Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need. Matthew 6:33 (NLT)
I’m steeped in 3rd century church history right now and learning how monasteries got started. I’ve always found this simple life of devotion appealing. Had I been Catholic, I’d have considered becoming a nun. My brother still teases that I could be Amish, and I admit being attracted to their lifestyle.
Surprisingly, this highly devoted lifestyle started because Christianity was legalized. When worshiping God was illegal, every Christian was highly devoted because identifying with Christianity was socially and physically costly. Anyone refusing to worship the plethora of cultural gods was odd and sometimes faced arrest, torture and death.
Bigger is not better
When Emperor Constantine favored Christianity over pagan religions, Christianity became popular. The increased numbers meant decreased commitment to faith. New believers often blended their old practices with Christianity. So those who wanted a deeper connection with God separated themselves from the watered down, tolerant, popularized Christianity to focus their attention on devotion and service.
Is stepping away from the hubbub of daily life necessary for deep connection?
Is commitment greater when there’s a cost or consequence?
It’s impossible to measure the depth of spirituality in today’s world. However, I notice my own struggle to balance the pace of everyday life with my devotion to God. Sunday commitments keep me from worship. My schedule doesn’t permit space for consistent prayer and contemplation. I yearn for and recognize the benefit of spiritual retreats specifically designed to focus on faith.
How can we balance the demands of modern society and stay attuned to God?
Prioritizing concerns that are important to God ensures a day in the Kingdom.(tweet this)