The first time I experienced a mountain-top experience in my walk with Christ was when I was in third grade at a Vacation Bible School. I remember when I left I was on fire for Christ, but over the summer, this fire kind of fizzled out. Since then, there have been various times in my life when I’ve had similar up-and-down experiences in my faith.
During my senior year in college, after I had signed to play pro and was no longer playing for the college team, my (at the time) future-wife, Ashley, and I went on a retreat with our campus ministry team. On the way back, while we were fired up after such an amazing week of focusing on Christ, I said to Ashley, “This feeling doesn’t have to leave us. This can stay.”
Looking back at that time, I know it was an incredible stage of growth for me in my spiritual life. Ashley was encouraging me more than she ever had, and I was beginning to discover what a relationship with Christ truly looked like. I was experiencing God guiding my every step and I loved it!
But I’m so glad that my spiritual life has changed since that moment. God is continually growing us. For me to think that was the “top” was so far from the truth! We are going to be in a continual process of spiritual growth until we are with Christ in the New Jerusalem.
Then there are times when I feel far away from Christ. When I start to search and seek closer proximity to God, it’s a pretty good indication that I’ve been slipping away from Him. At those times, I need to let go and rest in Him. I need to get away and get alone with God so I can truly hear His voice. It’s not always easy to find time to get away, but there are mornings when the team is traveling, I’m on the road, and I can be still before Him.
I’ve found that while this practice was at first really uncomfortable for me, it now has been something that provides a lot of guidance and growth for me. To really wrap my heart and mind around my prayers, I try to write them down. When I write down my prayers, whether it’s one paragraph or five, I’m able to process my thoughts into words and internalize them fully. It’s intentional time spent with the Lord; it’s a time to evaluate my walk with Him.
We all experience ups and downs, but even the downs can produce growth in us. What the enemy intends for evil, God will use for good. When we feel down or far away, see that as an opportunity to grow even stronger in your faith in God! God is calling you to a new level of faith. Chase after it!
— Matthew Boyd, Detroit Tigers pitcher
Matthew Boyd is a regular contributor to The Increase and provides monthly articles and opinions. Check out Matthew’s Increase profile here: https://theincrease.com/author/matthew-boyd/
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