Sunday, June 7, 2015

essential daily routine

I was reading a devotional by David Wilkerson,  It is part of a series of devotional posted on his website and Facebook about Increasing in Christ. There were several days that were inspiring and created a greater understanding but, as I read this particular day, I was really challenged in the way I view things.  I realized sometimes we spend a lot of time looking for  the new and exciting thing  or for great, miraculous events when what God really is interested in is our everyday journey. As human beings, we are creatures that live in routine. We all have routines we follow. Every morning I get up and begin my morning routine.  If something interrupts that routine, I may forget something important , like my contacts or deodorant. Not a good way to start the day.

I realized that we must have routine in our daily walk with God.  I must daily and routinely, pray, read the Word, and walk with Him.  Not just because it is religious, but because it is essential to my spiritual relationship with God.

Hebrews12:1 Therefore, seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, leaving behind all the weight of the sin which surrounds us, let us run with patience the race that is set before us,

Run with patience came to mind. I have actually completed a couple of 5K runs.  It is, by far, difficult for me.  I know I am not always completely prepared, but I am able to say, "I finished".  Running in a longer race takes perseverance. It is sometimes a step by step decision to keep going.  Last fall, I ran my first trail run.  It ended up being a really cold morning.  I really struggled. My lungs hurt, my stomach began to hurt. My body grew very tired.  I really wanted to just quit.  I slowed to a walk several times.  I kept taking steps.  I knew I would feel so disappointed if I turned back. I finally saw that finish line.  I was one of the last people in my age group.  I even groaned as the 70 year old gentlemen who ran the 10K jogged past me!!!  But, I finished. I kept going.  I was still there to reach the finish line.

Like Paul said, in 2 Timothy 4:7 I have fought a good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith;

I have kept the faith.  I love this thought.  I want to be one who can say, "I have kept the faith." One thing that David Wilkerson pointed out is that growth comes in doing things over and over.  When we learn a new skill, we become proficient by practicing that skill, doing it over and over.  He mentions learning to write.  On your jobs or in school, we become better by doing skills over and over, improving in those skills and practicing skills. This applies to spiritual matters as well.  I can say reading the Bible gets easier and more fulfilling by reading everyday.  Prayer becomes easier by praying everyday.  Fasting gets easier when you fast more often.  Leaning on Jesus gets easier, when you do it more often.  Trusting Jesus gets easier when you trust him everyday.  Obeying God's Word gets easier when you make it a practice and skill you do everyday. Spending time with God gets easier when you do it everyday. If you only come to Him with an occasional problem, that is not running with patience. That is not daily perseverance.
In 1 Thessalonians 5: 16-17 it says 16 Always rejoice. 17 Pray without ceasing.
That is a daily routine, a daily choice. A relationship is built by spending time with someone often and even daily. In Genesis, God came to walk and commune with Adam and Eve every evening. Under the Law, Aaron and the priests were instructed to burn sweet incense and sacrifices every morning.
In 1 Chronicles 23:30 it says, "and to stand every morning to thank and praise the LORD, and likewise in the evening."There was a daily expectation.

We should not consider a daily routine of praise and worship, bible reading and prayer to be unimportant. That is where the foundation is laid. That is where growth and maturity come forth. That is where relationship develops.
I really understand that we may grow weary, worn or tired in the daily routines, but that is part of the process. If we keep walking, keep taking steps, keep persevering, we are able to finish this race of  life.  That is where the "It is well" will be heard.

2 Thessalonians 2:3  Let no one deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come except there come a falling away first and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition,

I think too many Christians get caught up in trying to chase the latest fad, spiritual event or greatest happening at church, even just attending Sunday services with hopes of a refuel to make it till the next service. We may become deceived by the new and unusual and forget that daily routine is needed. Getting spiritual food on Sunday only is not enough to sustain you in a daily race. If a runner only practices one a day a week, they will never make it in the big race. There has to be a daily routine of practicing our faith. That may sound boring or even unimportant, but it is essential for maintaining the steady walk in this pursuit of faith. Stay the course, keep walking, run the race, don't stray, fall or stop.  There is nothing more precious than my daily routine of waking up and digging into the Word of God and talking with my dearest friend, Jesus. I will no longer feel it is just a requirement, but it is the routine that makes my life livable and purposeful. It is my most important, essential routine.

Here is the devotional mentioned above for you to read as well.

by David Wilkerson | June 5, 2015

“For we walk by faith, not by sight” (2 Corinthians 5:7).

Every day you do things over and over that become boring and repetitious. For example, every weekday you get up at the same hour, eat the same breakfast and make the same drive to your office. You go to the same restaurant for lunch, stop at the same coffee shop on your way home, and listen to the same radio station during the drive.

The same can be true of our spiritual lives. On Sunday morning, we go to church and sit in the same seats. We sing the same choruses and hymns. Even our prayers can sound the same. We do the same things over and over and we are tempted to think, “I’m not doing anything more than I’ve always done. I read my Bible and pray. I sing in the choir. But there’s no variety to it. I’ve done these same things for years and I’m not growing at all.”

What lies your feelings tell you! Such thinking can rob you of God’s grace. The fact is, we all face endless repetition in our daily routines. That’s just life. The real proof of growth is that we haven’t quit. We’re still giving ourselves to God’s work, day by day, week by week, year by year.

You see, growing in grace doesn’t mean doing more or greater things for God. True growth comes in doing the same things over and over, with more heart assurance that we’re doing everything for Him. It’s like learning to write in first grade. You begin with looping circles and lines, forming big letters. But after a while, the letters become smaller and closer together and eventually, you learn to put words together and finally form sentences. Even though you’ve been doing the same repetitious things for a long time, you’ve been writing. The whole time, something worthwhile was being accomplished.

I am convinced that spiritual growth occurs more in the repetitive things than it does by jumping from one ministry activity to another. It takes more grace simply to keep going when we’re tired, broken, downcast or afflicted than it does when everything is new. You may think you’re spiritually dead, going nowhere in the Lord, but most likely you’re increasing in Christ every day.

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