Today I've been having some scattered thoughts on the Christian life. It seems that there are two areas in my life that change a lot during my walk. The first, I guess I would call 'zeal' and the second would be 'knowledge'. I'm not sure if those are the most effective labels for them, but bear with me here. Every Christian grows over time (hopefully) and these are two distinct areas that I have seen myself grow in. Zeal would be the practice of constantly walking close to God and everyday life with Him, where knowledge would be knowing God, knowing about the things He has done in the past and His promises. Obviously they work hand-in-hand with each other, but I've noticed that a lot of churches don't fully exercise both of them equally.
Some churches I've been to encourage you towards worshiping God and just focus on the emotional side of things. I love Jesus, etc.
Do not get me wrong. I don't think it's a bad thing, although I think it stunts the growth of Christians if that's all they're receiving. They end up feeling a lot of emotions toward God but not necessarily understanding the Scripture very well or being able to defend themselves against attack.
On the other hand, which is where I feel right now in life, sometimes you're filled full of knowledge but you aren't pressed forth to love God with all of your heart.
Christians who stay in this state for a long time know a lot about God and a lot about His scriptures; they know a lot about His promises, and they know how to defend the faith accurately and quickly. But in my experience, being here doesn't make me happy, and it doesn't necessarily mean that I have a close walk with Jesus, which is so important.
I have seen Christians who read their Bible so much that no matter which of those environments they're in, they are both zealous and filled with knowledge. I think I don't read my Bible enough, which means that I'm not keeping in touch with God very much. I don't know whether this is my fault entirely or if it is some responsibility of the church to keep members accountable like that, but I do know that some churches make me feel very interested in reading the Bible and others don't.
I suppose it's important to see the weaknesses in your life and move toward filling them in, but it's hard to decide whether a church is right for you or not, if you've been there for a decade or so. Anyway, these are just some thoughts going through my head today.