The Roller Coaster of Christianity

The Roller Coaster of Christianity

My family loves amusement and theme parks. If you know us or have read our blog called “Can God Use a Company Like Disney,” you know this to be true. Long before our love for Disney parks, we would spend lots of time at other parks. We live in the greater Cincinnati area and many times throughout our lives, we have had season passes to King Island. There have been multiple years that we had platinum passes and visited Cedar Point and Worlds of Fun, which are all three owned by Cedar Fair. We have even gone to Dollywood a couple of times. Now, no matter which one of these parks you go to, they all have one thing in common: roller coasters. Though the type of coaster may vary, every one of the parks mentioned above has them.

If you ride roller coasters, then you will already know that the one thing that almost all of them have is a lift hill of some sort. Some may launch you up the hill while others have what would be considered the more traditional lift hill. Each lift hill varies and moves at different speeds. At Kings Island, we have the longest wooden roller coaster in the world. Some of the reason for that is the slowness of the lift hill. It takes forever. But, if you go to Cedar Point or Dollywood, you will find that roller coasters such as Millennium Force and Lightning Rod have lift hills that take you up much faster. As far as the launch, Top Thrill Dragster at Cedar Point will launch you up that hill at a speed of 120 MPH. Why do I say all this? Because this is a picture of people’s walk with God.

Every person is on a journey. Every person who serves God is on a journey. Every person who serves God is moving at a different speed on their journey. The question is, which lift hill are you on? The Bible says that God wants to set us high above the nations. That we are the head and not the tail. That we shall only go up and not down. That He wants to take us from glory to glory (Deuteronomy 28:1, 13; 2 Corinthians 3:18). The problem isn’t necessarily the speed at which you are headed up the hill, the problem is when you get the bad idea to crest the hill and head downward. It may seem thrilling at the beginning, but then you hit rock bottom. Anytime you begin to head downward, it is because you have made the decision that you know better than God does. This is pride! Pride always goes before the fall (Proverbs 16:18).

This downward trajectory will take you into many emotional and maybe even physical issues. You may begin to deal with fear, shame, guilt, anxiety, condemnation, depression, and many other things. Let me ask you a question, when will you get a belly full of your own plans and say enough is enough? When will get the bull dog tenacity, to say I will surrender my plans and fully submerge myself in God’s plan? No man serves God at a loss! God wants to take you up and up. God wants to heal all your hurts, pains, and diseases. But you have to let go of your way. You have to let go of your pride.

What does this look like? What must we do? Many think they can just go along in life, adding a little of God here and there, and that will be enough. They want to make excuses for their struggles and say that it is just the way life is. They think “faith preachers” have lost their minds because they believe you can have your best life every day. Let me make a few statements:

It is normal to be challenged, it is unscriptural to be defeated.

People who live by faith have the same challenges as everyone else. They just choose to believe what the word of God says instead of what the situation says.

No matter what comes, attack every challenge from a place of victory and not from a place of defeat.

Do not deny challenges, deny the challenge’s influence in your life.

Maybe you think this sounds too good to be true. Maybe you think you have enough of God and don’t need to start back up the hill. Let me ask another question: How’s that working out for you? Look what happened when Jesus was crucified, dead, and buried. When Jesus was gone, the disciples didn’t know what to do. Even after he rose, because they had not fully embraced him, what did they do? They went back to their old lives. You think you are strong enough with your weak version of Western Christianity to just survive and not return to your old life like a dog to its vomit? There was only one thing that broke them from the desires of the flesh. There was only one thing that broke them free from returning to their old lives. It was the Holy Spirit. When they received the Holy Spirit, they never went back. They never returned. You want to be free? Then you need to stand up, draw a circle around yourself, and shout, “God, fill me with Your fire!” The only thing that will burn out your old life, your desires for the flesh and your plans, and all of your emotional and physical hurt, is the fire of the Holy Spirit. Don’t just do it once, but every, single day. Keep the fire burning!

Until next time, continue your journey with joy!