Last Sunday, Pastor Zach preached about practicing our faith. It was a great topic. And it makes sense, like the yo-yo – I can barely make one sleep anymore, much less around-the-world or rock-the-baby. I haven’t slung a yo-yo in longer than most people reading this have been alive. In other words, I haven’t practiced.
Usually when we are called to “practice our faith,” we go out and serve – on mission trips or service projects, helping with the nursery, serving with Operation Christmas Child or Feed My Starving Children or any of a hundred other service activities. And we’re pretty good at it – we are adept at practicing our faith through doing what we can to serve God. And I have been blessed to witness many of you show leadership while serving with you in those activities.
But sometimes, I get caught in the trap of forgetting who I’m doing the work for, and feeling important because of the work that’s being done. In other words, even when I’m serving in God’s name, sometimes I forget to submit myself to God. And when that happens, I’ve stopped practicing my faith. I become a human doing instead of a human being. Practicing our faith isn’t always like the yo-yo. When we put down the yo-yo, it will lie still and lifeless. But with our faith, still isn’t necessarily lifeless.
“Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus left the house, and went to a solitary place, where he prayed.” – Mark 1:35
As I mentioned last week, Jesus knew the importance of setting aside that quiet time. Though we may remember the miracles he performed and his journey to the Cross most vividly – what he did – there is no lack of examples of times when Jesus stopped to pray. He would constantly seek out places where he could have that quiet time with his heavenly Father. And I admitted that few of us have the time set aside in our schedule for quiet time, for prayer, and meditation. It’s hard. Like we’ve mentioned before, everyone feels like their time is so filled up. But the verse I’ve quoted above shows clearly the priority Jesus placed in finding his solitary time with God. And the Bible is clear when it says that part of practicing our faith is to try and be imitators of Christ.
So, for the next week, I challenge us all to identify your quiet place, schedule your quiet time – if not every day, at least once per week, and take that quiet time to pray, to spend time in a devotion, or to read and study on God’s word.