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Spirit of Grace Ministries
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The Law of Gravity

Law of Gravity

by Dennis Pollock

In our life in Christ Jesus, there are two laws, clearly seen in the physical realm but which very much apply to the spiritual realm, that we must be aware of. The first is the law of inertia. This law states that things that are at rest require far more energy to get moving than things which are already in motion. In trying to push your stalled car off the highway, you must give great effort to get the car moving. However once it has started rolling, it really doesn't take all that much strength to keep it rolling. Getting it moving in the first place is your biggest problem.

 This is true in every area of life. It is always harder to get started than it is to keep going. Writing is a major part of my day to day life, and I see the same principle here. Sometimes it is the hardest thing in the world to find the discipline to sit down and start writing. So many things seem to be begging for my attention, and distractions abound. Knowing that once I start I am probably going to have to stay with it for several hours, it is sometimes downright painful to shut everything else out and force myself to sit down at my computer and start to write. And some days I just don't do it. But once I find myself at my computer, and my fingers type those first few words, the battle is over. Even an earthquake could hardly keep me from typing out words, thoughts, and paragraphs. Often I go longer than I planned to, because once I get into the flow, momentum takes over and it is almost as difficult to stop as it was to start.

In the spiritual realm God provides for our victory over the law of inertia by the filling of His Spirit. The Holy Spirit provides the power of God that smashes obstacles, annihilates excuses, and launches inert objects (and people) into dynamic motion. After Jesus' death the disciples were in a state of inertia, hardly knowing what to do. But on the Day of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit fell on them, and the church was launched in power. And just as the coming of the Spirit was preceded by a prayer meeting, so in our own lives the Spirit's power will come as we give ourselves to serious prayer.

This brings us to the second law which must be overcome – the law of gravity. This law states that large bodies attract smaller bodies toward them. Thus the earth, being the largest body in our cosmic neighborhood, pulls everything and everybody toward it – regardless of which side of the earth you may live on. A simple corollary to this is that, in our experience, everything that goes up must come down.

As a boy I used to love to shoot arrows into the air, watch them soar high, pause for a moment, and then come hurtling down to the earth. Never once do I remember an arrow that just kept on going and disappeared into the clouds. Without exception every single arrow I shot into the air returned back to the earth. It was not that there was no gravitational pull on the arrows at first, and finally when they reached a certain height, gravity began to affect them. In truth those arrows were experiencing the pull of gravity from the moment they left the bow. But because of the power and energy delivered to the arrow from the taut bowstring, it took a while for the effects of gravity to begin to show. As the arrow reached its zenith it climbed slower and slower until it arrived at that critical moment when it stopped climbing altogether. For just a brief moment it appeared almost to freeze in mid-air, and then came the speedy descent. Although the arrow had begun with such promise, gravity had won yet again.

Plan B

There is a spiritual law of gravity. This is Satan's plan B. His first and biggest hope is that he can stop us from ever getting started in the things of God. If he can stop that ungodly man from every entering a church, if he can stop that group of believers from ever starting the church God has put on their hearts, if he can stop you from launching out in that new direction the Holy Spirit has made you so excited about – this is always his preference. But though a fool Satan is realistic enough to know that he cannot always stop every new spiritual movement, every new ministry, every new step of faith taken by the followers of Christ. If the law of inertia cannot hold you, he then resorts to the law of gravity to bring you down.

There is a force in this world, emanating our ungodly culture, our sinful flesh and the devil himself, which resists every new thing God ever does. No new outreach will go unchallenged, no step towards God's perfect plan for your life will not face serious resistance. If Satan can't keep you from starting, he will do all he can to keep you from continuing, and to bring you back to the old status quo. The Old Testament book of Judges is a perfect example of this spiritual law of gravity. During the centuries of Israel's early days before they became a monarchy, they were sometimes ruled by leaders who rose up in desperate times to lead Israel to victory over their enemies. These men (and one woman) were anointed leaders and warriors, and not only led their people in battle but also served as a spiritual catalyst to keep Israel faithful to their God. But these rulers would eventually die and soon Israel would turn away from God and be overrun by enemies once again. The Bible tells us: "And it came to pass, when the judge was dead, that they reverted and behaved more corruptly than their fathers, by following other gods, to serve them and bow down to them" (Judges 2:19). This cycle was repeated over and over again. Under the inspiration of a great leader Israel could experience seasons of blessing and righteousness, but spiritual gravity would eventually take hold, and they would fall back into idolatry and immorality.

