How many of us want and need a "quick fix"? Problems in our lives that we look at, shoot up a prayer to God, and then try to cover up from everyone else? No time to deal with the issues, just a need to have the matter taken care of?
"God, please fix this!!!"
We might be able to get away with this for a while, maybe even a long while, but eventually we will realize the "problem" is still there. Nothing healed, nothing resolved, nothing really fixed. Oh, it may look a little better. But is it a lasting solution, or is your problem just sitting there, or maybe the problem is even "infected"?
When our older daughter was about 13, she and a friend had been riding a motor scooter (which I had forbidden but she did it anyway) out in our rural subdivision. The streets were not "paved" with concrete, but more of an asphalt surface, you know, hardened tar and gravel. Well, the inevitable happened; a spill on the bike and a screaming, crying kid, limping up the driveway with blood covering her bare legs. She was in a lot of pain and no "I told you so's" were needed. Now, what if I had just wiped off the blood and put on a bunch of band aids?
I called the doctor, and this was his advice. Put her in a warm tub with some Epsom salt, and be prepared for some time to work. Having worked in the ER, I am accustomed to a little blood, so I did what could have been done for her there. Tweezers in hand I set about the job of removing debris and gravel. An hour or so later, and after hearing a few, "NO!, NO's" She was cleaned up and slathered with Neosporin and some bandages. The healing began, but not until the junk was out, and the wound cleaned. A quick fix would not have beneficial here. Time, information and some work were critical to see this resolved in a way that would permanently have a good outcome.
Do we have behaviors that God has been trying to speak to us about? Attitudes and ways of thinking that are non-productive? How about relationships that are difficult and a source of constant concern? Just like a physical ailment, injury, or disease, we cannot ignore problems hoping they will go away. A quick fix, usually doesn't last, and can cause more harm in the long run.
Our spiritual lives can be this way. A lot of debris, hurts and pain. Incidents that are major sticking points in our lives. We can't make any progress because we don't allow God to get in there and do the work.
We need to give God permission to teach us and show us what kind of steps we need to take, to see healing and lasting change come to our lives.
Seeing lasting change in our spiritual lives takes a little effort and attention. It takes time in prayer and reading God's Word; Bible study and listening for God's direction in our life. None of these things can be accomplished by snapping our fingers. Our development as Christians takes time. Salvation is immediate, but the renewing of the mind and our conforming to the likeness of Jesus can be a process.
One of the complaints that I had about my early years and into young adult life was that I was out of balance. I had been taught "doctrine" (not always the truth), but didn't have any "practical" information on how to live my life. It was all about what I should "believe", but nothing about "how to live" the Christian life day-to-day.
Then we can go the other direction in that we just want to know what to do, without having a belief system to back it up. We need both; good doctrinal understanding about God, and then practical teaching about our Christian walk. We won't be able to find the steps for our future and a healthy Christian life, attitudes, and relationships if we don't have a good foundation of who God is, and how He feels about us.
It's critical to realize that we need to establish our Christian lives on what we believe, instead of forming beliefs based on how we behave.
This will be the only way to see our identity in Christ really causing us to move forward. We need the proper Identity In Christ, and then the correct doctrine and theology to go with it. Don't skip the doctrine part to get to the "quick fix". Let's let God teach us about Himself, have that firmly planted in our hearts, then allow that knowledge to bring change.
concepts taken from Chapter 3,
Victory Over the Darkness