As it is every year, this week seems to be filled with individuals who are setting new goals and resolutions for 2012. Some are hoping to exercise more this year. Others want to spend more time with family and less time at work. There are even those who are working on bad habits in their life. It seems like everyone has something in their life that they want to improve this year. As Christians, hopefully our goals are not all focused on earthly things but turn to spiritual things as well. This time of the year tends to be when many Christians who haven’t been living their life right turn back to God and make a promise to be better. Whether it’s trying to spend time in His Word, trying to pray more frequently, or just focusing more on spiritual things, many Christians are using this time to correct their life in order that it might be pleasing to God.
What if your spiritual life in 2011 wasn’t something you struggled with though? As my brother Kyle put it in a devotional this past week, what if you are finding that your relationship with God is stronger now than it has ever been? What if you feel like you are living a life that is pleasing to God and you take pride in the way you lived in 2011? I hope that is the case for everyone who reads this! However, for those who are finding themselves on a spiritual high, now is the time to push forward even more. Too often I believe we see our faith as a mountain that we’re trying to get to the top of. Many feel like they are on the very bottom, struggling to climb. On the other hand, there are many who feel like they have reached the pinnacle of their faith. They feel as if they have come to the place in their faith in which they are content with where they are. Our faith shouldn’t be viewed that way. Our faith should be something that continues to grow. We should never get to a point in this life in which we feel like our faith plateaus.
The Thessalonian church was having a similar problem. It’s not that they were living wickedly. Paul even applauded the way they had been living. However, in 1 Thessalonians 4:1 Paul urged them to “excel still more.” Paul wasn’t unhappy with the way they had been behaving. He simply wanted to see them push forward. He wanted to see them continue to grow in their faith. They were already pleasing to God, but they needed to constantly be looking for ways to grow spiritually. Even the strongest and most faithful of Christians can “excel still more.”
This year, my friend Travis White has set up a group on Facebook called, “Excel Still More: The Facebook Challenge.” The focus of the group will be to push individuals who are already living faithful lives to strive for a deeper faith and greater relationship with God. Throughout the year, the group will be given 20 different tasks that can be done to help us grow more in our faith. I would like to encourage all my readers to join the group and look for ways this year to “excel still more” in their faith. The group can be found at http://www.facebook.com/groups/325371750809571/.
No matter where you are in your spiritual life, God is always willing to accept those who fully turn to Him. Let’s all decide together that we are going to look for ways every day to grow in our faith and never allow our spirituality to plateau.