When I was a younger Christian and I would hear sayings like “New levels, new devils” I would get in my head a picture of my Christianity as kind of like a video game. If I could only reach the next level then I would have to deal with all these things I struggle with now. If I could just reach that next level then I wouldn't have any doubts or fears. I’d be stronger. I wouldn't be so mean to everyone. I might actually start liking people like Jesus does. I won't struggle with all this sin crap. I wouldn't say crap.

My problem in a nutshell: inconsistency.

There are days when I’m so up I feel like I could send mountains sailing into the sea, certainly on those days I feel like I have reached that next level.

On some days my faith is weak that I’m not even sure that I even believe in God anymore. Days that are so low that the best prayer I can even muster is a single weak “help”. I must still be on that first level, miles from becoming the man God intended for me to be.

I force myself to read my Bible. A good Christian loves to read his Bible. Then you can’t count me among “good Christians”.

But as I read I notice patterns. God’s people turned to Him, they followed Him. God’s people turned away from Him, they forgot their promises and followed other gods.

And around and around we go. The roller coaster goes up and people follow hard after God. The Roller coaster goes down and people abandon their faith.

I am them. They are me. We are just like them.

God in His wisdom tells us the same stories over and over again of death and resurrection. Just as surely in our everyday we experience that same death and resurrection. Everyday we choose where our passions lie. Some days we fail miserably, other days we revel in personal victories so sure that they will last for the rest of our lives.

We die…We are resurrected.

Then I read of Elijah. A man called holy. A prophet. A man who hears the words of God.

I read how he sets up a showdown with four hundred and fifty prophets of Baal. I read how he taunts them as they cry out to their god and cuts themselves hoping for his attention.

I read how he speaks a few words and fire falls from heaven. How he then slaughters four hundred and fifty men in a day. That he then “full of the power of God” out runs a chariot on foot.

That’s some next level stuff right there.

The very next verse Jezebel threatens him and Elijah runs away and hides.

An amazing victory followed swiftly by a crushing defeat.

This pattern of life and death and life again spills over to the New Testament too. The disciples follow Christ. They denounce him. They make his name famous. They go to prison. They die for him. We read their words even today.

What’s my point?

Our struggles aren't new. Our failures aren't shocking to God. There’s nothing new under the sun.

This up and down roller coaster…it’s called being a human. You aren't broken and you aren't a failure.

Everybody falls. Everybody.

The only thing that matters at those times is whether or not you're going to get back up.

That's it.

2/5/2014 10:00:41 pm

Wow Dave - hit a bulls eye for me. In the winter slump - reading and reading but No logos-. prayer a brief" God bless '--- so I;m one of those waiting for the cloud to pass - thank for the message of hope and God is still on the Throne.

2/5/2014 11:12:06 pm


I can totally relate. I'm still on level one. Or maybe there just aren't levels because we'd be stuck on level one until we die. DEAD.

2/6/2014 10:59:49 am

Maybe it's just cause you don't have enough faith. Or cause you say crap all the time. Clearly it's cause you use crap. lol

While I agree mostly with what you two are saying, I do believe that as you step up more in service with God, you do experience an increase of opposition. Maybe not new opposition, but an increase of the opposition you already face. At least, that's been my experience. Whenever I get back from a trip to Czech or a retreat we lead, or a week of outreaches, I experience such an intense level of opposition. It's the same temptations / sins / thoughts I normally struggle with, but the intensity is turned up. So maybe, more influence, more pressure.


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