Where there is no revelation, the people cast off restraint; but happy is he who keeps the law.
The beginning of her journey had been marked by numerous efforts to grow in spiritual knowledge and wisdom. She was not a child when she came to Christ, but her approach to her new faith was wide-eyed and optimistic. It brought back feelings of being a kid again and diving into books, seeing what new things she could learn from those pages. After years of reading the Bible and attending services, of insightful fellowship with her brothers and sisters, the excitement began to wane. She felt so prepared for life and little by little studied less and less. The result was that her spiritual toolbox not only stopped growing but started to empty. Her lack of increase in spiritual knowledge and wisdom also chipped away at what had been there and led her to start living in the old ways again.
We talk about standing still while life passes us by. This expression carries with it the idea that we have several different options when it comes to how we move through life. One of those options is to remain still while things and people move around us. Speaking both physically and spiritually, this is an impossibility. We move through time along with everyone else, but it is a question of what we do with that time. The same way we can turn back certain kinds of physical growth, we also can regress from spiritual growth. God brings us revelation upon revelation, vision upon vision, so that we can move forward spiritually. The only other option is to move backward. Complacency does not keep us where we are in our spiritual growth. It takes us back to places we have already been, and we lose some of what we had in the process.
I remember seeing a dramatic scene in a movie where a military officer is dishonorably discharged, and his decorations are ripped from his uniform. In essence, it was like he never earned them; they never happened. What he achieved during his time was lost and no longer recognized. Our spiritual complacency can have the same effect on the things we have gained as we move forward in our faith. We can forget what God has taught us, and it can be like we have lost so much ground. It is like that prior growth never happened. That is why we must take steps to make sure we are moving forward in our faith, keeping what we have and adding to it daily. Father, keep us faithful to seek your revelation consistently and continually so that we remain obedient and growing in spiritual strength.