Over the past few months I’ve been slowly reading through a book called Holiness by J.C. Ryle. It’s a fantastic book, and there’s a great quote on almost every page, but I find myself taking it in small pieces and coming back to it every few days.
The “chains” mentioned above are probably not what you would think. Let me give you part of the preceding paragraph so you’ll see what he’s referring to:
The saddest symptom about many so-called Christians is the utter absence of anything like conflict and fight [against spiritual apathy] in their Christianity. They eat, they drink, they dress, they work, they amuse themselves, they get money, they spend money, they go through a scanty round of formal religious services once or twice every week. But of the great spiritual warfare – it’s watchings and strugglings, its agonies and anxieties, its battles and contests – of all thing they appear to know nothing at all. Let us take care that this case is not our own.
Not to say that there’s anything we can do to earn God’s love, or anything close to that. Scripture is clear that it’s only through faith in Jesus that people can be right with God. It’s not about what you do, say, or think that makes you close to God – it’s all about the price Jesus paid to ransom our lives.
But once a person has been redeemed – once their life has been changed by the life-giving power of Christ – there should be something within us that fights back against the world’s temptation to become spiritually numb and go with the flow.
I’m asking God to give me grace and strength to face the ever-present temptation to be chained with lukewarmness and spiritual laziness.