Mark Affleck

Hey, God..Sorry I Didn’t Show Up

August 3, 2019
Spiritual Growth

Have you ever said that about your effort to spend time with God on a daily basis?
Have you ever wondered why it’s so hard to be spiritually consistent?
Have you ever thought being consistent with your connection to God would never happen?
If you have, in one sense, that’s a good thing. Really! It’s a good thing because it demonstrates that you are in touch with, and convicted by, God’s call for us to seek him every day.
“Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, now that you have tasted that the Lord is good.” 1 Peter 2:2-3
Our best model for this “connection imperative” is the Apostle Paul who was intimately one with Christ and lived his life based solely on the redemptive Cross. He didn’t care about the external matters of life. His uncompromising focus was on the internal churnings of his heart as he ran every thought and action through his Lord’s “filter.” And he did it all and always to God’s glory.
Yes, spiritual consistency is an essential part of our walk with God. What follows are three steps that have helped me maintain consistency in my connection to God:

  1. Spiritual consistency is our responsibility.
  2. Focus on being like Christ and commit to the habits of a disciple.
  3. Don’t panic when you miss your daily connection with God!

STEP ONE: Spiritual consistency is our responsibility.
It is clear that we are called to be spiritual consistent. The problem is that we’re wired and predisposed to be inconsistent.
Nobody said this was going to be easy! But the reality is clear–it’s our responsibility to be consistent.
And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” James 1:4
It’s important that we get this right because the dangers of inconsistency are very real and ever present.
Lack of consistency leads to complacency…which leads to apathy…which leads to less passion for the goal. If that progression continues, a vicious cycle starts spinning fast.
If we miss spending time with God for an extended period, we begin to drift away from him. What starts out as an insignificant reality of life—we will miss some days—eventually gains momentum and significance if not interrupted.
Yes, spiritual consistency is tough, but it is possible if we “work it out” as God’s Word instructs. That is our responsibility:
“Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed– not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence–continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling.” Philippians 2:12
STEP TWO: Focus on being like Christ and commit to the habits of a disciple.
Being consistent in our spiritual walk leads to spiritual maturity—Christ-likeness—and that’s what it means to be a disciple (which takes discipline).
“Take the time and the trouble to keep yourself spiritually fit.” 1 Timothy 4:7
Jesus derived his strength from the times he withdrew to pray and spend time alone with God.
“Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.” Mark 1:35
STEP THREE: Don’t panic when you miss your daily connection with God!
What if we miss a day? Wait. Not if . . . when we miss a day. When that happens to me, I simply toss aside any thoughts of guilt or legalism. And most of all, I don’t allow that slip to get me off the path. I right the ship as soon as possible.
Remember, it takes several weeks to become familiar with a new task and a similar amount of time before it becomes an entrenched habit. We all know that bad habits are hard to break; we need to be reminded that good habits are hard to start!

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