I love the design that the wind made on the side of this sand dune!
Wind is not the only element to affect this beach area. Storm and surf damage have caused a lot of changes over the years, including shrinking the available space for parking. It is still a beautiful spot to visit, though, especially when the sun is setting!
Other than producing interesting pieces of natural artwork, erosion is usually seen as negative. Having houses and cars tumble as dunes collapse beneath them is not something to celebrate! Losing a bit of your beachfront property every year until you’re worried that your house will fall into the sea is not a position many of us would want to be in.
We’re about halfway through the month of January. If you determined in your heart to build on your spiritual disciplines this year, how are you doing? Are you staying true to your plan? Are you still putting God first in your life? If you’ve stayed strong, great! Keep it up!
If you’ve fallen short, remember, every day brings a new opportunity to begin again. Check out A New Year Begins with a New Day for more encouraging thoughts about fresh starts.
Living this Christian life is not always an easy choice. There are many things that Satan will try to use to derail us in our journey. In the parable of the seeds found in Luke 8, Jesus mentioned a few things that can erode the work of the Word in our hearts:
“The seeds on the rocky soil represent those who hear the message and receive it with joy. But since they don’t have deep roots, they believe for a while, then they fall away when they face temptation. The seeds that fell among the thorns represent those who hear the message, but all too quickly the message is crowded out by the cares and riches and pleasures of this life. And so they never grow into maturity.” (Luke 8:13-14 NLT)
When we don’t invest enough time and effort into our relationship with Jesus, our faith is too shallow and weak to resist the temptations Satan presents us with. We lack the wisdom to see how damaging those temptations will be to us in the long run.
When we don’t see our spiritual health as very important, we are easily distracted by worries, wants, and desires for temporary things that are here today and gone tomorrow. But if we devote ourselves to growing in obedience to God’s Word and his leading in our lives, we won’t want to so easily jeopardize the progress we’ve made.
It’s the same as the importance we give to our physical health. If being physically fit is our top priority, we are all about daily exercise and healthy eating. Chocolate cake is not usually a downfall to someone who has worked incredibly hard on becoming slim and toned — the price is too great for something that is gone in a matter of minutes!
To combat beach erosion, towns will often put up fences to keep people from walking all over the dunes. Plants that grow on the dunes also help hold the sand in place with their roots. Neither of these is 100% effective, or town beaches wouldn’t be making the local news every time a big storm blows through!
But what can we do to combat spiritual erosion?
- “Your word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path.” (Psalm 119:105) Daily spend time reading God’s Word, asking him for strength and wisdom to apply it to your life. There are numerous Bible study methods out there; do some research, and find one that works for you! Right now I’ve got a mug full of highlighters and colored pens that I use to mark different things in my Bible. Adding an extra step of active interaction with the Word helps me really think about and process what I’m reading.
- “One day Jesus told his disciples a story to show that they should always pray and never give up.” (Luke 18:1) “But when you pray, go away by yourself, shut the door behind you, and pray to your Father in private. Then your Father, who sees everything, will reward you.” (Matthew 6:6) Spend time daily talking and listening to your heavenly Father. Remember how great and mighty He is, and all that He’s done for you and in you. Ask forgiveness for your failures and mistakes, and accept that forgiveness He’s purchased for you. Thank him for anything and everything! Pray for your needs and the needs of others.
- “I will sing of your love and justice, LORD. I will praise you with songs.” (Psalm 101:1) Many of us have music on in the background all day. What part of your life is that music building up? Listen to and sing along with music that feeds your spirit instead of your flesh.
- “For you have been called to live in freedom, my brothers and sisters. But don’t use your freedom to satisfy your sinful nature. Instead, use your freedom to serve one another in love.” (Galatians 5:13) Meet regularly with a local family of Christ followers, and get involved! Find a way to serve the people in that church. Be accountable to them, so that if they see any signs of erosion in your life, they can alert you to it. Erosion can be a slow process, but the sooner we address it, the less damage is done!
Do you notice any signs of erosion in your spiritual life? What steps can you take to remedy its effects?