“Instead, dress yourself with the Lord Jesus Christ,
and don’t plan to indulge your selfish desires.”
Romans 13:14 (Common English Bible)
For some, the experience of the Christian faith lacks the heroic and adventurous texture of the lives of great biblical personalities. Safe, comfortable boredom is more often presented today in the life of those who follow Christ. Absent are uncalculated risks, the thrill of battling difficulties and the appetite for conflict and victory. The faith has become soft, the individual life one of self-indulgent behavior. The demands of scripture go unnoticed, perhaps on purpose, and everything is made too easy. The casualty is a faith without power or interest.
In more honest moments, such people will often confess to a desire for something more, something deeper. A world of risk and adventure is preferred over the predictable routines that our lives fall into. The zest of struggle and conquest teases our minds and the ever-present possibility of calamity and pain doesn’t diminish the lure. Rather, these are the factors, which make possible human happiness; joy the product of discipline and effort.
Such a faith remains within the reach of anyone who desires it. It arrives along the route of spiritual discipline. Unlike military discipline, a discipline that is imposed from without, spiritual discipline emerges from within. It is self-imposed. It builds spiritual muscle that is revealed in unquestionable character and contagious personalities. Discipline may seem, for a time, to be a thing of pain and not joy, but those who are trained by it are quick to demonstrate a life that is stronger, healthier and marked by joyful anticipation. Faith, properly experienced, becomes life’s grandest adventure.
Those who endeavor to claim such an experience of faith are addressed in these few words from Romans, “dress yourself with the Lord Jesus Christ.” The daily discipline of arising from bed and dressing our bodies with clothes appropriate for the day is purposely chosen. Dress the spiritual body each morning, as the physical body is dressed. Strive to eliminate unchristian attitudes and thoughts and consider how to be more loving of others. Remain alert to the needs of others and less preoccupied with your own. And do not neglect the regular reading and reflection upon God’s word in the Bible. Think of how to please Christ throughout the day and such strength of faith as never known before will be given to you.