Part 3 – (Re)formation – Ordering Our Lives for Spiritual Growth
It seems that sometimes we are on the cusp/edge of meeting with God in his word, through prayer, in silence, through service, but the ever-present distractions keep us from sitting still and allowing our minds to be unengaged in order to hear the truth. Through our rhythms of life we have developed a sort of mental, emotional, spiritual “edginess”
The Psalmist in Psalm 46 tell us “Be Still and Know that I am God”, but often in our hearts we respond “the quiet make me nervous.”
The stillness reminds me that things are going on without me. The quiet gives me opportunity to remember my past or current failures. The silence is scary because I’m confronted with the truth.
So instead of embracing these moments or thoughtfully creating them, we fill our times of stillness with activity. We do this instead of comparing our thoughts, actions, and words on a daily basis and truly asking “am I more preoccupied with keeping myself busy, than allowing the truth to reach me?” But the strange thing is…
We welcome our distractions, because they allow us to seem to have a legitimate excuse in our unwillingness to address the dark places in our own hearts and our lives.
Distraction is easier than repentance.
Distraction is simpler than relationship.
Distraction creates comfortable distance and keeps intimacy obscure.
Distraction is more appealing than discipline and self-denial.
We summarized that: “What gets our attention, gets us.”
We saw this play out through the entirety of the Biblical Story
Adam & Eve
The People of God
All are easily distracted from what God is saying and calling them to do in this moment. This is why the Spiritual Disciplines are so necessary in the believer’s life.
THEY ARE MEANT TO GRAB OUR CHIN AND MAKE US LOOK INTO THE TRUTH OF GOD IN ORDER THAT WE MAY BE SAVED FROM SIN, AND A LIFE CONSUMED BY WORRY, ANXIETY, FEAR, HATRED, SELFISHNESS OR ANYTHING ELSE THAT IS CONTRARY TO THE KINGDOM OF GOD.
Do you lack confidence in what God says - he has given us his word.
Do you lack intimacy with God - he has turned his ear to us in Prayer.
Do you want to see God at work - he has given us the ability to serve others.
Do you want to be reminded of your salvation - he has given us the sacraments.
Do you have trouble with restlessness - he has given us silence and Sabbath.
Do you feel like you want to quite your faith - he has given us brothers and sisters in Christ to spur us on.
Do you doubt God loves you - He ultimately gave his Son, who willingly died for those whom he loves.
John Flavel wrote about Proverbs 4:23
“It’s like a stringed instrument that after each event, each day become out of tune.
You may hang it aside if you like, but it will need tuning again before another lesson can be played upon it.”
Our hearts become out of tune with God’s truth. And the Disciplines of reading, hearing, meditating on God’s Word, prayer, fasting, giving, journaling are all means to tune our hearts to sing God’s praise again, even in the midst of hardship.
I challenge YOU to See the Character and Love of God in the Face of Christ, WHICH IS INFINITELY MORE BEAUTIFUL THAN ANYTHING YOU WILL PULL UP ON A SCREEN.
“If you put these things before the brothers, you will be a good servant of Christ Jesus, being trained in the words of the faith and of the good doctrine that you have followed. Have nothing to do with irreverent, silly myths. Rather train yourself for godliness; for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come. The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance. For to this end we toil and strive, because we have our hope set on the living God, who is the Savior of all people, especially of those who believe.”