big routine. Now, although routines are harmless, routines can damage the most important areas of our lives: relationships.
Routines erase thought, innovation, and feelings. I don't have to think or feel much to get up, shower, brush my teeth and put on deodorant. Some days, minutes after putting on deodorant, I can't remember if I put it on or not, so I check only to find out that I did it without even thinking about it. It's routine (I know you've done that).
Here's my point: I don't want to live my life as a follower of Jesus simply within routine. I don't want to get up and preach His Word just because that's what I do. I don't want to pray at dinner or in the morning simply because it's what I do. I don't want to say I believe simple because it's what I've done. I want to FEEL, THINK, AND BE PRESENT in my walk with God! I want to really believe! When you really believe--not out of routine or religion--it changes everything. You think different, you love different, you pray different, you sing different, you talk different, you spend money different, you walk in peace different, your priorities are different, you attend church with different motives, you treat people different at the store, you become the light in a dark world. When Jesus is less of a routine and religion and more of a relationship that you think through, feel your way through, and put effort into, everything changes. I want to believe--really believe--and I'm thankful that my answer to this year's question is, "YES, I REALLY DO BELIEVE." ... Do you? Mark 9:24 The father instantly cried out, "I do believe, but help me overcome my unbelief!"