“I will bless the Lord who has given me counsel; my heart also instructs me in the night seasons. I have set the Lord always before me; because he is at my right hand I shall not be moved.”
Everything Jesus said and did that’s recorded in the Gospels has something to teach us. In this episode, we discuss our “take-home” lesson in Jesus walking on water.
Here’s a link to the audio podcast on anchor.fm.
“Preserve me, O God, for in you I put my trust. O my soul, you have said to the Lord: ‘You are my Lord, my goodness is nothing apart from you.'”
“But God forbid that I should boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.” (Galatians 6:14)
Another wonderful quote from Abba Poemen of the Egyptian desert.
Christian spirituality is not bout hating the body, it’s about reigning in unbridled appetites.
“Lord, you have heard the desire of the humble; you will prepare their heart; you will cause your ear to hear, to do justice to the fatherless and the oppressed, that the man of the earth may oppress no more.”
The only edit I would make to this meme is removing the word “sometimes.”
“In the Lord I put my trust; how can you say to my soul, ‘Flee as a bird to your mountain?’ For the Lord is righteous, he loves righteousness; his countenance beholds the upright.”
“I will praise you, O Lord, with my whole heart; I will tell of all your marvelous works. I will be glad and rejoice in you; I will sing praise to your name, O Most High.”
The Christian spiritual tradition outlines three disciplines necessary for inner healing and growth: prayer, fasting, and acts of charity (which can be broadly defined as acts engaged solely for the sake of another).
When we look at the lives of the saints, their stories of intense prayer, strict fasting, and absolute selflessness can make the average believer feel quite discouraged. You might not realize it but, if you’re worried that you’re not doing enough in your walk with God, you’ve got half the battle won. None of the saints believed they were doing enough. The worse thing we can do in our spiritual life is convince ourselves that, “I have arrived.” There’s always more that we can do.
As they say, “the struggle is real,” and the above quote from the desert father Abba Poemen offers good perspective and much hope. When people come to me for advice on the spiritual disciplines, I offer this rule of thumb:
- figure out what you realistically can do, and
- put in a sincere effort to just do what you can.
If you can realistically take an hour for your daily devotions, do that and may God bless you. If you can realistically only find five minutes a day for prayer, make sure you’re taking those five minutes every day and may God bless you. The quantity is not as important as the sincerity of the effort.
Furthermore, don’t forget that things change over the course of one’s life. When you can do more, do more, when you can’t, do whatever you can with a sincere heart, to the Lord’s glory.
Rather than focusing on what you think you “should” be doing in your spiritual life, focus on what you can do, and put every ounce of effort into making a habit of getting that done. This is the work pleasing to God.