Saturday, March 5, 2011

The Trick To A Powerful Spiritual Walk Is Simple

The trick is to remember God. It is the one thing guaranteed to get us through any and all situations in our lives. Too obvious for you? I don't think so. You see, one thing I have come to understand about human beings is that we have a great capacity for being stupid. The answer to our problem may be obvious but we will seek out all the useless answers before coming back to the obvious one. There is a reason for the despair you feel, for the sleepless nights you are experiencing, for the anxiety that eats away at you, for the hopelessness that threatens to drown you.

Jesus Christ is not some lucky charm we keep in our back pocket until we need him. I know, none of us would believe we treat him that way but many of us do. We attend church, sing the songs with great emotions, pay our tithes (or what we can afford, tsk, tsk) but the rest of the week we only occasionally consider Jesus. We talk about him, we tell people we are Christian, we talk a lot about our church, we read our Bible, say a few prayers but there is no real daily passion and out pouring of our soul to Jesus. That is, not until we face some major crisis in our lives. However, even then we will exhaust all possibilities for finding a solution ourselves. After we have tried everything else we come exhausted and desperate to Jesus. What an incredible waste of time, energy and emotion. What an incredible waste of a life.

We put up with despair, sleepless nights, anxiety and hopelessness simply because we do not know how to maintain a relationship with Jesus Christ. I am speaking to the seasoned disciples as well as the newbies. It doesn't take long to lose our sensitivity. We have a busy day so we put off our intimacy with Jesus, that moment or moments when we pour ourselves out to him. Then the next day there is a crisis that has eaten up our day and we fall into bed exhausted, too tired for Jesus. Then the third day we just don't feel like it and the TV becomes too convenient. By the third day you have already begun to lose your sensitivity to the Spirit. It doesn't take much and when the enemy senses our weakness he is there with all of his tricks to separate us from Jesus, including using fear, despair and anxiety. We have allowed ourselves to get into this condition. We may end up finding ourselves saying along with the psalmist:

Will the Lord reject forever? 
   Will he never show his favor again? 
Has his unfailing love vanished forever? 
   Has his promise failed for all time? 
Has God forgotten to be merciful? 
   Has he in anger withheld his compassion?” (Psalm 77:7-9)

But the psalmist knew better than to stay in that place. It takes a decision to seek the face of God. You can make the decision to stay in your despair (but that would be a stupid thing to do) or you can make the decision to turn to God and seek his face. He is the only one who can sustain you and he is the only one who holds out any hope but it takes an effort to seek him. I mean it takes a REAL effort! You have to be willing to take your eyes off of your despair or whatever is causing your heart to ache and your mind to reel, and remember, forcing your thoughts there, who Jesus is:

Then I thought, “To this I will appeal: 
   the years of the right hand of the Most High.” 
I will remember the deeds of the LORD; 
   yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago. 
I will meditate on all your works 
   and consider all your mighty deeds. (Psalm 77:10-12)

You must push everything aside, regardless of how busy you are and these are the three things you need to do:

1. Worship. Use YouTube or your favorite worship CDs and crank it up. Lift up your hands, cry out in worship. Dance, sing, shout until God starts becoming big and everything else is finally seen small.

2. Read. Once you begin seeing God in the right proportions again open the Word and read his promises. Read about the cross. Read about the Holy Spirit. Remind yourself of what God has done in the past and what he has promised in the present.

3. Pray. Once you remember who he is to you, talk to him. Thank him for his unfailing love, for his faithfulness and pour out your heart to him. Hand over all your fears and anxieties. Declare to him your love and your trust. Tell him you refuse to worry any more because you really do trust him with this situation.

4. Serve. Once you have reconnected and you feel the Spirit flowing, do something. Listen to what the Spirit is saying and you will probably find he prompts you to do something with faith. Listen, do it and he will seal it in you.

You will find his peace will return to you and it is his peace that guards your mind and your heart. You may have some real health issues, life and death, or you may be facing some really significant financial situations, or maybe it is an unresolvable relationship problem, it doesn't matter, Jesus is still the answer. Our real challenge is to keep the relationship real and vibrant every day for the rest of our lives. There can be nothing that takes greater priority over our time with Jesus. Make sure you start with worship because it puts everything in perspective and make sure it is daily. Our walk with Jesus is not like charging our battery once a week. Church once a week is not enough. We need him every moment of every day because we can't do it without him. Don't wait for a crisis of faith to reconnect because every car owner and home owner will tell you, maintenance is less costly than repair. Let's not be stupid about these things; Jesus is the answer to our every need, every day. Even one day without him makes us weak, so stay close to him all day long.

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