For the Rest of My Life
Only hold fast what you have until I come. Revelation 2:25
I once couldn’t accept that I must continue to work on my recovery for the rest of my life. In my first couple of attempts at recovery, I went to meetings – for a while. I did my daily reading, praying, and meditating – for a while. Eventually though, I had to relax and take my foot off the gas. Life returned to normal, and then after a while, I just went back to using drugs. I found that if I didn’t make a purposeful and daily choice to turn my life in the right direction, it was my nature to drift back to the wrong direction.
In recovery now for several years, I’ve come to accept that I must work at this every day for the rest of my life. I don’t want to go back to the old life and so today – and every day – I’m going to continue to do what it takes to pursue the new life. I like my faith and recovery where I’ve found joy and peace. I hated the old life where I was nothing but miserable. So, I can now accept that I must keep working at this for the rest of my life.
I think we often miss this in our faith. As Christians, we believe in eternal security – the idea that once saved means always saved. Once we come to know salvation through faith, we don’t live in fear that some failure will cause God to abandon us. It’s our nature though to abuse this. If I’m saved, then it’s done. I don’t have to do anything. If I’m forgiven for all time, then I can live however I want.
In today’s passage though, Christ told those in the church in Thyatira to hold fast to their faith. He promised to reward The one who conquers and who keeps my works until the end (Revelation 2:26). We may prefer to believe that a life of faith means sitting back, just letting God do his work. The truth though, according to Christ, is that being a disciple means daily abandonment of self to follow him (Luke 9:23). Faith is an active process and spiritual growth requires daily work on our part.
In my life, I have two choices. I can actively hold fast to my recovery, or I can let go. What happens then? Relapse happens. It’s the same for us in our faith. We can daily press on, doing what it takes to pursue the new life – or we can return to the old one. To this, Jesus says, Hold fast what you have. If we want the new life, we must daily do what it takes to live in it.