"Who is the humble, or meek, or devout, or
just, or faithful man?
Is it he that has several
times done acts of
humility, meekness, devotion,
justice, or fidelity?
No; but it is he that lives in
the habitual exercise of these virtues
... to the
utmost of his power."
Law, A Serious Call to a Devout and Holy Life,
William Law spares no one. He insists
that those who profess Christ as Lord have a duty to
consistency. It's not enough to give occasionally, to be
humble periodically, or to show devotion sporadically.
Our Lord expects full-time
a world of tolerance, back-pedaling, soft words, and low
expectations, we rarely challenge each other to deeper
or greater engagement in faith. We "judge not lest we be
judged." (Matt 7:1) So we ignore half-heartedness and
excuse lives of convenient commitment.
we've forgotten that when we declared "Christ is Lord"
we agreed to surrender everything to Him -- all our
possessions, our time, and our energy, not just a few
dollars, a few hours, and a few acts of
Such language scares us. Our lives
feel stretched to the limit already,
without trying to do more. "Legalism!" we cry,
as we push back. "We live under grace!" we plead,
as we continue to abuse its abundance.
Meanwhile, the chaos of creation
and the deep brokenness all around us is exacerbated by
our apathy and our part-time faith. Not that we utterly
neglect doing good and being good. In fine moments we
deserve a place among the finest. But until our fine
moments become fine lifestyles
withhold the gospel and the kingdom from this darkened
What might happen if followers of Jesus
launched their lives to new levels of loyalty? Never has there
been a greater need for full-time faith. It sounds
extreme. The notion of utter self-abandonment in every area
of our lives sits uneasily amidst our comforts,
favorite TV programs, and family
it reflects the call of Christ to those first disciples,
and every disciple ever since.
abound for our weakness, fear, and failure. But
the cost of our part-time commitment is paid by shallow,
broken, and devastated lives -- sometimes our
we pursue "the habitual exercise" of our faith with
renewed earnest and resolve ... "to the utmost of our
In HOPE --