Treadmill for Sale

Falling manThis gravity principle works at the psychological level as well. Inertia holds many people from ever starting to exercise. However if they do break through the inertia and buy that treadmill or jogging outfit and begin to regularly exercise, they will normally feel a rush of euphoria, knowing that they are finally taking that step which will sustain their health, lower their blood pressure, and improve their quality of life. But they are not out of the woods yet. After a month or two the discipline to get up early and sweat loses some of its appeal. Taxing workouts aren't nearly as pleasant as an extra thirty minutes in bed. Maybe they'll just skip today. Next week they miss a couple of days, and soon a week without exercise has passed. Before long there will be a Saturday garage sale with yet another $300 treadmill on sale for $40. Gravity has conquered another victim.

Nearly every revival in the history of the church has been either stopped or tamed by this gravity principle. There are denominations around today which were born in the fires of revival by passionate, Spirit-filled men of God whose anointed lives and ministries set cities and nations ablaze with holy flames. Yet in time the fires died down, and today the churches which started in such promise are as cold as ice.

The stronger the initial thrust, the longer it will take gravity to do its work. In the book of Acts we see the first generation believers in such a place of revival and power that miracles were nearly commonplace, and church growth seminars were unnecessary, as explosive growth was the norm everywhere. The revival went forward for several generations and eventually Christianity became the dominant religion throughout the Roman empire. But after a while gravity took its course, and the church lost its momentum. Within a few hundred years the power and life of that early church was replaced by cold, rigid dogma and ceremonialism. The church would eventually lose almost everything, including the most fundamental truth of all: what must a person do to be saved. In time loyalty to the church replaced faith in Jesus Christ the Lord, as the official key to God's kingdom.

Seeing gravity work in the life of an individual we know is perhaps the saddest of all. Many a man or woman starts out in Christ with great joy and enthusiasm. They attend every Bible study they can, share their faith with everybody at work, and tell everyone that breathes how much Jesus means to them. But somewhere down the line something happens to quench the flames of their passion. Perhaps it was a disappointment. Nobody ever told them that Christians may have to go through severe suffering. Bible reading doesn't seem as exciting as it was at first. They start noticing that the pastor's sermons really aren't all that great, and besides that, he hasn't been very friendly with them lately. After a while church attendance wanes, Bible reading becomes the exception rather than the rule, and their prayer life becomes a sham. Soon they join the ranks of the non-churched, non-praying, non-sharing folks whose lives differ little from complete unbelievers. 

The Way Out 

Is there a remedy for spiritual gravity? Is it automatic necessity that makes it a given in every life, every church, and every Christian outreach? Must we all burn out and run down eventually? Praise God, there is a remedy. Just as energy is required to get something moving, so must there be energy to keep something moving. A car moving down the highway at seventy miles per hour has built up significant momentum. If you switch off the engine it will take a while to come to a stop, but it will stop. As on the Day of Pentecost, prayer must precede the initial outpouring of the Holy Spirit, so throughout the book of Acts, continual prayer produces constant fillings and re-fillings of the Holy Spirit. The same Holy Spirit that can blast you out of your inertia and get you moving God's direction, can overcome gravity, friction, and every form of resistance so that you never need to slow down or stop.

The great evangelist Charles Finney told a story about a church he knew that had seen great revival for over ten years. They didn't just have revivals; they lived in a state of revival with lively, powerful services every time they gathered, and a rich sense of the Holy Spirit's presence. One Sunday they finally had a "dry" service. They had met and worshiped as they usually did, but these seasoned veterans of revival knew that something was missing. The elders convened an emergency meeting and inquired among themselves as to what the problem might be. One of their number, an older man rose to his feet in tears. He told them he was at fault – that he had for many years been in the habit of spending his Saturday evenings praying for the church service, often praying up until midnight for the Spirit's outpouring. He told them that this last Saturday evening he started to think that they had seen such blessed services for so long, perhaps he didn't need to pray. The church which had been going along so well for years could surely get by without his prayers for one weekend, so he gave himself a night off. Now as he wept, he apologized for his error.

It is in prayer that we appropriate the power, divine energy, and the victory that Jesus has purchased for us on the cross. As we look to the Lord Jesus, confessing His promises, acknowledging Him to be the Fountain of Living Waters, and appealing to Him for fresh outpouring of His Spirit, we shall find that which we seek. There is no shortage with Jesus. He is our life-giving Rock, always available, always accessible to give us all the power we need to rise high above the pull of this world, and to live in that rarified air of the Spirit – that realm where victory is continually given, and where gravity's pull can never bring us down. For "we are not of those who draw back to destruction, but of those who believe to the saving of the soul" (Hebrews 10:39).




For a full listing of all devos (written and audio) go to our Devos Catalog Page.

     

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