In prayer, God wants us to come before him as we are, however we are feeling. There is no need to hold back. Everything belongs: our nervousness; our aggression; the good and the bad; EVERYTHING. God can handle it! We do not need to fear being honest with God.
And it’s a painful dentist visit if you get too far behind. That’s sort of how it’s been during the years of not reading scripture daily: scum-y. And the scum builds. Self-talk is scum-y, conversations with strangers are scum-y, talking with friends and family becomes scum-y.
The Bible is meant for ongoing meditation. One way to study the scriptures is through the rhythm of Lectio Divina. In this method, we seek to experience the presence of God through reading and listening, prayer, meditation and contemplation.
No spiritual rhythm is more important than the intake of God's word. Nothing can substitute for it. In our busy lives, it's easy to become preoccupied with "Christian" activities and not spend enough time in God's word. Scripture intake is not only one of the most important spiritual rhythms, it is also the most broad. There are several ways to pursue scripture.
So what is the matter with being in a rut? There is an old saying “a rut is just a grave with both ends kicked out!” We talked in the Sunday sermon about habits or Rhythms that we get into. Some good, some bad, and some, . . well just our routine.
As with running, the spiritual rhythms that I engage in (prayer, Scripture, rest, community) have been uncomfortable and sporadic at first. I have to build endurance for them. I have to push through not enjoying some of them and evaluate afterwards the fact that they actually made me feel better than before.
That is the focus of our series, "PURSUIT". We are pursuing relationship with Jesus by developing rhythms that shape our hearts and the pattern of our behaviors. Not just our hearts...our souls. These rhythms unite our heads and our hearts, growing our love for God and our neighbors, just as we were created to be.