But let’s be honest: few men can raise their hands and profess to have hearts that are smitten by the beauty of God. Many of us have experienced such fervor for a season, perhaps when we were first converted, but since that moment our love has risen and ebbed like the tide of the sea. What, then, can fickle men like us do in order to deepen the passion of our pursuit of God? Here are five suggestions.
Typically, men who are bored by godliness are men who are ignorant of the godly. Those feeling their passion for God on the wane can do nothing more beneficial than taking up the life of a Christian hero and spending time in his, or her, company. To read the life of Dawson Trotman is to feel a passion surge to go out and train up disciple-makers. To spend a few days surveying George Mueller is to feel a painful longing to become a man of prayer and of trust. To track with George Whitefield or John Wesley is to feel convicted of wasted time and lost opportunity and to experience a creative spark igniting further passion to live and die for Christ.
Discipleship without devotion is like a car without gasoline. If there is no internal combustion, the wheels of spiritual discipline will never turn, especially if the road is uphill. Thus we need to acknowledge the importance of what has been labeled captivation. Serious discipleship begins with the eyes of the heart being opened to the unique worth of the glory of God. Where do we go to behold this glory? The last post described the importance of meditating on holiness. Now we must turn to the cross.
Here is a third reason why captivation is so vital for spiritual growth. Willpower alone is insufficient to resist temptation. The will must be reinforced by love. We must be able to see Christ in the distance when lust parades before our eyes. Unless we see something better, we will settle for less.