This devotional was written by Jim Liebelt
Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. —Deuteronomy 6:5
In one season of my life, I spent a number of years coaching high school football. Leading our players during practice, coaches would routinely use various drills, run-throughs, and scrimmages to prepare our team for upcoming games. At times, we would have our players practice using full-speed scrimmages with full contact.
Over the years, I observed that most practice injuries occurred when players were involved in full-speed, full contact exercises, but the injured players typically were only going half-speed.
During the years I served as a youth pastor, I noticed a similar pattern in the spiritual lives of my students. Many students seemed to have a basic belief in Jesus, but resisted following Him wholeheartedly—a half-speed Christianity, if you will.
These were the kids who struggled most with faith. Some remarked how Christianity wasn’t working for them and were often frustrated with incorporating their faith into life. Others harbored resentment toward God for their life situations. And some would walk away from any visible evidence of following Christ (at least for a time). It appeared to me that a half-speed Christianity easily leads to spiritual injury.
The Christian life was not designed to be lived at half-speed. This isn’t to say that any of us follow Christ perfectly in this life. But a wholehearted faith that reflects our desire to be all that God wants us to be and to do what God wants us to do—are daily choices each of us can and should make. This daily choice, regardless of our faults and imperfections, gives us a proper life-perspective and aligns us with God, putting us in a position where God is able to make the most out of our lives and to grow strong in faith. This is where we live out a full-speed Christianity.
As in full-speed football, so also in the Christian life: injuries, hurts, and disappointments happen occasionally along the way. It’s just part of the “game.” But, our most significant safety factor is found in living our lives wholeheartedly for Christ, day-in and day-out.
Today, make it your aim to live a full-speed Christianity.
1. Think of a time when you have lived a half-speed Christianity. Was your faith strengthened or weakened during this time?
2. What might be holding you back from living a full-speed Christianity? Take a few moments to pray, asking for God’s power in your life to overcome anything that might be standing in the way of living a wholehearted faith.
Deuteronomy 10:12-13; Luke 6:46-49