Showing Up and the Life of Faith

Everyone is busy.
There are so many things vying for our attention and our precious time. Work, commutes, friends, family, cleaning, workouts, kids’ activities…
But engaging with God is different. Showing up for a group or a Bible study or a mission opportunity is vasty different than just showing up for a work meeting or to a kids’ sporting event.
The things of God have a different character than the things of the world. They are fundamentally different; the activities of God are composed of and directed at altering the spiritual. So faith-activities will affect you differently than secular pursuits. Though both use time, faith-activities will fill you up. They will restore your soul. They will encourage you in the spiritual … while nothing in our society is capable of doing that kind of work – it can only deplete.
So the next time you are offered an hour long Bible study or serving opportunity or worship service, don’t think of it like you think of secular stuff … think of it as the opposite. God’s work us turning our attention to Him can feed us spiritually and impact our lives in immeasurably positive ways, growing us in Peace… Joy… Less fear… Love… Wisdom… Discernment… Hope.
Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up into salvation. 1 Peter 2:2

My Dog, the Stock Market, and the Life of Faith

We have been misled.
We are doing our best to live our life at a high level. We are doing adult things. We work. We work out. We eat well enough. We earn money and make purchases and pay debts. We try to create memories with our family and friends. But inside something is just wilting, unfed, wasting.
The problem is simple. As Walter Miller wrote, “You don’t have a soul,… you are a soul. You have a body, temporarily.”
As souls, we are only really in our element in matters spiritual. Spiritual stuff has an entire different character, a different make-up. It is rich and transcendent and fulfilling. It is all about God first and foremost.
?Day after day, year after year, we are wearing ourselves into nothingness running in the wrong direction, aiming at the wrong target. We are missing the mark. And that, is the definition of sin. (Sin – Greek – hamartia – from archery – meaning to miss the target)
Our souls can no more care about our acquisitions and secular lives than my dog can care about the stock market.
So give yourself a break from chasing the wrong rabbit. Reroute your life by placing your passion in its rightful place – the Lord.
“…So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. ” – Jesus in Matthew 6:31-33

What’s God’s Will for Me?

It’s one of the strongest desires in the heart of people seeking faith, to have a full sense of God’s hope for them, their life, and their circumstances.
Fortunately, God’s Bible is saturated with the answer! You won’t have to look far to be instructed and encouraged in the answer!
God ‘s will for you and me:
1. We seek Him first.
2. We value Him more than any other things… other’s opinions, our jobs, our stuff, and our money / the money and stuff we wish we had.
3. We have him at the core of our relationships. Do you pray for your spouse? Do you ask God how to answer your siblings? Do you seek God’s wisdom when parenting? Or even just hanging out with friends? Do you pray for God’s leading when tensions rise?
4. We share Jesus. God wants us to be ready to share the difference He makes in our lives and encourage others to turn towards Him. This is not as scary as it sounds. Think of a couple ways God is working on your heart. Are you more patient? Does prayer help your stress level? Do you feel different when you worship? A simple God moment and invitation can be easy to have ready when someone shares their life’s needs – even if it is in the format of gossip! “Wow, that sounds hard. Would it be okay if I include that in my prayers? I really have felt a new lease / less stress / more peace in my life by pursuing faith. I’d love for you to come to church with me some time, so you can get to know Jesus.”
5. We serve. Maybe God has put a cloth in front of you to wipe some tables. Maybe God has brought a homeless person into your daily commute to give away some money and a prayer. Maybe God has planted the seeds of a mission organization for you to create… whatever the immediate manifestation, you can be certain, God WILLS us to serve throughout our days. If we haven’t served yet today, look harder! We are agents in God’s mission field.
6. We prepare for heaven. God’s world is bigger than ours. Our hope of Jesus is our TRUE reality. Our lives will be mostly spent worshipping God on the other side… and only God knows when we will cross over. Are our hearts positioned towards that?