‘Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.’ Revelation 3:20
I don’t know where you all are from but this past week here in the North East (US) was a tough one. At least in my area it was. Twenty seven inches of snow in less than 24 hours. My son and I had to handle the snow removal ourselves, my honey had to work through it. By the time my honey (husband) came home I honestly could have cried. I’ve never been so sore in my life. Muscles, that I obviously haven’t used in ages, hurt like never before. And I was the one using the snow blower! 😦
Thinking back on the height of the storm, when the wind was so strong that it caused a ‘white-out’, makes me think about the times in our lives when the end of our troubles seem like they are never going to end. That ‘light at the end of the tunnel’ isn’t in sight. Times that we wonder where God is. We can’t feel His presence and often, with out that, we can’t feel the hope that we have through Him.
As I’ve already mentioned over the last couple of days, outside of the blizzard, it’s been a rough week. Satan has been working on me constantly. Making me doubt where God is leading me. Making me doubt my ability to take on a higher position at work. Unfortunately, one of the main reasons he’s been able to work on me so easily this week is because I haven’t been doing my part.
What’s my part? Being in the Word. Taking my time to read the Bible. I also haven’t taken time to be in good fellowship with HIM. I haven’t made time to be in prayer with Him outside of the quick little one-liners during the day. The one thing that I am consistent with is going to church service every Sunday. With that there are Bible studies, both at the church and one I’ve been doing with a group of ladies. Both of these, church service and Bible study, give us a time of fellowship with other Christians.
All too often reasons are given on why each of these aren’t being done. One of the many reasons (by me as well) is not having enough time. Yet, we tend to have time to be on our phones or computers constantly. Hours on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter etc. And I am unfortunately guilty of this too. And frankly, I’m ashamed of myself. God has blessed me so much. He blessed me with my family-from my parents, siblings, my kids and my husband-, my health (my chubbiness is on me), my home, my job….so many, many blessings. And He gave me LIFE. Yet I don’t take the time to read His Word daily or to be in fellowship with Him through prayer. Both are vitally important.
2 Timothy 3: 16-17 tells us, ‘All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.’ God’s Word gives us direction in our lives. Many people state that it’s not relevant anymore and I have to say that is utterly ridiculous. His Word tells us how we should treat each other (1John 4: 20-21) , that we need to guide each other in His truth (Galatians 6:1-2), that we need to be salt and light to the world (Matthew 5: 13-16) and the EIGHT THOUSDAND promises filled in the Old Testament and the New Testament. His Word gives HOPE. I can’t tell you how many times that the Word I read deals with whatever situation that I’m going through at the time. I’m sorry, but that is NO accident. God is good. And His Word demonstrates that.
Prayer-Serious prayer is a struggle for me. If I’m honest I think it’s more being afraid of what He’s going to guide me to do. Which, of course, is silly because He has some awesome plans ahead for me AND you! I also have a difficult time keeping quiet for a time of meditation after I said what I wanted to say to Him in prayer. Remember, prayer is a two way discussion, not just us giving God a list of needs and wishes. Prayer is a vital time in our relationship with Him. It is a time for God to give us guidance, to speak with us. It is a time for us to turn to His Word and voice those promises to Him. It helps us lean on Him. For us to leave all our issues, our ‘that’s, our good-bad-and ugly at the feet of Jesus. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you (James 4:8).
Fellowship with other Christians (Hebrews 10:24-25) is important but is often neglected. We have our ‘me, me, me’ moments and don’t go to service or Bible study regularly. We’re tired from the work week-which I get-I drive an hour to and from work everyday. We can get aggrevated with some of the people at church and their-to put it nicely-‘quirks’. Service times aren’t convenient…and so many more reasons that are given. Some are truly legitimate-especially when there is an illness that you or a family member is experiencing. But, whenever possible, it is so very important to go to service and, if available, attend Bible studies.
Attending service and Bible studies is truly crucial. And it saddens me that they both are not taken more seriously. We need to ‘hear’ the Word of God. Hearing the Word strengthens our faith (Romans 10:17). For me, it is also important that the Word is taught by someone I know has a heart for the true and infallable Word of God. I find hearing teachings from different pastors opens my mind to aspects of God’s Word that I never considered as does taking part of Bible studies. We can learn so much from each other. During both service and Bible studies we have the opportunity to pray together as well. They are a time to encourage each other, to pray for each other, to strengthen our faith. It is important that we have that time of fellowship where we can hold each other accountable for our actions and even inactions. And that is one thing I’d like to clarify. Yes, you will find people with issues at church. At any church you go to. Why? Because we are ALL human, still living in a sin sick world. We ALL fall and sin-regularly. THAT’s why we go to service because we KNOW we need God and His grace. For it is HIS grace that gets us through day to day.
Life can be a real struggle. The hard to get out of the bed times, let alone getting anything significant done times. It is at those times we need to have the tools and strength to turn to God. To be able to pull His Word out of our heart because we have both been reading it and learning it (in service and Bible study). We can then share that HOPE that we have through God’s Word, through the sacrifice of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ to those who have not yet found Him. WE need to be that light in this ever darkening world.
I pray that God will give you the passion in your heart to be in fellowship with Him in His Word and prayer and that you will have a strong desire to attend service and Bible studies. They WILL strengthen you and help you grow in your faith.
Colossians 3:16 ‘Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.’
In Jesus’ precious name.