Now is Not the Time
Have you reached out to anyone this week, talked to anyone about what God is doing in your life or invited anyone to read the bible with you?
Blaine preached this Sunday on our tendency as humans to digress our zeal over time. He mentioned that while the summer is an excellent time for many of us to take vacations or experience some serious rest and relaxation, it is not the time to relax in our walk with God.
What vacations or periods of rest and relaxation do you have planned during the summer? What is your spiritual plan to maintain your walk with God during this time? How will you hold yourself accountable to your plan?
1. On Sunday, Blaine covered how the king Jehoash failed to give his execution of instruction his full attempt (2 Kings 13:14-19). In the story we see that Jehoash failed to loose enough arrows to guarantee him complete victory.
In verse 18 and 19 we see failure of the King:
18 Then he said, Take the arrows,” and the king took them. Elisha told him, “Strike the ground.” He struck it three times and stopped. 19 The man of God was angry with him and said, “You should have struck the ground five or six times; then you would have defeated Aram and completely destroyed it. But now, you will defeat it only three times.”
As you prepare for your upcoming vacations or periods of rest, are you planning make every effort to strengthen your faith? How so?
Blaine asked us four important questions to ask ourselves in discerning if we have become weary and unprepared to loose enough arrows:
1. Have you been faithfully serving God and waiting expectantly for answers to prayer?
2. Have you been seeking God in Prayer and the word?
3. Have you been working in the ministry?
4. Are you tired and in the verge of throwing in the towel?
Which of these questions resonates most with where you are weakest? Which do you feel has most of your attention?
How can the following scripture motivate you to keep up your faith this summer?
23 Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, 24 since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.
2. Blaine outlined three ways that we can invigorate our faith.
· Dream the Dream Again
· Take off the Ropes
· Formulate a Plan for Growth
Blaine mentioned that all of us can get worn down at some point, but do we remain worn or do we remember the promises of God?
· Psalm 105:8 He remembers his covenant forever, the promise he made, for a thousand generations.
What promises have you forgotten? What promises do you still hold on to?
Blaine also gave us the image of man attempting to run a marathon with 100ft of hempen rope strapped around his body. He suggested that he was each of us, the race was our walk with Christ and the rope, sin which easily entangles us. We all know that we couldn’t run a single mile with that much rope on, at least not easily. Let’s see some perspective from the author of Hebrews:
· Hebrews 4:1 Therefore, since the promise entering his rest still stands, let us be careful that none of you be found to have fallen short of it.
What ropes do you have hanging from your body that prevents you from running your best race?
Lastly, Blaine mentioned formulating a plan for growth. Specifically her referred to food as a means by which things grow. Whether in a garden or in the womb living things require nutrients and food to grow.
What have you been feeding yourself? (Netflix, Facebook, Fox News, ESPN, Video Games, Etc…)
God has a different perspective from Matthew 4:4
4 Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”
How much time do you spend in prayer or in the word?
Is your plan to grow, your acquisition of spiritual food, like that of the disciples of Acts 2:42?
Bringing it Home
So let us not be like King Jehoash, but instead let us empty the full quiver! Let us fix our eyes on Christ, soaking in the word and receiving guidance through meaningful prayer. Blaine mentioned that all it takes to be above average is to just put in a little more than the average guy.
What one challenge can you accept to make just a little progress this week?