Gas prices are going up quickly. The price per gallon just jumped to $3.48 where I live. Well, I was taking two of my boys to a basketball game after lunch today and my wife suggested that I stop in that town to fill up the tank. Gas is usually much cheaper there and its only 20 minutes from our home. I was barely running on time for their game as I drove by one gas station that advertised $3.31/gal. I thought, “Cool, I’ll drop them off and stop for gas there on the way back. Just 10 minutes later I’m pulling up to that same location…only to notice that the price had already changed to $3.40/gal. I was so frustrated that I didn’t just stop and take advantage when I had the chance. So I went a little further down the road and found another gas station that was still at $3.33/gal. This wasn’t as great a deal, but I was going to have to settle for that rather than $3.40. Basically…I missed out!
I would argue that many times we encounter the same situation in regards to receiving God’s blessings. He speaks to us in all sorts of ways. I don’t know about you, but there have been many times that I have heard Jesus clearly call me to do something very specific in ministry or simply engage in a casual conversation with someone I don’t know. Some of those times I have obeyed…and I was blessed for it. Other times have been similar to my gas station experience today. For whatever reason, I chose to not do what Jesus was clearly desiring of me….and I missed out!
The reality is this. When we hear His voice (or tugging on our hearts) telling us to do something and consciously choose to ignore Him, we are relinquishing massive blessing to someone else. Moreover, we are potentially hindering what Jesus wants to do in someone else’s life!
Connection point: How have you ignored Jesus’ voice in the past (or recently)? How can you plan to listen and obey His voice next time He speaks to you?
Try to picture this setting. You and a friend are just getting seated at a nice restaurant. Your friend decides to order the prime rib steak! While that sounds good to you too, you choose to wait. A little while later their food arrives…sizzling with a heavenly aroma. Now,they begin to eat it right there in front of you. With every succulent, juicy bite they try their best to convince you that this IS the best steak they have ever had! They are very convincing and you believe them…but for some reason you do not try the steak for yourself. What? Does that make sense at all?
For most of us, (especially who love steak) this sounds ridiculous. We would never accept someone else’s positive experience as ‘good enough’ if we could have the same experience for ourselves. The enjoyment & nutrients far outweigh the time involved in actually eating the steak. So it is when it comes to spending time in prayer & reading our Bible. As believers, we all know that we need to be spending quality time with God every day…..and we are also convinced of the spiritual benefits (nutrients) that will grow us. Most of us have numerous devotional books, study Bibles & prayer journals on our shelf. The big question is this…are you really satisfied with smelling that steak, or is your craving for God strong enough to sit down and chew on it?
Take this short survey to help you evaluate how you’re doing.
Ok, so a large portion of what I do in GROW Ministries revolves around the topic of spiritual growth. Many of the things that contribute in large part to personally growing closer to God are what we often refer to as Spiritual Disciplines. Some examples would be things like prayer, fasting, spending time studying the Bible, worship, etc.
In preparing material for a project at our church, I thought I would post an online survey to help gather some information on this subject. The survey is anonymous and has only 4 short questions. Please take about 60 seconds to give me your feedback. I will be posting the results in a blog update in a couple of weeks.
Click HERE for the survey. Thank you!