Before church this morning, I asked the Lord to help me understand what it means to "decrease", while allowing him to "increase". Although the broad definitions haven't been difficult in recognizing (see Acts 17 and Mark 8), the current crux has come in applying the inherent details (i.e. What does the art of losing myself specifically look like today? Are the core AND surrounding mantles of each spiritual blockade in my relationship with Christ being identified?) Recent conviction has taught me within discipleship and freedom prayer arenas, Christians are perhaps overfocusing on the root of sin, and missing the bigger picture (a.k.a. the root-taproot-stem combination, to speak in plant anatomy terms). What this means is we're not thoroughly connecting the dots to the factors that strengthen the root of each sin. I believe many of us can determine the home base of our own personal iniquities, but there's that challenge of going taking the extra step (this is why I bolded "surrounding mantles").
Several weeks ago, I received a series of stirring awakenings. Two weeks of subsequent processing has led to the following belief: Among this rising generation, there exists an alarming spike in indifference due to a) a lack of genuine Spirit encounter and b) an ignorance created by engaging culture too intimately. In other words, young Christians are reaching out to the "deviants", but they're not reaching in (or encouraging them to reach in themselves). Such funk is generating a hazy ambiguity over the concept of God's glory. People naturally struggle to relate with what they consider to be non-encounterable. And I wonder if today's youth are separating desire from commitment, inadvertantly stiff-arming grace. I see many young people missing one or the other - in some cases, both! Despite the decline in legalism, I fear such blindness is merging tighter with apathy and is heart-shaping the church in all the wrong ways. My concern is that evangelism and discipleship will be negatively affected, unless something is done.
Sometimes, I feel at the end of my rope (Psalms 109:21). I'm a desperate leader, wondering why the passion in my heart can't stick like velcro to those around me? Is it because I haven't totally fixed EVERY area in my heart and God is holding me back in my effectiveness? Do I have to derive both the core and mantles of each personal weakness, not just the core? I wish I knew the answer.
One thing is for sure: I'm sick and tired of discovering and identifying the problems, but not knowing what to do about it (I'm speaking generally about my generation here). I'm fed up with an over-tolerant culture that has dilluted boundaries across the board with respect to relationships and fundamental morality. And I yearn for a unified, David-like heartcry that ignites believers to know WHY they live and stay devoted to the cause:
Psalm 63: 1-4
"God—you're my God! I can't get enough of you! I've worked up such hunger and thirst for God, traveling across dry and weary deserts. So here I am in the place of worship, eyes open, drinking in your strength and glory. In your generous love I am really living at last! My lips brim praises like fountains. I bless you every time I take a breath; My arms wave like banners of praise to you."