So what do you say, Christian? Maybe there is no flagrant sin in your life but you are simply living in a cruise-control mode of obedience. Have you lost the commitment and intensity in your love of God? Are you seeking to obey God’s Word with all of your heart, soul, and mind? Or have you instead settled into a comfortable routine, in which there are no blatant sins but neither is there an all-out effort to love and obey God in every area of life? 

A good challenge from Jerry Bridges in his book, The Disciplines of Grace: God’s Role and Our Role in the Pursuit of Holiness:

So what is new? What did I learn from my study of Matthew 22:37 and Deuteronomy 6:5 that I didn’t know before? What I saw was the intensity and wholeheartedness with which I should obey God. If we are to love God with all our heart and soul and mind, and if obedience is a major part of such love, then it follows that we are to obey Him with all our heart, soul, and mind. We are to put everything we have into obedience to Him.

My observation is that most of us who are believers practice what I call a “cruise-control” approach to obedience. Many cars today have a convenient feature called cruise control. When you are driving on the highway you can accelerate to your desired speed, push the cruise-control button, and take your foot from the accelerator pedal…It’s very convenient and relatively relaxing. It’s a great feature on cars.

However, we tend to obey God in the same way To continue the driving analogy, we press the accelerator pedal of obedience until we have brought our behavior up to a certain level or “speed.” The level of obedience is most often determined by the behavior standard of other Christians around us. We don’t want to lag behind them because we want to be as spiritual as they are. At the same time, we’re not eager to forge ahead of them because we wouldn’t want to be different. We want to just comfortably blend in with the level of obedience of those around us.

Once we have arrived at this comfortable level of obedience, we push the “cruise-control” button in our hearts, ease back, and relax. Our particular Christian culture then takes over and keeps us going at the accepted level of conduct. We don’t have to watch the speed-limit signs in God’s Word, and we certainly don’t have to experience the fatigue that comes with seeking to obey Him with all our heart, soul, and mind. This then is what I call “cruise-control” obedience, and I fear it is descriptive of many of us much, if not all, of the time.

So what do you say, Christian? Maybe there is no flagrant sin in your life but you are simply living in a cruise-control mode of obedience. Have you lost the commitment and intensity in your love of God? Are you seeking to obey God’s Word with all of your heart, soul, and mind? Or have you instead settled into a comfortable routine, in which there are no blatant sins but neither is there an all-out effort to love and obey God in every area of life?

Weekend Roundup: Seven Articles for Your Musings

How Far You Can Travel From New York City in a Day: This is a fascinating article with a really neat info-graphic. Here is opening paragraph – “Before directions provided by Google Maps, the interstate highway system, cars, the transcontinental railroad, and the Erie Canal, a traveler in New York City could expect to spend a whole day and night traveling over what a suburban commuter now does in an hour.”

Six Ways to Look Godly While not Growing your Faith in 2014: I found the 3rd one very convicting. The 6th one also as I have a growing bookshelf of unread books!

Some Thoughts on the Reading of Books: As Solomon warned, “Of making many books there is no end” (Ecc 12:12). There is no way to read everything, and not everything deserves to be read. I say that in order to confront the notion that anyone, anywhere, can master all that could be read with profit. Also includes six initial suggestions.

Bill Nye vs. Ken Ham Debate at the Creation Museum: Believe me, if you live anywhere near this you don’t want to miss it! The agreed upon topic is “Is creation a viable model of origins in today’s scientific era?” Ken Ham says “I hope to show My. Nye and our debate audience that observational science confirms the scientific accuracy of the Genesis account of origins, not evolution.”

The Four P’s of Faithful Bible Reading: Bible reading is crucial to one’s spiritual health and growth yet the discipline of Bible reading does not come easily. Also, sometimes we fall into our bible reading as a checklist. These four p’s are quite helpful.

Grace Has Brought Me Safe Thus Far: Did you know that Newton’s most famous hymn “Amazing Grace” was first unveiled in his church on New Year’s day (1773), and it’s a reflection on the new year: a look back on his past deliverances, a look around on his present deliverances, and a look forward to his future deliverances in Christ.

Interpret the Bible: Want to understand the Bible better? Here are some superb articles from this month’s edition of Tabletalk to help you.