June 19, 2013

“Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.”  1 Corinthians 15:58


Freeway (Photo credit: Wyrmworld)

A long stretch of interstate freeway lay in front on me with no significant driving changes.  I am mindful of the road ahead but I need not be concerned with my speed.  My vehicle has the wonderful little tool of cruise control that relieves my mind of the obligation to manage velocity.  I have the job of keeping on course; staying between the stripped lines and not running into the car in front of me.

As every second brings me closer to my destination, I notice another car far behind in my rear-view mirror.  The image of this fellow traveler grows over the lapse of 30 minutes.  My fellow companion has obviously engaged the same tool as mine only with the difference of a few miles per hour in advance.  His pursuit is gaining on me but only in small degrees.

Finally, the car that was once a speck in my mirror concludes its pursuit and settles itself just off my back bumper but not for long.  The driver decides to pass me.  The pass is a long, annoying, stroll down the interstate with a stranger at my shoulder as we hurl through space at 75 mph.  This stranger does not change the setting of his cruise control.  Therefore, he passes at a speed that is slower than that which I have walked past people .  We may be speeding toward our destination but it does not feel that way.  It feels as if we are moving agonizingly slow.  The presence of this other car, barely moving in the adjoining lane, steals any sense of my own speed.

I feel like I am not moving but any observer alongside the road will know that is not true.  I am traveling at a speed that travelers of an earlier time could not comprehend.  However, my rate of travel is difficult to judge within my car when traveling with other cars moving at the same relative speed.

We often describe out sanctification as a walk.  We are called to follow Christ.  My mental picture has always been a long, walk on a dusty, narrow spiritual path.  However, consider the distance in the transformation from rebellious God hater to glorified child of God.

Maybe, our sanctification is more like racing down the interstate with other travelers flying alongside at relatively the same speed.

God sets the speed of our sanctification.  We may feel as if there we are not moving at all.  We may think that the passage of distance along our path has become a grinding procession of inches.  I have a sense that is never the case.  We may be in a period that relative to others we are being left behind or motionless but that does not mean we are not moving.

God controls our speed.

We have all felt the temptation to jump start our sense of be stagnation.  We may want to change something, anything just to get the tingling sensation of movement.  We can become so addicted to relative motion that we are never satisfied without that sense of spiritual acceleration.  However, we can become flighty when we attempt to control the speed of our sanctification.  We flicker from one thing to another.  I have seen many brothers and sisters jump into a ministry with passion and excitement only to fade away in less than a year.  They are invigorated by the feel of forward speed that comes from newness and possibilities but become disillusioned when that sense of speed fades to the relative motionlessness.

Paul encourages us to be steadfast and immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord.

Being steadfast and immovable does not mean that we are without motion.  The labor that we do for the Lord is never in vain even when we don’t feel like it is going anywhere.  As long as we are working diligently for the Lord, we don’t need to worry about the speed of our sanctification or the value of our work.  We don’t need to take control of the accelerator in search of a sense of spiritual rush.

Melbourne freeway

Melbourne freeway (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We have a tendency of thinking that what we are doing in the Lord is in vain because we often cannot see any relative motion.  I am sure that we will be amazed at the distance traveled toward glorification that has accrued when we think nothing was happening. Our job is to keep on the narrow road.  We are called to follow Christ – steadfastly keeping our course set upon Him.  We are called to follow Christ – immovable on the Truth.  A follower does not set the pace.  The pace is set by the leader.

We need to be content with being followers even when it does not feel like we are moving – we are probably moving faster than we know.

PRAYER: Lord, thank you for being in control of all things – even the pace of my sanctification.  Forgive me for being impatient and not really trusting You with my heart or where You currently have me.  Increase my faith.  Help me to be steadfast in You.  Give me the strength to stand immovable in you.  Thank you for bringing value to all that I do by your Spirit.  Remove the unbelief of thinking that my labor is in vain.  Grant me the contentment and joy of being a follower no matter where that road leads.  I pray this in the precious name of your Son, Jesus Christ.   Amen.


  1. Insightful insights. How I want to go Mach I (in the spiritual fast lane) when God says “be still and know that I am God.”

  2. I really liked this post. You hit a nail on the head here. I’m a very slow-growing Christian myself but I can see progress in the last 30 years of my walk with Jesus. Other people in AA (I’m sober 33 years only by His power) think I’ve been growing too slow – for their taste. In AA we have sponsee’s, new sober people that you take under your wing. I’ve had exactly 2 of these in all my sobriety. There’s been only 2 people who’ve asked me to sponsor them. That’s not enough in other’s opinions. They’ve told me so. But I am growing. Although it’s slow; I am growing. I know only a handful of people in AA who have as much time sober as I have. They grew too fast – then burned out and went back to the bottle again. Alcoholism is deadly, I prefer slow, and staying alive thank you very much.

  3. “As long as we are working diligently for the Lord, we don’t need to worry about the speed of our sanctification or the value of our work.” Wise words, JD. Funny thing about value. We think it’s about large numbers or a wide circle of influence. But God only needs so many high profile folks. The rest of us, accomplishing the small day-to-day tasks, are of equal value (Psalm 115:13)!

  4. Reblogged this on my God's Grace and commented:
    Thank You Father for using your son to explain what it looks like when i think i am not moving fast enough and who i am truly following. (Your lead) i do not set the pace.

  5. Reblogged this on REFLECTions and commented:
    Great read for all believers, new and long growing alike

  6. Needed that one today as well. Thank you so much for great devotionals. God Bless 🙂

  7. Love this!

  8. I really needed this today. Thank you. Leaving tonight for my first mission trip to Honduras. I know this is God’s path for me, but I am afraid and have been saying, “I just want it to be over with!”. He has brought me to this moment ever so slowly and now that it’s here, I’m asking him to hurry it up. Up until now I have felt that the pace of my santification was too slow. How ridiculous really, but so human of me.

    • I am so glad this was timely. I was just praying for you and your mission trip. May God richly bless you and your time and give you a peace to enjoy Him through the whole trip.
      God Bless!

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