“The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you, he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged” Deuteronomy 31:8
Sometimes . . . something is missing.
We go to church. We do “good works”. We try to love our neighbor as ourselves. We strive to be good role models to our children, our colleagues or our co-workers. And yet, something is missing. What is it?
We don’t go to church because “church is filled with a bunch of hypocrites who claim to do good but are judgmental, holier than thou people.” We don’t go to church because we are scared of meeting people or embarrassed about our past or feel ,shy or awkward and out of place. And yet, something is missing. What is it?
It could be we are out of practice – or never were in practice. Walking with Christ begins as a discipline and progresses into a way of life. It takes time and commitment; it takes focus and determination.
It also could be that we “listen” to the gospel but we do not apply what we hear. We have lost or never found a “fervent response to the gospel”. (Ten Brave Christians, Danny Morris, page 2). Instead, we think life’s purpose is to be happy.
We have forgotten the basics. The way to joy is not through the acquisition of “things”, or the “retirement” nest egg, or the “prestige and power” of our position.
No . . . it has to do with putting God first each and every day in each and every way. That’s why we refocus each day on “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.” Once our focus is correct we can work on rebuilding.
Rebuilding is a process. It can be slow and steady or occur in fits and starts. It can be going well and then hit a barrier or hurdle. We can become discouraged about circumstances or events – we can become frustrated because we can’t “see” the progress being made. But part of the rebuilding process is perseverance – it is trusting that even when we don’t “see”, God does.
God is always with us – He never leaves us, nor forsakes us – God always answers prayer – God is for us, not against us. His plans for us are for good and not for evil. So when we refocus, God will honor us with His presence . . .
For each of us the rebuilding process will be different – it will look different – it will progress at different speeds – it will address different needs and challenges – it cannot be compared to someone else’s rebuilding efforts. However, there are some common ways to rebuild – there are options and variations of options for each of us – the path is between you and God.
So this coming week pick an option to start rebuilding. If it does not seem to work, pick a different way . . . but the point is, start in some way to rebuild your relationship with your Creator. Here are some suggestions:
WARNING – THIS MAY CHANGE YOUR LIFE!
- Pick up your Bible. Dust it off. Is the translation understandable to you? If not invest in a different translation such as The New Living Translation, The English Standard Version, The New International Version – Study Bible, or The Message, to name a few. If you are smart phone savvy, get an app like Bible-Life Church YouVersion (there are many to choose from).
- Read your Bible. Start at the beginning (Genesis) or Pick a Gospel – Mark is a good place to begin. Or read it chronologically – google it – http://www.biblestudytools.com/bible-reading-plan/chronological.html. Read one verse or chapter a day, read according to a reading plan; read because you want to rebuild your relationship with God.
- Meditate on the scripture you have read. Actually set aside time each day to sit quietly with all your attention on God – no phones, no computers, no discussion, just quiet, uninterrupted solitude
- Pray. Prayer is talking with God. Start your focus of prayer on an area you have identified as needing repair or rebuilding. Ask God to reveal to you how to start rebuilding. Then listen.
- Try an Adventure – The 30-day Great Experiment of rebuilding your relationship with God. (Purchase 10 Brave Christians – The John Wesley Great Experiment by Danny Morris; Amazon $10)
May God reveal a pathway to greater intimacy and may we see and journey forth!