Before my eyes were opened, I used to often wonder about the strength of my faith, and what it meant.
In Francis Chan’s ‘Crazy Love’, he mentions what he calls spiritual amnesia. I remember exactly when I read this passage- I was 19, sitting up in the bleachers on a rainy day, next to my dad as the homecoming football game was happening. My mind was definitely not present with the surrounding events, but I recall reading that passage, pausing, then reading it again. Something about it really resonated with me:
“There is an epidemic of spiritual amnesia going around, and none of us is immune. No matter how many fascinating details we learn about God’s creation, no matter how many pictures we see of His galaxies, and no matter how how many sunsets we watch, we still forget.
Most of us know that we are supposed to love and fear God; that we are supposed to read our Bibles and pray so that we can get to know Him better; that we are supposed to worship Him with our lives. But actually living it out is challenging.
It confuses us when loving God is hard. Shouldn’t it be easy to love a God so wonderful? When we love God because we feel we should love Him, instead of genuinely loving out of our true selves, we have forgotten who God really is. Our amnesia is flaring up again.”
-Francis Chan, Crazy Love
It had felt like somebody put to words the exact feeling I had been battling my entire life. The exact feeling that made me feel like I’m not a good Christian, or that maybe I’m just not a very spiritual person.
I refused to be part of a “checklist” kind of faith. Yes, there is discipline, and there are always going to be those times where you don’t want to do your spiritual duty. But, I wholeheartedly believe that this spiritual amnesia does not have to be a part of our lives.
Why? Because we are always moving, in one direction or another.
Back when I considered myself prone to spiritual amnesia, I would often ask myself, “What do I want the outcome of my life to look like? What does a life of serving God actually look like?”. Then, I would follow up with, “Since I don’t know what faith in action could logically look like in this world, I guess I’m alright with never accomplishing it. I’ll take my salvation and call it good.”
Today, my thoughts and ideas are entirely different. Now I can’t even imagine having that same amnesia like I used to- God is all around us, all the time! As it turns out, faith in action isn’t about living out our lives in a way that only makes sense in this 3-dimensional world we live in. It’s much, much more. It’s weird, it’s unearthly, and it runs deep. It’s something you’ve never seen before while living the normal Earth experience. No wonder faith used to appear as boring to me, I had the completely wrong idea of it!
You are never still.
Whether you like it or not, right now, you are on a journey. You’re either moving forward, or backward. There is no such thing as standing still.
“He who is not with Me is against Me, and he who does not gather with Me scatters abroad.” -Matthew 12:30
Since I have grown in my faith, I now know the deception of accepting only the most basic package of salvation. Salvation is the gate that allows you to enter, but then you’re just standing right inside the doorway. Don’t you want more than that- to be closer to God? To have a real relationship with Him, as He designed?
Relationship, as I’ve learned, is The Highest, most important thing. For it is the very reason why God wanted to create us.
My spiritual amnesia tried to fool me into believing that I could stand still in my faith. That there wasn’t anything more to it. There was no mystery, no wonder, no whimsy, no growth. It was pretty damn boring.
Spiritual amnesia is captained by Satan himself. It’s a trap to make you think that there’s nothing more you can do to better your faith, to experience more of God in this life. It’s that stuck feeling that convinces you that these experiences must only work for other people, but not yourself.
Satan wants you to believe that there are only the things which exist plainly in front of you- but there is so much more. If you saw it, you would laugh! You would cry! You would fall to your knees in a state of hysterical awe. Do you want to know the best part? You do have the ability to see these things and experience them deeply! I’m talking about something much better and more authentic than the displays of emotional worship you see in the megachurches.
You are either walking towards Him, or away from Him.
God bless you!