How much did you enjoy coasting down a hill on your bike as a kid?
You can put your feet off to the side (or on the handlebar if you’re feeling really daring) and let gravity do all the work. Enjoying the wind against your face is the reward for all the effort you spent pedaling up.
As a kid, that was one of the greatest feelings, but sometimes things can go wrong.
Once, I was going too fast down a hill. I hit a bump, flipped over my handlebars and rode upside down for a few feet before crashing into a briar patch.
Attempting to coast spiritually, has put many Christians in a similar predicament without their even realizing it. Coasting is not an option for the Christian.
You can coast on a bicycle after you’ve put the work in to get up a hill, but as Christians we have not reached the top yet. That does not come until we reach our home—the new heavens and new Earth.
In the meantime, while we are living this life, we are still striving to move uphill. And the headwinds we face are strong—our flesh, Satan, the world (Ephesians 2:2-3).
If we are not intentionally moving forward, they will be pulling us backwards. The “coasting Christian” is one drifting further away from Christ.
It’s tempting; I know. Once we’ve made it a good distance up the hill of faith, we look around and begin to focus on how far we’ve come.
We say to ourselves: I read through the entire Bible. I’ve taught Sunday School for decades. I’ve come so far and done so much.
Noticing our progress can be good, if it encourages us to push further. Too often however, we want to rest in our accomplishments, not rest in the One who will walk with us to the end.
We must be intentionally coming to God every day. We pray for our daily bread (Matthew 6:11). We take up our cross daily (Luke 9:23). We encourage each other daily (Hebrews 3:13). We die daily (1 Corinthians 15:31).
Christianity is a daily faith. It is built on choices each day that become habits and disciplines. It must be lived out, not simply remembered.
Our faith is an outworking of our relationship with Jesus. Coasting only becomes an option in our minds when we forget we are trying to draw closer to a person.
One day, we will feel the fresh breeze on our face as Christ declares over us, “Well done, my good and faithful servant.”
Then everything around us will be drawing us toward Him. Gravity will be working in our favor. Our coasting will only take us deeper with Him.
Until then, however, we cannot coast. No matter how far you’ve come or what you’ve previously accomplished, you cannot take your feet off the pedals.
Intentionally choose to follow Christ this day. Strive to be faithful in the moment He has given you, regardless of the what you have left behind in the rearview mirror.
Rest in your Savior, not your successes. There is no coasting in this life for the Christian.