The Fine Print--part 2
Director of Discipleship
I often rush around doing so many things— hurry, scurry, hurry, scurry. Once, while in this state, I glanced out the window and saw a jaw-dropping beautiful sunrise. It occurred to me that the movements of God are very much like a spectacular sunrise. God does amazing things all the time, but rarely does He demand that I notice them. Constantly preoccupied by the 'important' details of my daily life, the acts of God simply go unnoticed.
If we presume to call ourselves disciples, or followers of Jesus, then we need to fulfill our end of the bargain. And, unless we make an intentional effort to look for God and what He is doing, most likely we miss His best work!
So what do we do?
We must take the initiative to create space in our lives for God. He will not compete for attention. In a sense, God could easily warn us, “You snooze—you lose!” Here are three specific steps to take in the new year:
- Name our desire—Jesus’ usual first response to anyone approaching him was, “What do you want from me?” Thoughtfully asking ourselves what we long for from God is one of the most important questions we will ever examine. In her book Sacred Rhythms, Ruth Haley Barton writes, “Your desire for more of God than you have right now, your longing for love, your need for deeper levels of spiritual transformation than you have experienced so far is the truest thing about you.” So spend some time with this question and don’t rush through it.
- Intentionally make space for God—Most Christians try to cram God into an already packed schedule. But the fact is that spiritual growth won’t happened just by going to church on Sunday or even attending a small group. According to Dallas Willard, we have to “ruthlessly eliminate hurry from our lives”. Otherwise we will miss out on God’s amazing work just like we miss beautiful sunrises. Incorporate just a little bit of time for God (even just ten minutes a day) into your schedule and faithfully keep it on a regular basis.
- Solitude, God’s Word, and Prayer—Faithfully pursuing Jesus through regular times of solitude is the #1 best place to start. In this time alone with God, we can read the Bible and think about its message (there are many reading plans--contact me if you'd like help finding one that's right for you) and pray (simply talk with God in an honest and heart-felt way).
Only by seeking God with all our hearts can we grow and mature in our faith. And then we can experience the abundant life that Jesus longs to give us! Let each of us make this our goal for 2015.