Let me tell you something I’ve learned on my prayer journey – sometimes my prayer life takes a defensive posture. Things happen, and then I go into prayer mode to pray over it. This isn’t a bad way of praying, after all, Ephesians 6:18 says, “And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests.” We should be praying all kinds of prayers and requests!
Here’s what I’ve learned though – what if I took on more of an offensive posture when it comes to prayer? Meaning, I’m not going to wait for something to happen to drive me to my knees, I’m going to go to prayer right now. I’m going to build up my most holy faith right now through prayer so that no matter what comes my way in the future, I’m ready for it!
Do you see the difference?
Unshakeable foundation. Do you have one?
Listen, my life has been touched by many storms, all while living in what I would say is the center of the will of God. I’ve dealt with things like tragic death and rejection by those who were followers of Jesus. The one thing that has kept me through it all is the message I shared this past Sunday. It sounds too simple, but it’s truth:
1) Come to Jesus…admit how pour in spirit you really are…admit your sin and pride…repent and give him Lordship/leadership of your life…GET SAVED!
2) Hear His Words…put yourself in a position to hear the word of God regularly…read it yourself…don’t let Sunday services be optional for your family – get there…plug into a Life Group of other believers discussing and studying the Word together…
3) Put His Word’s Into Practice!…come to him, put yourself in a position to hear from him regularly, and then do what He says…refuse to be a hearer only, but a be a doer of the Word!
Luke 6:47As for everyone who comes to me and hears my words and puts them into practice, I will show you what they are like.
Meditate on this and train up your kids with this kind of a foundation!
Today the psychologists, the psychiatrists, the sociologists, the medical doctors, they will say that if you pour yourself out, expect to be depleted and the best thing to do is to get silence and solitude. Really? Isn’t it interesting there was one who lived 2000 years ago that followed that same pattern? The life of Jesus was full of this – pouring himself out in ministry, then pulling away to rest and pray. Pouring himself out, then pulling away. Pouring himself out, then pulling away.
How are you doing at this? Scott…you don’t understand…I have 3 kids all under the age of 3…who like to eat at least 3 times a day…and only seem to want to give me the chance to have 3 separate hours of sleep at night! Or Scott, you don’t understand…I’ve got a job, a business, and it takes everything I’ve got to make it successful.
I’m tracking with you. But I’m also trackingwith the one who’s life we are called to emulate. And when we see a pattern in His life, it’s not really an option but more of a ‘do this.’
Take some time this week to press in with the Lord and ask Him to show you how to make time to pull away daily (spiritually and physically). Then, commit as a family that you will always take one day a week for your Sabbath. This will be a day to pull away and rest from our work, and focus on the Lord. See what God does in your life as you follow Christ’s pattern in this!
Luke 5:16 But Jesus withdrew to lonely places and prayed.
I want to share something with you that I never caught before when studying the Christmas story. Luke 1:38 (ESV) 38 And Mary said, “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her. More on this in a few sentences.
Back in November, the Lord put on my heart to encourage you to go into 2018 with a word from the Lord. By this, I literally mean a Scripture from God that you can ‘hang your hat on’ in a sense as we enter this new year. A Scripture for this specific season of your life.
So Mr. Pastor guy, how do I get one of those? Great question!
1) Get your word from the Bible! Let’s embrace the Bible like it was meant to be embraced – God’s direct word to us.
2) Let the Holy Spirit place a Scripture on your heart. Maybe it will be a verse that I share a message on, or from a discussion in your Life Group. Maybe it will be from a Christian book you might be reading. Let me state the obvious here – the more of the Word you know, read, and hear, the more He’ll be able to speak a word to you! There is no greater time than today to start some sort of regular Bible reading. Why not start in Luke, one chapter a day? Shoot me your questions as you read and I’ll try to answer them as we walk through this tremendous Gospel!
3) Choose a Scripture until God leads you on. Ok Scott, I’ve tried and tried to get a ‘word’ from God, but I’ve got nothing!!! Relax. Find a Scripture (reminder – all of it is for you) and simply start praying it…thinking (meditating) on it…talking about it. Stick with that verse until God connects another verse or passage to your heart later on!
Listen, Mary didn’t 100% understand everything that was getting ready to happen, but she purposed in her heart to “let it be to me according to your word.” She decided she didn’t have to have all the answers, she would just rest in these words from God given via the angel. Let’s commit to do the same!
Take a minute and think about your daily routine – things you do pretty much the same, day in and day out. Isn’t it a challenge at times to see these regular ‘duties’ of life as exciting? For instance, every morning I let Daisy the dog out and then give her food and water. EVERY morning…that is the routine. She hears me get up and then she dashes for the back door gleefully anticipating the opportunity to relieve herself (and roll around in the freshly dewed grass…giving her that wonderfully pungent wet dog aroma). It’s not very exciting…it’s not very rewarding…but it is VERY important for the Miller family that this event happens regularly!
All of us have a routine we pretty much stick to from day to day, right? Here comes the challenge – I must refuse to curse the seemingly mundaneness of my routine. I heard it put this way – MASTER THE MUNDANE (idea taken from a talk by Pastor Jeff Manion, Ada Bible Church). Embrace the ordinary. Embrace the routine. There is nothing wrong with shaking up the routine from time to time, but don’t discredit what God will do in you and through you as you keep the routine going…day in and day out. I know your dream is bigger than your daily routine, but don’t curse what God is doing in you and through you as you stay faithful in the seemingly small things. God is using your routine.
And remember this, you are in good company. Samuel did the same thing, year after year:
1 Samuel 7:15-17 15 Samuel continued as Israel’s judge for the rest of his life. 16 Each year he traveled around, setting up his court first at Bethel, then at Gilgal, and then at Mizpah. He judged the people of Israel at each of these places. 17 Then he would return to his home at Ramah, and he would hear cases there, too. And Samuel built an altar to the Lord at Ramah.