Every January, health club memberships dramatically increase and exercise rooms become crowded with what some people call “the New Year’s resolution crowd.” Fitness regulars know that by March many of the newcomers will be gone. “They don’t see results as quickly as they think they will,” says one club director. “People don’t realize it takes a lot of work and perseverance to get in shape.”
It’s a phenomenon we experience in the spiritual realm as well. Author Eugene Peterson notes that in a culture that loves speed and efficiency, “it is not difficult . . . to get a person interested in the message of the gospel; it is terrifically difficult to sustain the interest.” To follow Christ faithfully, Peterson says, requires “a long obedience in the same direction.”
Paul urged the Philippians to adopt the same mindset as Christ, whose obedience to the Father was wholehearted and complete (2:8). He encouraged them to keep on obeying the Lord and to “work out [their] own salvation with fear and trembling” (2:12).
As new believers, we may have good intentions when we take our first steps of faith. Then, as we grow in Christ, God’s power enables us to keep walking joyfully with Him along the long road of obedience.
The Lord God is faithful, and always will be,
He'll never give up on you or on me;
So let us continue to serve Him each day,
Faithful to follow His will and His way. —Fitzhugh
Faith in Christ is not just a single step but a life of walking with Him.