I don’t always feel it. Sometimes my faith seems stale. Numb. Sometimes I pray but I don’t feel connected. I sing, but my song sounds empty. I write, but my words sound cliché. I ask God questions, but I don’t hear answers. I could try and act like I am always so spiritually refreshed, and thriving in my relationship with God. But that wouldn’t be honest. That wouldn’t be me.
Does your faith journey ever have these desert seasons? I think one of the greatest challenges in actively living out a relationship with Christ on earth is to avoid the trap of simply going through the motions. I grew up in a Christian home. My dad is a preacher. And over the years, I’ve mastered the art of learning what “Christian” should say to make everyone thing I’ve got it all figured out. I know how to act. I know how to put up a spiritual front, even if I’m not passionately seeking God, and make everyone around me think I’m doing alright.
That’s why I wrote the song, “The Motions.” I was frustrated and tired of that constantly settling for a stale faith. God is a God of passion. His true plan for our lives is anything but boring. “For I have come that they might have life, and have it to the full! (John 10:10, emphasis mine.) Every day, The God of adventure beckons his sons and daughters to quit going through the motions, and walk into a life filled with passion and wonder. The last line of the chorus strikes me every time I sing it.
I DON’T WANNA SPEND MY WHOLE LIFE ASKING
WHAT IF I HAD GIVEN EVERYTHING
INSTEAD OF GOING THROUGH THE MOTIONS
Those words are hard for me to hear sometimes. I find it so ironic that I now have to face those words every night when I sing them on stage or when “The Motions” plays on the radio. Coincidence? I think not. I believe God new I needed a daily reminder of this haunting question. A not-so-gentle nudge saying, “don’t hold anything back, give it all, everything you have.” Some days, my actions are as though my answer to that call is, “No thanks, I think I’m just going to keep this here area of my life to myself. But God, you can have this and, um, this…” Then I hear another call, “Take up your cross and follow me (Matt 16:24) This invitation from a Savior is a daily one. This is the only way to finding life to the fullest: Hold nothing back from the One who gave you everything.
Maybe you are stuck in a rut right now, that you know you need to break out of. A relationship that you know isn’t what God wants for you. A bad habit that you keep meaning to break. An addiction that won’t let go. Maybe you’re not the dad you know you could be to your kids, or the spouse you know you should be to your husband or wife. Well, can you hear it? The question lingers, “What if YOU had given everything instead of going through the motions?” Life is short. But God’s plan for your life is bigger than you can imagine. Give everything to Him today, hold nothing back, and kiss the motions goodbye.
~ Matthew West