The Principle of Repetition

Not long after I became a Christian, I began to hear people talk about a deeper life in God, and it nearly always revolved around an experience. People would talk about having one powerful, emotional, life-altering experience with the Holy Spirit — and it would take them to a new level of Christian living with new levels of joy and power and victory and abundance. And I would think: I want this experience. I wanted God to zap me one time, once and for all, to fill me up to overflowing, so that I could live out the rest of my days in victory. And I sought this experience with all my might.

Here's what I learned in the process. Yes, there are times when we will have powerful experiences in the presence of God. These experiences are deep, and they're sometimes very emotional, and they're real. These are moments when we enter into a deeper realm of worship, when we experience indescribable and uncontainable joy, and when we sense the presence of God in everything we do. These are great moments in the Christian life, but it is crucial that we understand: This is not what the Deeper Life is all about.

It's not about plunging into the deepest part of the ocean all at once. It's about moving there inch-by-inch. If you want to live the deeper life, the abundant life, then you'll need to learn to apply one essential principle: The principle of repetition. This is the most important principle in the journey toward spiritual growth.

We've all heard examples of people performing feats of extra-human strength in a moment of crisis — such as the man who lifted the 500 pound rock off his friend during a mountain-climbing accident or the woman who lifted the car that had fallen on her son while he was changing a flat. It was a momentary burst of adrenalin that got them through the situation, and it's an interesting phenomenon that has been documented several times. However, none of the people who have experienced this phenomenon are ready to join the Olympic weight-lifting team. If you want to be a world-class weight lifter, you don't get there with one super-human burst of adrenalin, you get there by going through the daily discipline of working out and building strength.

There's power in repetition. Imagine that you have a fifty pound barbell. If you lift it from your waist to your shoulders one time, it won't make any kind of a difference. But if you do it 25 or 30 times, three or four times a week, after a few weeks there will be a difference in your biceps. That's because you build muscle not by lifting a 2500 pound car one time, but by lifting 50 pounds thousands of times over the course of time.

More than anything else, the principle of repetition takes you into the deeper life. It's not that you need to be filled with the Holy Spirit one time, it's that you need to be filled with the Holy Spirit daily, from now on. It's not that you need to have an explosive emotional experience in worship one time, it's that you need to have an experience in worship daily, from now on. The actions you take day after day determine the kind of life you create for yourself. In the book of Galatians chapter 6 and verse seven, Paul said ...”Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.”


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