My relationship with Jesus is my responsibility:
Like any relationship, It’s always better when you’re in proximity. I don’t benefit from a quiet time unless I do it. Unless I read God’s word, the Holy Spirit has little to draw on.
It’s discipline and not just desire that determines where my heart and mind will go. That sounds awfully regimented, but what I discovered was that God loves it when we are intentional about spending time with Him, even when we don’t feel like it, we are tired.
At the end of the day, it’s you that puts your head on your pillow. God is with you every day and when we prioritise time with Him it provides God with opportunity.
The biggest part of your walk with Jesus happens outside of Sunday:
When you can’t go to church regularly either because of geography or lockdowns or the pause button’s been pushed, remember that you don’t stop being a follower of Jesus just because you can’t meet on a Sunday.
Think about this for a moment. (Luke 10)
Jesus ran the classic first century Jewish Rabbi model with the twelve that went something like this:
Rabbi: Hey guys, watch me do this a couple of times.
To Students: Now you all have a go while I (Rabbi) watch. 10:1
Rabbi to Students: Let’s talk about how that went. 10:17-24
When the Rabbi is satisfied that the students are living and doing as he has shown them then he would send them out to make their own students and they would become Rabbi’s.
This is the model Jesus set for us (Matt 28:11). Sometimes coming to church can just become an intellectual exercise with no real profit because there is no ‘doing’ during the week. This is like reading the best book you can buy on weightlifting, reading up on technique, safety, challenging yourself and then never touching the weights or engaging with them. You may know everything there is to know about weightlifting and even debate the best methods but never know the strength that comes with using them.
You may have heard the classic line of ‘I didn’t get much out of church today’. More than likely there wasn’t something there to be had for that person because God is still waiting for them to implement something He spoke to them about some time ago, though God is patient, He does allow us to wander around the same mountain a few times until we are ready for a change.
Being a disciple doesn’t mean that we are theologically or even ministerially trained. You only need a little information about Jesus to follow Him and well, maybe that’s why some look back so fondly at their first few years of being a Christian, it was simple and enjoyable before their spiritual formation got bogged down.
In Matthew 11:28-30 Jesus says to us Come to me all who are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yolk upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light (Italics mine).
The biggest part of our Christian lives happens outside of two hours on a Sunday, whilst we don’t want to neglect meeting together, we can still do that, it may just mean being that little more disciplined and intentional about meeting with others and stepping out into what God’s next step for you is this week.