I am here to tell you that just going to church is NOT fine! I have struggled all week long with my old nature and my old habits. Not that I would go back to them, but I found myself contemplating things. . . things I would not have thought on otherwise.
Taking in God's word is not simply reading a few Scriptures to check off your "to-do" list. This is a time of refocusing on what God wants from us as individual follwers of Christ. In fact, Jesus Himself went away every morning to spend private time with God. Now if it was something that JESUS. . . the Holy one of God, the sinless One, the Righteousness of God thought was important, then why in the world do we feel that we don't need to?
Here are some things I realized this week as I tried my little experiment.
- Not reading allowed my mind to think on other things. Many times during the past week, I found my mind trailing to my past indescretions before I fell in love with God. I was amazed at how quickly our minds revert back to their old ways when we are not filling them with God's Holy Word.
- I found myself being disensitized to things that would normally cause my stomach to churn.
- I found myself angry and upset at people and things that I had no control over. My anger festered and caused problems that normally would have been resolved in just a few minutes, because I would have picked up my Bible and read something to help me understand my emotions.
- I realized that a person who does not spend regular time in God's word can and will walk away from Him at some point. When you are not faced with yourself daily, it is easy to run.
This morning I picked up my Bible eager to read some of the wonderful truths that have filled my life for the last 10 years and this is what God brought to my attention:
I love You, Lord, my strength.
The Lord is my rock, my fortress, and my deliverer,
my God, my mountain were I seek refuge
my shield and the horn of my salvation,
I called to the Lord, who is worthy of praise,
and I was saved from my enemies.
The ropes of death were wrapped around me;
the torments of destruction terrified me.
The ropes of Sheol entagled me;
the snares of death confronted me.
I called to the Lord in my distress,
and I cried to my God for help.
From His temple He heard my voice,
and my cry to Him reached His ears.
To know that when I cry out, He hears me. He hears me. That causes my heart to go pitter patter. Think of a new mother, or for that matter, a mother in general, young or old, new or seasoned. When her child cries out, what happens? There can be 400 children in a room and you let one child cry out and THAT mother knows her child's cry. She immediately runs to that child. Now, take that same analogy with God. When our cries reach His ears, that is exactly what He does. I am so blessed to know that my Father, my Abba, my Daddy does that for me.
I am telling you that it is SO important to read God's word. Just going to church is never enough. You will run out of fuel before the week is over and if you are not reading, you will have nothing to get you going. You will sit on the roadside watching life pass you by.