Sunday, January 10, 2016

Maybe It's Just Me...

Okay, so I used the puppy to get your attention......but, since you're here...

This morning in church while singing a song that’s new to me, I heard the words to the chorus rolling off my tongue…

“I’m chasing after you, no matter what I have to do….” Great words, if they’re words that Jesus sings to me. But – I’m singing them to Him.

So maybe it sounds a little more like this when I’m singing the words: I’m chasing after You, Jesus, no matter what I have to do……unless that means waking up earlier or spending more time in prayer or in Your Word; or unless it means less time in front of the computer/phone/video games/television. Oh, and unless it means spending more time or resources on or with those who don’t yet know you – or those who can’t provide for themselves, or those who are sick or lonely…..

Can I get a sad, pathetic “amen”?

We fall into our own little ruts, living in our own little worlds where everything revolves around “me”. Don’t we? Or am I the only one that gets tunnel vision?
I can’t recommend highly enough the book "Fervent" by Priscilla Shirer - I’ve recommended it before, because she’s down to earth, practical, hands-on about how to pray and why it’s so important to pray fervently; having a plan of prayer-action. It’s a book I plan to read several times. It’ll be worn and frayed around the edges of the pages. I’ve already marked up so much of it. The book’s tag line reads: A Woman’s Battle Plan for Serious, Specific, and Strategic Prayer.
Seriously, it’s that good.

How invested in the kingdom of God are we, really?

Is it just me, or do a lot of us compartmentalize our lives?

Do we allocate a compartment for Jesus and the things that burn with passion in His heart? Do we give Him five minutes of prayer time in the morning as we bob and weave in and out of traffic on our way to work, more focused on the cars around us than we are on the things we have to say to Him? Where’s the opportunity to listen to what He has to say to us?

I’m reminded of the disciple’s example in Mark 14:32-42, when Jesus asked them to pray with Him….and they fell asleep; three times.

Jesus asked, “Simon, are you sleeping? Could you not watch one hour? Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” (Mark 14:37-38 NKJV)

Self comes first, even for those who walked with Him. I'm preaching to myself, here....

Maybe we tithe. Maybe. Apparently only about 2-3% of Christians tithe! That statistic blows me away. I’ve heard, “We can’t afford to tithe….” I’m telling you, you can’t afford NOT to tithe. It’s one of God’s kingdom principles.

Maybe we let it suffice to spend a few minutes in God’s Word – each Sunday morning as our pastor directs us to turn to a certain passage, from which he plans to teach. What about getting into His Word on our own time, gleaning what He has to say to us personally?

Maybe this year’s resolution or life changes should have less to do with weight-loss and more to do with spiritual gain. But, let's do it out of love, not fear, not guilt, not outside pressure.

Or maybe, you’ve already got it all together and I’m one of the lone fish swimming along in the seas of nonchalance, not noticing life passing me by, missing a good portion of what God wants to show me each day.

Either way, pray with me – or pray for me!

“The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous [wo]man avails much!”
– James 5:16 (NKJV)