Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Can you hear me now?

The Basic Minutes Plan
Our Church enters a two week Summit Revival from January 6-20. Revival can not happen in our hearts if we are not in tune to God. This blog is designed for you to evaluate some basic principles to open/improve that line of communication between you and God.
Any communication has basic principles that make communication work. The main one is to communicate… talk! This is true with our relationship with God too. There are basic communication disciplines that God has given us to keep the signal strong. The “Basic Spiritual Disciplines” are routines that will train our hearts to stay close or get closer to God. Take some time to evaluate how strong your signal is in these areas (a brief definition follows each discipline for consideration):
  • Bible Study—is a close examination of the Bible under the leading of the Holy Spirit. It may focus on a book or a section of Scripture, a biblical person, or a specific theme or word found in Scripture.
  • Fasting—in the Bible means choosing to do without food for a time in order to focus more on God. However, this discipline can be applied to many areas of life. Giving something up in order to listen more carefully to God.
  • Fellowship—is more than choosing to go to church with your friends. It is choosing to share your life with other believers. Loving, forgiving, confronting sin and meeting needs.
  • Journaling—Tracking your daily spiritual journey. Could include recording prayers, words you hear from God, prayer request from others, insights from scripture, poetry, drawings, quotations and written reflections.
  • Meditation—involves focusing your mind totally on God. Choosing a passage of Scripture to contemplate and seeking to totally understand what God is telling you through it.
  • Prayer—Quickly raising every issue of your life to God as they occur. It also involves extended times of prayer, sometimes called “praying through” something. A decision not to leave God until you are sure that you have sensed his leadership in the issue.
  • Quiet Time—This is time that you consistently set aside each day, usually in the morning, to be alone with God. It involves prayer, Bible reading, but can also include any of the other disciplines as well.
  • Scripture Memory—involves consistently committing God’s Word to memory so that it is available to you for worship or spiritual warfare.
  • Silence—The discipline of closing out all distractions for a time. Turning all the noise off for a period to be still and listen for God’s voice.
  • Solitude—Choose to be alone. Most people spend time alone from time to time, but this discipline is choosing time alone. Time that belongs to you and God only.
  • Witnessing—Telling others what you have discovered about God. A conscience choice that every time God provides the opportunity, you will speak for Him.
  • Worship—More than singing. Pouring out your love, from your heart, for God’s pleasure alone.
The Extended Coverage Plan
Are you ready to engage with God? There are five more spiritual disciplines that are called “disciplines of readiness.” These are necessary to be used by God in great ways. These will put you in the “5 bar signal” range.
  • Contemplation—Is the discipline of setting aside quiet time to reflect on your walk with Christ and His love for you. This may include coming face to face with areas of sin in your life.
  • Contentment—Is an internal decision to be at peace and satisfied regardless of outer circumstances. A daily decision not to believe the message that says “more things will make me happy.”
  • Purity—Certainly includes not having sex until you are married, but it is much more than that. It is living a life that is not mixed with any of the things of the world… inappropriate relationships, music, movies, books, etc.
  • Reconciliation—The discipline of living in right relationship with other people. Whenever you realize that you have a broken relationship, you do everything you can to fix it. It does not matter how the relationship was broken, whose fault or whether the other person is sorry.
  • Simplicity—Clearing the complications from your life. Focusing on loving God and loving people. Living in a way that brings honor to God. Remain ready to respond when He calls.
Check your Signal
What spiritual discipline above can you work on that will best improve your signal between you and God?  Often, in relationships, we get frustrated that we can not get our relationship where we want it to be so we give up. Try this approach instead.
  • Pick a discipline above. Now, ask yourself where it is on a scale between 1-10 (1 is not at all, and 10 would be part of your every day lifestyle). Now, if you said 5 or 6, talk about what you would need to do to get it to a 6 or 7. Just one step of improvement will improve your relationship with God and others. Talk to your family or friends about this, and help each other improve your signal with God. He wants to connect with you in wonderful ways.