When we got married with my wife some 8 years ago, we went for a honeymoon for around three days. That was not enough and for a long time we’ve felt we did ourselves a de-service for not having it a little longer.
That said, however much time we’d have wanted to have and afforded, there had to get to a point that the season would come to an end. As fun-filled as the honeymoon is, marriage will not be built on honeymoon. Honeymoon was not the end or reason for getting married. Honeymoon celebrates the achievement of the wedding , but after it’s over, the two need to settle down and grow the foundation of their marriage to reap the full benefits of their union.
In considering the honeymoon after the wedding as a cerebration of an achievement, I also see it’s application to another experience of a believer. While there’re lot’s of excitement when one breaks from the walls of institutional Christianity, that celebration needs to have an end and move on to the heart of the matter; Paul put it as such,
12 Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. 13 Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, 14 I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
The very first thing to give focus to after the ‘honeymoon’ is the foundation of our faith. We are admonished to check whether we are still in the faith(2 Corinthians 13:5
Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you are disqualified.;).
Once this is settled, then we can be certain that the problem is elsewhere. As this is happening, one needs to be clear what the foundation of the christian faith ought to be. I submit that it is so easy to assume that we are on the true foundation while we’ve drifted over time. Most of the times, the drifting is not necessarily bad things, but still other things other than the true foundation. They could be things related to the foundation, but still not the foundation Himself. The foundation is Christ, and no other foundation can be laid (1 Cor 3:11).
If the foundation is other than Christ, then there’s need to repent and re-lay the foundation, Christ, the all and in all (Col 3:11). When I make reference to Christ as the foundation, I am not refering to the historical Jesus where one believes he lived ones on earth and did many good deeds, rather I am refering to the resurected living Christ who makes His dwelling in the one that has believed in Him. The question then one is to ask themselves is, “Do I know this Christ who lives inside of me?” .
Moving forward: the ground.
After it has been established that the foundation of our faith is the right one, there’s then need to check; “if the foundation is right, then why is our building not stable?”; “If the seed planted was the right one, why is our plant not doing so well?”.
One time Jesus a parable of the sower (Mark 4). Most of the time when we read this parable, we’d want to imagine that we are the good ground that produced 30, 60, and 100 fold fruit. however when we honestly look at our lives, that fruitfulness may not be close to the one for good ground.
If the seed is right, and there’s no fruit, then the most likely culprit is our heart. The bible records that, the heart of man is deceitfully wicked (Jer 17:9.). I believe that this applies to all men with exception of Jesus Christ. Your own heart will deceive you that it is good and you need no dealing where it is concerned. However when you admit your need for help, you find that God is more than willing to give you a new heart.
Reading mark 4, I was struck by the ground that was shallow:
(5 Other seed fell on rocky ground, where it did not have much soil, and immediately it sprang up, since it had no depth of soil. 6 And when the sun rose, it was scorched, and since it had no root, it withered away…../ 16 And these are the ones sown on rocky ground: the ones who, when they hear the word, immediately receive it with joy. 17 And they have no root in themselves, but endure for a while; then, when tribulation or persecution arises on account of the word, immediately they fall away.)
It is not enough to receive the good seed and sprout out, it is also necessary that the root goes deep so the plant can be effectively supported both in standing firm and in nourishment.
(eph 3:17 that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love,).
Something important to note is that when you find there are stones in your heart hindering the Christ to grow, accept and admit that you can’t make it on your own and ask Him for a new heart: “Ezekiel 11:19
And I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within you; and I will take the stony heart out of their flesh, and will give them an heart of flesh:”
Moving forward: the thorns.
Another type of ground described in Mark 4 is the one with thorns that pricks the life out of the new plant. The external things that interfere with the plant’s growth are likened to worries and cares of every day living.
“18 Now these are the ones sown among thorns; they are the ones who hear the word, 19 and the cares of this world, the deceitfulness of riches, and the desires for other things entering in choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful.”.
You will find a real experience for every believer that as they try to give room or attention to the Christ growing in and out of them, the cares of this life will present themselves to you as larger than the One in you. I see only one way around this; remove the cares and put your trust in Jesus to care for you. Live one day at a time heeding His words:
28 Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.
31 “Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.
18 “Do not remember the former things, Nor consider the things of old. 19 Behold, I will do a new thing, Now it shall spring forth;
Shall you not know it? I will even make a road in the wilderness
And rivers in the desert.
13 Therefore let us go forth to Him, outside the camp, bearing His reproach. 14 For here we have no continuing city, but we seek the one to come.
Dear ones, let’s grow our roots into the depths of His love.