Why do some Christians seem to be able to more fully express the life of Christ than others? Why is it that folks who have called themselves by the name of Christ for most of their lives produce so little fruit? Why do some who haven't known Him for long seem to ooze Christ from their pores? I have long wondered about this strange observance. I know that there are probably many reasons why a believer does not seem to grow and I certainly do not intend to over simplify the complexity of human beings.
We are by nature autonomous or at least like to think we are. We don't like anyone telling us what to do or how to do it and we certainly think we can figure life out on our own. I have already learned myself of the danger of living out of my feelings. Indeed we do not perceive reality as it really is but we perceive our perception of reality. That perception is colored and tinted by many, many factors. This is why the scripture speaks so plainly about renewing the mind with the truth. We do not know who we are without the truth. Without truth we are completely under the power of feelings, and perceptions that usually come out of our family origins.
A friend reminded me of Proverbs 27:17: "Iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another." She stated that a big problem is that many of us are rubbing up against plastic, not iron. We do not have other people who are challenging us in all areas of our lives and spurring us on in the pursuit of God. We have superficial relationships that center around common interests or mutual arm's length interaction.
At the moment I am reading Kenneth Boa's book "That I May Know God." He states that we must live life with consistent discipline and exposure to the word within the context of the fellowship of like-minded believers. Without these "the visible will overcome the invisible." This is a profound statement.
In our time we live under the tyranny of the urgent, or at least what we deem urgent, and we are impatient. If we live in this way the temporal will slowly overcome the eternal in our lives. There are so many things determined to have our attention each day. Some of these things are good and some are not so good. Work, accumulation and entertainment have taken the place of seeking God and His people. Though my own life is rather simple in comparison to the lives of others who are raising children or have more responsibilities, I still have to fight to discipline myself to turn and face the Lord daily instead of chasing after whatever shiny thing happens to catch my attention each day. Some days it is easier than other days and some days I fail. But I find an emptiness and dissatisfaction in my life when I have spent my days focused solely on the temporal and have failed to connect with other believers and get the word of God into my heart and mind.