It’s an interesting thing how God works. My wife and I are going through similar spiritual struggles right now. Both of us desire to be doing ministry and are finding little fulfillment with what we are doing right now (for her it’s work and for me it’s school). We are both growing tired of an intellectual Christianity that lacks heart both in ourselves and in the church.
I’m frustrated but not without joy and not without finding spiritual growth in some surprising places. This post will be about the sources of spiritual growth and strength that have sustained me during these growing pains.
1.People- Interestingly enough, the people who have been influencing my the most are not the brilliant scholars and theologians that I sit under every day, but laypeople. For example, a couple who both have regular day jobs but pour hours of their personal time into a band because they feel that is their ministry. They have a passion for their faith that is contagious and are a joy to be around. Maybe they couldn’t tell me the difference between transubstantiation and consubstantiation, but there is more to the Christian faith than knowing all the theological terms. Why does it seem like the people who have the head knowledge lack the joy and the passion that a life lived for Christ should have?
2. Music- I have found a lot of comfort in song lately. I finally got Steven Curtis Chapman’s latest album and have not stopped listening to it because it is constant source of encouragement. Here are the lyrics to the songs that of his that have been the most encouraging. My Surrender, The Children of God, You Are Being Loved. A couple of Chris Thomlin songs have also been very encouraging, probably because they come straight from Scripture. Everlasting God, Amazing Grace (My Chains are Gone). There are also a couple of hymns that have been very encouraging. Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing, Be Thou My Vision, The Love of God. You can tell that it is a mix of modern and classic but most of them have in common the love, sovereignty, and power of God.
It is amazing to me that even when I am in the spiritual dregs, God still finds ways to speak to me be it through people, song, or straight from His Word. My prayer is that by the end of these growing pains I will have a strong grasp of the intellectual portion of Christianity while at the same time having an incredible passion and joy for my faith. These two things are not mutually exclusive. We would do well to remember that.