I recently had an opportunity to see some friends that I had not seen in a while. That means another round of something I don't like - people make a fuss over me. "Wow - you look good!" "You've lost weight!" and so on. Not a big fan of attention. Anyway, someone asked me, "Do you have any secrets to share?" For some reason, we are fascinated with secrets, tricks and gimmicks.
What does this have to do with our spiritual lives? We want a deep relationship with Jesus Christ. And to get it, we try everything except what has proven to work over and over. The new book at the Christian bookstore gives us a buzz for a few weeks, then it's a mad search for the next. Maybe a conference or seminar will be the answer. Well, for a few days it is.
The New Testament did not have a local Christian book store. They did not have conferences and seminars. They did not have SermonAudio or SermonIndex to download hundreds of hours of sermons. What did they have? In Acts 2, we see that they devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching, fellowship, the breaking of bread and prayer. For us, the Word of God, fellowship, obedience, and prayer.
Spiritual growth does not happen automatically over time just because we are Christians. It doesn't happen because we want to spend time with God. It happens when we actually do spend time with God. No secrets. No gimmicks. No tricks.