Posted by: mikenicholsblog | January 6, 2012


Thirty-five years ago my wife and I exchanged vows and were married. It was a completely different world then. I wore checkered bell-bottom pants, shirts with wide collars, rented a cool loft apartment for $225 per month, and was void of any gray hair. To top it all off, I was deeply in love with my bride, and would have told you that we were the perfect match (if that existed). But then reality set in, and we realized that we really didn’t know each other as well as we thought. Our love was rich and real, but not that deep. She is organized and very thoughtful and doesn’t need communication non-stop. I learned over time that she doesn’t speak early in the morning, likes me to turn out lights, and can be dismayed when her husband buys her a robe that is ten sizes too big. Over time my (and her) love has grown from rich and real to deep and sensitive.

As Christ-followers, there is never a question of loving God, but I am convinced that often our love is real, but not very deep. We are all beginning a new year with a clean slate, and an opportunity to grow deeper in our love for the Father, and to know Him better. But it will not happen if we don’t break the “as now, so then” principle. Kyle Idleman defines “as now, so then” this way in his book, Not a Fan. Simply stated the “as now, so then” principle is the idea that current habits are overwhelmingly the most likely predictor of future practices. For most believers the “as now” is filled with great intentions and genuine love, but sporadic discipline. Have you ever found yourself being motivated at church by a sermon and leaving with great spiritual intentions for the next week? But then reality sets in and you barely open the Scriptures until the next week. Can I challenge you to break the “so then” mold for this year? You can know God deeper and live more sensitive to His guidance.

If you feel you must fit God and His Word in to your schedule, you never will. With a clean slate starting today, choose to let Him become a valued priority, and His Word will change your life. There are great reading plans available, and we have created a “slower and deeper” model of reading Scripture for this year at Journey onWord. Would you let this year be a season of reading, reflecting and growing deeper in your faith? I can promise you success in life if you will follow the simple words of Joshua 1:8; Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. Create a new “so then” in how you relate to God and His Word this year.

It is now three and one half decades, later and the love that my wife and I have for each other is far deeper than on our wedding day. Across those decades, our knowledge of each other continued to grow. We now think alike, enjoy the same things, compromise well and I speak less in the morning. Knowledge and sensitivity took a rich and real love and grew it deep. We still fail each other, but some of the things that once caused frustration now draw a smile.

Our love for God needs to continually be growing deeper. As we know Him better, it is amazing how much we begin to think and act as He would. Could it be that we can apply marriage to our relationship with God? Knowledge and sensitivity build the relationship! This can be the year that you and I break some “as now, so then” habits. We can all start by intentionally getting to know God better and growing deeper. It’s your choice!

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