Okay, a big shift today. Let’s get specific about how to make changes in your life. Christianity has become so passive to us, and as a “reader” of people, I get the impression that so many believers do not have a daily agenda that can energize their spiritual growth. For instance, we hear a great sermon and we think, “This is it! This is what I need to start doing in my life.” At this point, it would be a good idea not to go to church again for at least two months. No seriously, I might have a good point here. Because after one week of contemplating the great sermon you heard on Sunday, and while still thinking about how to implement new steps in your life, if you go to church the next week you will hear another fine sermon but on a different topic. You will then get distracted from last week’s excellent sermon that truly did speak to you, and you will spend a second week falling away from the first excellent sermon that had you motivated a week earlier. Then week three brings you another sermon that is profitable, but it distracts you, again, from the agenda that had hit you so hard two weeks earlier. After a month, you have lost any momentum that hit you at that first, inspiring sermon. The overwhelming desire to rise up in Christ and change something in your life has dissipated into the atmosphere. And there you go: the crisis of passivity in our spiritual condition continues. People’s lives are not being dynamically transformed.
Therefore, I am going to address more basic, functional issues. And I wish I could get more simple, quick responses from you. Some of you go to my email and react to this blog. Don’t do that. Leave your comment here, down at the bottom of this blog.
Here is my first offering. I’m going to list some ideas that I will call, The HEALTHY CHRISTIAN WALK. Along with weekly worship and your small group, here are some practices for every day living with God and His people; some others could be done a few times a week; still others could be practiced monthly, quarterly, or whenever.
The HEALTHY CHRISTIAN WALK
WAKE EACH MORNING AND SPEAK TO GOD immediately, “Good morning, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, thank you for the night’s rest.”
ASK THE HOLY SPIRIT TO TAKE CONTROL OF YOU: In a prayer present your body to Him, yield your will, and turn your day over to Him.
READ SCRIPTURE MORE; here are some ideas:
Read the chapter in Proverbs corresponding to today’s numerical date.
Read through an Epistle in one sitting.
Read three Psalms in one sitting.
Read at least four times a week.
Read slowly. Underline. Read it again.
MEMORIZE A VERSE THIS WEEK
JOURNAL on occasion; write out your thoughts and prayers in response to what is happening in your life.
START A PRAYER LIST and pray more regularly for a few important people in your life
Tell the Lord, “I’M WILLING TO CHANGE SOMEONE’S LIFE TODAY” and then be on the lookout for who comes into your space needing love and attention. (You might explain the gospel, or merely live the gospel to help in some matter.)
CALL OR EMAIL someone to express your gratefulness for them.
MAKE PLANS to have lunch or coffee with a resourceful person, make the contact and get it on the calendar, no matter how far out.
READ A CHRISTIAN GROWTH BOOK; be listening to The Spirit’s leading for a book you might need.
GET 8 HOURS OF SLEEP AS MANY NIGHTS AS POSSIBLE
LIST 10 THINGS YOU ARE THANKFUL TO GOD FOR
ACKNOWLEDGE A LIE YOU’VE BEEN BELIEVING FOR THE LAST FEW DAYS, AND RENOUNCE IT. (hint: it will be found in your pessimism, anger, critical spirit, despair, etc) Get it out of your life!
IDENTIFY A TOXIC EMOTION YOU HAVE FELT THE LAST 24-HOURS, AND RENOUNCE IT. (hint: it will be found in your pessimism, anger, critical spirit, despair, etc) Get it out of your life!
INTIMACY IS ONE OF GOD’S GREATEST HEALING TOOLS, so when you feel empty, disconnected, or unloved, CALL AN OLD FRIEND from the past,and have a meaningful, joyful conversation. For those of you going through a difficult season in life (divorce, grief, depression, etc) make up a list of 15 to 20 people from your near or distant past, and make at least one call a week.
A new school year is starting, so join the kids and start up something new in your life. Start a practice of these biblically, spiritually, relationally, and emotionally healthy habits. Which one will you start this week?