Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Don't Be Discouraged

The "Life's Healing Choices" sermon series is about to wrap up & with every series the end can be just as challenging if not more challenging than the beginning. This week our pastor focused on the "Growth Choice." I reserve a daily time with God for Bible reading, self-examination, and prayer in order to know God and his will for my life and to gain the power to follow his will.

While it's sometimes easy to recognize our faults & tell God that we want him to take those issues from us, in order to keep from falling back in the habit of sinning we have to grow. And growth doesn't just happen over night. It's a daily, intentional choice to experience spiritual growth.

This is probably one of the areas where I struggle the most, having a daily quiet time with God. I've actually been doing fairly well by spending 10 minutes or so before I leave the house for work reading a Bible passage or reading a chapter out of "Power of Praying Wife." However, once the weekends come around that schedule goes right out the window.

"The truly happy people are those who carefully study God's perfect law that makes people free, and they contineu to study it. They do not forget what they heard, but they obey what God's teaching says." ~ James 1:25

Why is it so difficulty for me to accomplish something that would bring me true happiness? Shouldn't I be striving for those quiet times so that I can focus on God's will & what He has in store for my life?

One truth that is hard to grasp is that spiritual growth is a choice to enter the fray. When we are spending daily time in prayer & Bible reading & surrounding ourselves with godly, Christian friends, Satan will come after us stronger than ever--throwing at us those temptations that cause the biggest struggle of all. At our spiritually weak moments, the devil doesn't need to worry about us...we're not a threat to his daily attempts at pulling us down--we're doing that all on our own. It's when we are at our strongest that we are posing the strongest threat. In Matthew 4, when the devil tempts Jesus in the wilderness, Jesus has just spent 40 days fasting & praying to God. I'm pretty sure Jesus wasn't at his weakest point spiritually, but he was at his strongest.

Most importantly, since spiritual growth is a daily choice, it's one that we can strive for each day. We shouldn't be discouraged when one day we fail, because each day offers us a new opportunity for success. Eventually those days will become weeks, and those weeks will become months. And in the end, God will achieve his good & perfect will for our lives.

"I am sure that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on that day when Christ Jesus comes back again." ~ Philippians 1:6


Heather said...

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Mrs. A said...

Lauren I truly love your posts about your study. I almost feel as if I'm getting to do the study right along with you. I never really thought about entering the fray by being stronger in my faith but it makes perfect sense the way you put it. Thanks for this post!

Lyr said...

I love these posts! I feel so filled after them! Keep it up girl!