7.16.16

Happy Saturday to you!

So many things are vying for your attention right now. You are aware that the demands of your relationships, your work, and your personal interests have become center stage. Simultaneously, your time in God’s presence has taken a back seat. Instead of your usual hour of prayer and meditation, before getting ready to leave the house, you spend the minutes walking to your desk thinking a quick prayer. Remember when you would allow yourself one or two hours after work catching up on your favorite TV series? Now, you stay up nights binge watching TV and missing out on praise and worship. No, this may not be your exact situation, but the similarities are very close. So, what can be done to remedy the problem? Are you supposed to stop enjoying family time? Are you supposed to give up television altogether? Are you supposed to decline the promotion that you’ve been waiting on for years. No, that is an extreme response to an (honestly) serious dilemma. 

The first step is to express gratitude to God. Without the Holy Spirit, we would be unaware of the increasing distance between God and ourselves. We would not feel the conviction necessary to make changes. So thank God for the awareness of our need for Him and for the desire to rebuild relationship. Next, we have to fight against the distractions that keep us from prayer, worship, and bible study. Are you noticing that your phone always rings just as you start to pray? Are you recognizing that you are getting to bed later and waking up later, missing out on an extra 30 minutes of time before work to read your bible? Are there issues on your job, or in your relationships, that are depressing you and making you withdraw from corporate worship with other believers? 

When you recognize the problems, take a stand and don’t give in to your emotions or your habits. Do not allow a TV show that will replay (or be accessible through DVR) to keep you from your set times of prayer. Do not get up so late in the morning that you have to rush out of the house without eating breakfast and studying your Bible. Do not skip out on corporate worship on Sundays or Saturdays because a colleague was disrespectful or unjust to you on Friday. Fight for your relationship with God. You know those relationships that mean the most to you. Imagine how you would act if they came under attack? Would you say, “Oh well…that relationship is over”?  Or, would you try to implement effective ways to bring healing and hope and unity and peace back into the relationship? 

Well, your relationship with God is most important. Of course, some days you will be stronger than others. In your weak moments, remember that you are not relying on your own strength. It is God who strengthens you for good works. So, lean on Him with all your might. Seek God first, forever. Make God your first priority and your life will be blessed as a result. I want you to remember this: nothing in this world will ever compare to the love God has for you. Cherish that love and stop taking it for granted.

Love,

CompassionateLee

Ephesians 5:1 Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children, 2 and live in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. 3 But fornication and impurity of any kind, or greed, must not even be mentioned among you, as is proper among saints. 4 Entirely out of place is obscene, silly, and vulgar talk; but instead, let there be thanksgiving. 5 Be sure of this, that no fornicator or impure person, or one who is greedy (that is, an idolater), has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. 6 Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes on those who are disobedient. 7 Therefore do not be associated with them. 8 For once you were darkness, but now in the Lord you are light. Live as children of light— 9 for the fruit of the light is found in all that is good and right and true. 10 Try to find out what is pleasing to the Lord. 11 Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. 12 For it is shameful even to mention what such people do secretly; 13 but everything exposed by the light becomes visible, 14 for everything that becomes visible is light. Therefore it says,“Sleeper, awake! Rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.” 15 Be careful then how you live, not as unwise people but as wise, 16 making the most of the time, because the days are evil. 17 So do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.