I believe most people who decide to become followers of Jesus are very sincere in their desire. We all start out very excited and determined to follow Him; generally after making the commitment we are quick to tell others about our decision as well. Then life sets in and the day to day doldrums that encompassed everything we did before prove to have not magically disappeared. Our excitement may wane a bit as we find less and less time to devote to praying and studying the Bible. Convincing ourselves that our commitment will override the need for concentrated effort, we continue on our path, much as we did before giving our lives over to Jesus. It’s not that we intend to fall away or even that we are mired in sin; it’s simply that we’ve lost our focus, let down our guard, and allowed the pressures of life to steal our enthusiasm and our zeal. We’re drifting and we’re not even sure how it happened.
Like a tire with a slow leak, we can go about our way for quite some time without ever realizing there’s a problem. When we do notice something amiss, we read a good book or listen to some music to pump us back up and head out on our way again. But just as ignoring a tire with a slow leak will eventually leave us broken down with a flat somewhere in the middle of nowhere, so too will unattended spiritual leaks leave us feeling dissatisfied and wandering in the wilderness of life. A little slip here, a loss of focus there, and suddenly our once devoted life has succumbed to the temptations of the world and we are no longer living for Christ at all. It is vital that we do not let our guard down for even a moment; small cracks become big problems down the road if we don’t tend to them. As soon as we recognize we have gotten off course, we need to immediately repent and pray for direction to get back on the right path. It’s also important to take a few moments and reflect on how you got pushed off track. What deceptions and devices were used? Learning the tactics of the enemy will help you fend off future attacks and help you recognize your vulnerabilities; this informs you of the areas in your life that need improvement.
It’s rarely the huge, cataclysmic events that cause us to veer away from following Christ but rather the small, barely perceptible shifts of focus that are our downfall. It’s the friend who hurts our feelings and so we harbor a grudge; it’s the boss who squashes our enthusiasm until we decide to no longer excel and simply do an average job; it’s the everyday things in life that lead to discouragement, jealousy and anger. When you are experiencing emotions that are not part of God’s character, you are causing cracks to form in your life, cracks that allow the spiritual leaking to begin. Remember that no one can cause you to feel any of these negative emotions without your permission. You must discipline your mind to reject feelings that do not align with your purpose in life. If someone wrongs you, forgive them and move on. Life is too short to waste time dealing with the thoughts thrust upon us by others. We have a mission to carry out and have no time left to lose. Ephesians 5:15-17 tells us to make the most of the time because the days are evil so we should discern what the will of the Lord is. The will of the Lord is to put aside petty differences and to go into the entire world telling others about Jesus while serving those in need. That is how we are to live our lives.
Be careful about letting cracks form in your heart. Spiritual leaks are silent and insidious killers of the soul. Without diligent focus and attention to our emotions and reactions we can easily find our joy depleted and our lives broken down and useless. Constantly recharge yourself through prayer, study and associating with others who share your beliefs. Salve your wounds by serving others; there is no quicker way to patch a crack than to be about the mission to which you are called. Staying on purpose hardens our resolve and makes the cracks less likely to appear.
Are you suffering from spiritual leaks? Take an honest look at your life and ask God to patch the holes and get you back on the road toward pursuing Him. Mind your focus and steel your resolve; guard your thoughts and learn to improve the weak areas of your life. Preventing the cracks in the first place is the best defense against spiritual leaks.