The movie Hoosiers has always been one of my all time favorite movies. In the movie, Coach Norman Dale of Hickory High School is trying to teach a young basketball team discipline and fundamentals. He wanted to teach them the things that would make them a better team and better players in the long run. These teenage guys didn't fully understand or like it at first because they didn't want to put the needed work in to becoming better.
Have you ever taken a short-cut in your personal life? Maybe copied answers off someone's homework when you were too lazy to do your own. Or not put in the necessary effort on your job but yet still got paid as if you did. Our society today, is all about taking short-cuts. We want the fast track to money, success, and getting ahead of the next person. You have young athletes in most sports now that are taking supplements and steroids in order to quickly get an edge on the competition at the expense of both their physical and emotional health. Most people have gotten to the point where they aren't willing to work for things anymore.
The same is true with some people's Christianity. They don't read or study the Bible, they don't pray, they don't spend time listening to God and because of that they simply coast through their walk with God just waiting for heaven. As a result, their walk with God is shallow and empty and their life bears no lasting fruit and has no impact for Jesus Christ. True Christianity is about a growing and maturing relationship that takes work. Living by faith will never come easy. Trusting in God in the face of trials will not come without it's share of lumps and bruises along the way. Closeness to God will never come by wearing a Christian T-shirt, or simply going to church, or listening to Christian radio. It will come by daily study of the Word of God, fervent and faithful prayer, and willingness to sacrifice the things of the world that get in the way. We as growing followers of Christ must never become satisfied or content with staying still when it comes to our spiritual walk.
The apostle Paul puts it this way in Philippians 3:12 when he says, "Not that I have already attained it or am already perfected; but I press on that I might lay hold of that which Christ Jesus laid hold of me."
What Paul is basically saying here is that even though I am saved, I am far from perfect, and am still a work in progress so my goal is to press on to work harder to know Christ more and have a deeper relationship with Him. He knew that their was always room to grow and mature as a follower of Christ, no that he could never just settle or kick back and coast until eternity.
Your Christian walk is a process. There are no shortcuts to being a disciple of Jesus Christ and having a deep walk with Him. Are you moving forward with Him today? Are you pressing on to deeper more intimate places with Him or are you still trying to take short-cuts?