I’ve been reflecting over an interesting conundrum for the past few months.
How can a leader lead if their heart is not for what they follow?
Currently, I lead a Life Group and care for the freshmen college kiddos at my church, serve in ministry on A/V, and take part in several disciple relationships with brothers of faith.
Yet I am going through a season of disobedience in my faith, where I am in a scary lull of not desiring to pursue after Christ.
This season is very deceptive because, on the surface, there doesn’t seem to be any problems. But in the heart, there is a silent battle that is raging — a battle for affections and control.
I have wrestled with this battle before, but this time, I feel as if I face a different beast. My heart has shifted in desire, and I no longer have strong affections for Christ.
In fact, I feel I have little to none.
This past summer, I underwent some drastic life stages. Facing a crisis of life or death due to an upcoming heart surgery, I took on a bit of Stoicism mixed in with a desire to cling onto God.
And after heart surgery in recovery mode, I found myself losing a job before I had even started and became detached from my emotions. I needed to hold onto the grace of God as life flowed on.
Whilst recovering, I returned to the roots of my faith, thinking long and hard over simple words like grace, salvation, and belief.
I started to unpack the layers of meaning for the Gospel, and analyze if I truly believed in Jesus and salvation, asking myself questions like:
- “Am I truly passionate about the story?”
- “Does it inspire change in my life?”
- “Do I put on a front for others that ultimately is a disguise to the real sin in my heart?”
As time passed, the busyness of life crept in, and I ended up cutting out some of the most important rituals of my life.
Once, I would wake up early in the morning to do devotions and pray with God whilst lifting up different prayer requests and people in my life.
Now, I scurry out the door in order to bike to work in time. And on weekends, I flip out of bed just around noon and immediately turn to tasks that must be completed.
I started to pack on new passions, such as website work, side projects, and a business that I’m trying to start myself.
All these things consumed my life, and I lost a huge component of focus on my faith. Less time and bad prioritization meant that the things I deemed less important got cut out.
In one way, this conundrum troubles me because I feel I need to set an example for others at church and have failed.
But even more so, I am distressed with choosing the world over a pure desire for faith.
While the trajectory of my life becomes increasingly more self-driven, I reflect on Matthew 10:39. When I try taking control of my life, I end up losing it. In order to find life again, I must sacrifice control to God.
“Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.”
- Matthew 10:39
Weirdly enough, throughout this whole wrestling process, I do believe that if God wants me to be brought back to Him, He will provide a way.
But amidst the season of disobedience, my soul feels strife as I seek after the fleeting pleasures of the world rather than the soul-satisfying comfort of God.
I know there’s nothing wrong with passions because I do believe that God has placed those passions in the heart for a reason. For His glory.
But as one author says in DesiringGod, sin is like “feces-covered candy”, and in this season, I find myself trying to consume the disgusting delights of the world — preferring the consequence of disobedience rather than the joy of truth and real security.
I am fearful of a life of self-sufficiency and self-indulgence that ends up shunning God out of my life. Why do I turn away when real peace and joy is a decision away?
It’s time to trust in the One who is sovereign and all-knowing instead of myself, a twenty-three-year-old new grad engineer who is still trying to figure out how to properly ask for a standing desk at work.
Please God, let this season pass.
I believe that there is always something to gain when people share their experiences, as it gives a glimpse into another person’s perspective, and there are many lessons to learn from it. Thank you for taking the time to read this and also letting me process my journey. I hope this can benefit you in any way, reader, because we are running this race of life together.