Some people leave everything up to God, as if they have no say in how high they can soar with Him. It’s simply not true. There is one simple, powerful thing you can do, each week and every week of your life, that will take you deeper with God and make every moment richer, more enjoyable, more productive – and more eternally significant. If depth with God (and success in life) is important to you, then you need to include this simple, powerful thing in your life so that you can soar.
Your spiritual growth, if you haven’t realized, affects everything in your life. Everything.The truth is, God has not removed you from the process of going deeper with Him. You and I have a direct say in our spiritual growth. What is one thing you can do to take your walk with God to a deeper, higher place? Paul talks about it in 2 Corinthians 13:5:
“Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you fail to meet the test!”
The one thing you can do to deepen your walk with God and your success in life is to make time to examine yourself. Most of us have become adept at examining the lives of other people. This is proven through the unforgiveness, jealousy and bitterness we harbor. One thing, however, must be the trait of anyone truly serious about following God: the examination of self.It’s the lost art that must be revived.
Self-examination isn’t something we should only do right before taking communion (see 1 Corinthians 11:27-32). It’s something we can and should do throughout our lives, intentionally. Yes, you and I should be doing this throughout the course of each and every day, to keep us from drifting – but there is something significant about setting aside special time for self-examination each and every week.
You need a distraction-free day, each week, to rest and reflect.This was true since the beginning of creation (Genesis 2:2-3). We’re busier today than ever. We need to stop the treadmill of life, rest and reflect. Take a day a week to kill your smart phone. Avoid TV and the internet. Rest. Reflect. Examine yourself.If you have a family, encourage each other to do this. Enjoy the day together, doing the same thing. It will make for wonderful conversation, accountability and growth.
Jesus said “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath”(Mark 2:27). It’s the one special day of the week that was given to you and me as a day of rest as a gift from God. It’s the perfect time to think deeply about God and life – and to make adjustments so that we stay on track with God. When we do, we avoid the drift of life.
HAVE YOU SWALLOWED A CAMEL?
The funny thing is that at most, we Christians argue about which day of the week should be the sabbath. Is it Saturday or Sunday? And, what about pastors? What are we to do, since Sunday is our biggest public day of ministry? With Ben Carson, a Seventh Day Adventist, steaming toward his quest for the Republican presidential nomination, we’re sure to see a lot of people asking the question “when, exactly is the sabbath?” However, does it really matter when the “sabbath” is if we don’t actually take one?
“We’re busier today than ever. We need to stop the treadmill of life, rest and reflect. Take a day a week to kill your smart phone. Avoid TV and the internet. Rest. Reflect. Examine yourself.”
Jesus rebuked the pharisees for “straining out a gnat and swallowing a camel!” (Matthew 23:23-24). The truth is, most of us are missing the point when it comes to the sabbath. While we’re content with arguing over when may be the best day for the sabbath, most of us struggle to actually keep any sabbath. We’re so doggone busy. Paul says that “One person esteems one day as better than another, while another
esteems all days alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind” (Romans 14:5). The best day for the sabbath is the sabbath day you actually take.
Be careful you don’t strain at camels and swallow a gnat. The point of the sabbath is that God gave it to you and me to take – each and every week – so that we can slow down, reflect on life, make adjustments, and live life to the fullest. Who are we to think we know better than God?
Make time each and every week to set aside an entire day to rest, examine yourself, and make sure you are really walking with Jesus Christ.The weeks of our lives will add up to months, the months will add up to years, and the years will become the mosaic of our lives. If you take time, each and every week, to rest and examine yourself, you’ll be glad you did.
WHAT ABOUT YOU? WHAT DAY IS YOUR SABBATH? WHEN IS YOUR DAY TO REST, EXAMINE YOURSELF, AND MAKE SURE YOU REALLY ARE PURSUING GOD DEEPLY AS A CHRIST-FOLLOWER? WHY NOT MAKE THAT A TOP PRIORITY RIGHT NOW?