Every Friday morning, I attend a Bible study led by our Senior Pastor (SP).
A lot of times, the principles he shares with us are the same ones he’s been preaching for decades. And frankly speaking, I’ve heard these principles so many times there are occasions I’m tempted to think he’s being naggy.
But you know, the thing about nagging, is that the people doing it to you have a certain truth and knowledge that they believe is important to share with you.
He was talking about spiritual strength in times of trials, difficulties and stress:
“Where do we get the strength mentioned in Philippians 4:13? The answer is in Nehemiah 8:10, when we have the joy of the LORD. And how do we get the joy? From Psalm 16:11 — in Your presence there is fullness of joy.
“And what do we do in His presence? We build our altar of thanksgiving, praise and worship. As you build your altar of thanksgiving, you get insight into the problems you face (Romans 1:21).
“When you build your altar of praise (Hebrews 13:15) and worship, it brings you to surrender.”
We listen to the same preacher and message for years, but in terms of growing in our spiritual disciplines or transforming the way we lead their lives — no change.
Simple enough right? SP’s teaching – as is the case with the entire Bible – has life-changing potential. But who’s listening? It stood out to me because I had been ministering to a lot of tired Christians. I knew a lot of friends who could have used that hour of devotion with SP.
But so many of us just don’t get it. We listen to the same preacher and message for years, but in terms of growing in our spiritual disciplines or transforming the way we lead their lives — no change.
Still doing things our way. Just putting our heads down and getting through it.
“Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.” (James 1:21)
But what would life be like if we actually applied the Word in our lives? If instead of showing up on Sunday and nodding through — or off — during the sermon, we actually changed how we do things?
We’d certainly live a lot differently if we were both hearers and doers of the Word. God will meet humility with life-change if we seek His better way. So today if you’re feeling tired, don’t just sleep a little more or watch a Korean drama. Try finding strength His way:
- Build your altars of thanksgiving, praise and worship
- In His presence, actually have your unhurried time with Him
- Find joy in being with God – it’s a state, not an emotion
- Then you’ll have strength – empowerment comes after surrender