Is it possible to get to the point that having faith is second nature and doesn’t require effort?
A friend texted me the question, and I immediately responded, “I don’t think so. Yes, we get more settled into faith, but that also means we are letting God fill and consume us even more which continually challenges us…Be patient with yourself.”
I continued to mull it over the next couple days, mainly focusing on my own experiences, which are nowhere close to a scientific approach. It’s true that as I know God better and go deeper in my relationship with him, my everyday choices to follow him become more prompt. I’m not sure declaring that choosing him is “easier” is accurate but perhaps in a sense: the consequences of following him aren’t easy. But my trust in and experiences with him make following him as easier choice to make. I want more with him and I know he wants more with and for me.
But the more completely and consistently I follow God, the more he requires of me. The more fine-tuning he does, the more he invades every crevice of my life.
When I go through a particularly challenging time with him, I sometimes want to sigh and coast a bit. Yet he continues to work in me, shifting slightly to point to another area of my life and say, “Let’s work on this for a while.” I have to admit I’ve rolled my eyes and groaned a time or two.
But I wouldn’t change a thing about the way God challenges and equips me.
I’m thankful faith hasn’t become second nature to me.
I’m glad I have to stay attentive and take responsibility for my responses to his prompts and pauses. As much as I might crave comfort every now and then, I don’t want lackadaisical comfort, where I disengage and lose my intentional focus on God.
I am glad I know him, and I want to pursue knowing him more.
Faith as second nature?
Sure, I want faith to become increasingly instinctive to me, but I never want it to become rote or obligatory.
I want a more dynamic faith than that. Even if it takes more work and humility.