Luke 9:23-26 (NIV)
23 Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. 24 For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it. 25 What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit their very self? 26 Whoever is ashamed of me and my words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of them when he comes in his glory and in the glory of the Father and of the holy angels
Have you ever applied for a job and had to take an aptitude test?
The answer is likely yes, if not there is a high chance that you have attended a training or class that has required one.
In order to hire someone it is best to know what characteristics and strengths they will bring to the company. When training someone you need to know how a person learns and about their personalities. The more you know about someone, the more effectively you can teach them.
When was the last time you did a spiritual test?
The answer to this one is likely either – huh? A spiritual test? – or no.
Many of us have jobs that require time and commitments, outside of the office. We have to travel for training, complete courses for further education, make phone calls, attend dinners and many other activities. We have to do these things or else promotions will not occur…we won’t move up in our careers…or in some cases we would lose our career, if we didn’t do these things.
When we are out of the office and not doing these things, we often have a routine of some sort for our home life.
We may wake up and drink coffee, read the news paper, exercise or get kiddos up and going. In the afternoon, we run errands, meet friends, do housework, make lunch or whatever our personal life requires. Finally, when the day begins to wind down we probably have dinner, take baths, brush our teeth and go to bed.
Sounds pretty typical, if we have kids…often we are reminding them of their routine needs in order to make sure they don’t forget to do something.
Don’t forget to brush your teeth! Did you take your bath? Did you hang up your towel? Are you clothes in the hamper?
These are all some “reminders” you may have to present.
How often do you throw out “spiritual” reminders?
Did you read your bible? Did you say your prayers? How did you incorporate Jesus, into your life today?
If we think about it, we put a ton of effort into our jobs and our home lives. We have to in order to be successful with them. If we did not put in the time and effort – our jobs would be lost and our families would be chaotic and unruly.
When it comes to our spiritual life…the same rules apply. If we go hours, days, weeks, months or years without feeding our spiritual life, it will starve and die!
It is easy to focus on our jobs and our homes because they are our “now”, our reality. We see them, we touch them and we are responsible for them. We think about them as permanent, but it is easy to forget that they are not permanent…but very temporary.
If we thought of our spiritual life in the same way that we do our personal and professional lives, we would be much more active! Often, people will say – I just don’t have time. I am so busy I forget to read my bible, I forget to pray, I forget to thank Jesus…!
Stop right there though!
How often are you in your car? What do you do in your car? If you listen to the radio, what do you listen to?
In your car, especially if you are in it a lot, Godly radio stations are fantastic! You can hear Christ centered music (and it is not only hymns, but some upbeat “modern” music). You can also hear great sermons, speeches and Christ centered conversations.
About 2 years ago, I tried for one month to only listen to Christ centered music. Here 2 years later, I still do it! When my boys are in the car, they hear it! Let me tell you, nothing warms my heart more than when I hear my little guys singing Soul on Fire or We Believe! I LOVE IT!
Hearing your kiddos singing praise to God – Priceless!
Often we don’t think about how much we are effected by the things that we hear. Try this, maybe you scale it down a bit and only do it for a week…but it is powerful!
We could also all probably look at our day and think of 15 minutes, we did nothing. Maybe we watched a show, drank coffee, checked out Facebook…at some point we likely had a moment. (In the world of a Mom, 15 minutes might be the longest!!!)
What if we download a bible app on our phone and spent that 15 minutes reading a proverb. What if we subscribe to a daily devotional and just read that. What if we just took this time to talk to God…maybe tell him our needs, wants and fears, yet also praise him for all our “haves”!
What it comes down to is – we have time. We may have to shift things around to make it happen, but we have time. One of the most dangerous things and most detrimental to our faith is – Busy!
Think about it- the busier we are, the less likely we are to feed our spiritual needs. The less we feed our spiritual needs, the weaker we are in our faith. The weaker we are in our faith, the more beneficial we are to Satan and less beneficial to God!
Our Jobs and our Life are obviously very important and have to be tended to! They are not more important than our relationship with God! If we put God 3rd or 4th or further in our life…the further we get from our “light”, our comforter, our strength, our protection- the more difficult life becomes!
Look at Job, from the bible! Yikes, talk about having some trying times! Satan threw everything in is power at Job, but Job’s faith was the most important thing to him! He knew that his God was his eternal salvation and that what happened to him on this earth- he could handle! Because he had God!
That is what we need to strive for!
I am personally, working on this right now! It is hard, because it is easy to push it off, move it back or save it for later! What accountability do we have? God isn’t going to yell at us or fire us; he won’t complain about not having any clean clothes to wear or dinner to eat. Our boss’s and our families…they may or will!
So putting God off until later is the “easiest”, yet “later” comes and we are too tired, or we forget. Soon, God hasn’t heard from us for a while!
Accountability, is important because of this scenario. If you have a spouse, use them and have them hold you accountable while you do the same for them! Maybe you have a friend or church member you could ask. As long as it is someone who will hold you to it, use them!
Put God back to the front of the line! He seems like the easiest to push back, but he is the worst to push out!