A book I read recently stated that “getting good” at any complicated task takes about 10,000 hours of practice. Now this author wasn’t speaking about the living the Christian life, but I imagine it still applies. So if you want to “get good” at being a Christian, simply sitting in the pew won’t cut it. At the rate of one hour per week, “getting good” will take approximately 192 years! In case you haven’t noticed, none of us have that long! To really mature as a Christian, we need to put in the hours –hours of prayer, Bible study, service and more.
This is exactly what the Fanning the Flame process is teaching us. As a team, we are learning to be more disciplined in our prayer life; to discover and use our spiritual gifts; to repent of our sins; to remember God’s promises; to study His Word; to fellowship with one another, and so on. Hopefully, as we mature in our faith, we will influence others within the congregation to do the same. We’ll be stronger, better witnesses.
Will we ever achieve complete sanctification? Lutherans don’t think so. However, like Paul, we need to press on and do what is in our power to become worthy followers of the gift we have already been given. Christ died for our sins so that we could be reconciled with God and live with Him in eternity. Is it enough to plunk ourselves down in the sanctuary once a week, sing a few hymns and drop a few dollars in the offering plate? Is this a show of true gratitude, or is it just a pious habit we’ve developed over the years? We can’t stand still in the life of faith, we have to practice. We have to get good.