Do you ever feel that life is too busy? You may have lots to do and you are not sure in what order to tackle everything?
Well, that’s why you need one thing. During this special season in our church life, this autumn from mid September to late November we all want to follow David’s example in Psalm 27 v 4.
“One thing I ask of the Lord, this only do I seek; that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the Lord and to seek Him in His temple”
David’s desire – his one thing – was to passionately pursue the presence of God. Look at the verbs – “dwell” “gaze” “seek”. That should be our priority as well.
And so we will intentionally prioritise this. It is the desire and prayer of all the elders of NBC that God will help each of us to pursue Him with all our hearts and that we will have genuine God encounters in our corporate worship gatherings and in our own private devotions. This will mean different things for each of us. As we pursue God he might lead us to change our lifestyle or do away with certain unhelpful habits or make changes to our schedules. God wants all of us to become spiritually mature in Christ and so one thing will help us towards that. Don’t miss this opportunity.
Spiritual disciplines are practices we can incorporate into our lives to help us prosper spiritually and help us pursue intimacy with God.
Here are ways of structuring our lives in order to make space to focus on and connect with God.
Primarily, God speaks through His word. Make time every day to read a portion of scripture, think about it and even write it down. His word is our guide, wisdom and strength for life. You cannot be the man or woman of God that he wants you to be without consistent reading of scripture.
Take some time to exercise gratitude and offer worship to God in every situation. Thank Him for His grace, greatness and goodness. Learn to see God in nature and creation and in the small seemingly insignificant things of life – your heating, your water supply etc.
We need to talk to God about our own life issues and intercede for others also. This requires constant attention. We can pray right through the day as we walk around and do our work. We can also pray in specific set aside times when we shut out distractions and work our way through some structured prayers.
Doing no work to rest in God’s person and provision just enjoying God and who He is. (God designed this for one day a week. We can practice it for shorter periods too).
In our busy world we do not spend enough time just thinking and reflecting. This is sometimes called “meditation”. Take time every day to do that and even use a journal to help you gather your thoughts. We need to pay attention to our inner self and do some soul examination in order to grow in love for God, others and self.
This is not an easy one. Most of us find this difficult but frequently in scripture we read of the people of God turning aside from daily life to find peace and rest in solitude. Even the Lord did that as a model for us. We often find God in solitude. It helps us refocus and set new priorities and often brings clarity into confusing and complex situations. God often speaks with a still small voice and we need to be in solitude to hear it.
This is slightly different from solitude. It is the discipline of keeping quiet – of often your opinions to yourself, not always speaking when you feel the need to. It’s about being careful how you use your tongue. For when we don’t speak we can listen to others and bless them.
This takes different forms. Traditionally it meant sacrificing food or meals in order to have more time with God. The modern fast might include fasting from social media, television or some loved activity. Deliberately choosing to forego it so that you have more time to hear God.