Message From Matt | October 12, 2018

Take Him or Leave Him? 

Shield your eyes for a moment as I throw out a word that to many is a curse word…the word, discipline!  Do you like that word?  I usually don’t because I think of all the areas in life that I lack in discipline.  At times I lack in discipline in how I eat, in how i exercise, in how I spend money, etc… but probably the area in life that I feel most regret is when I am not disciplined to spend quality time with the Lord in prayer and in His Word.  At this point you might be thinking, “Wait! Matt’s our pastor and it’s his job is to be in the Word and in prayer a lot, because isn’t that what pastors do??!” Sorry to disappoint you but that is part of my struggle in life!  Finding the balance in life of spending the appropriate time with God on top of being a husband, father, and pastor.  Don’t feel bad for me though, this is probably a struggle for you too and I know that I am in good company regarding this struggle!  

I have found that when I am in those cycles of poor discipline, I often feel as if I have a “take Him or leave Him” relationship with with God!  Of course, I know that the Lord never leaves me, but there are times that I am out of fellowship with God and it’s as if I been so busy doing “good” things that I lose sight of doing the “best” things!  It’s almost as if things are going good that I neglect to spend time with Him or other times when I am extremely busy that I have leave off doing the best things that I can with God. 

I know that the best things are to start my day with a renewed desire to live for Him!  To put the armor of God on every morning and go out to live a victorious life for Him!  To Love my wife and kids as I ought and to love other people as I ought!  These are the best things but the problem of doing good but forsaking the best is a reality and it leads to me becoming spiritually dry!  It is in those dry times that I am once again reminded that I need to hear from God!  That I need to place myself in position to hear from God and that keeping myself busy doing and doing and doing has left me longing for the best.  

Have you been too busy to spend time with God? (Here’s what I have learned…spending time with God first in your day sets you on a course of being able to handle problems better and allows you get more done throughout the day!)

Or, are things going so good right now that the need for having a deeper relationship with God doesn’t seem like a necessity?  (Here’s a reminder…you can never “peak” in your relationship with God!  You should always be growing in the Lord!)

Look at this quote from Martin Luther, “If I fail to spend two hours in prayer each morning, the devil gets the victory through the day. I have so much business I cannot get on without spending three hours daily in prayer.”.  Isn’t that convicting? 

If you have been too busy for God, good thing that His mercy is new every morning!

Aren’t you glad for that!  Aren’t you glad that when you are in a pattern of undisciplined living that God is merciful with you, especially when you ask Him for mercy?  Aren’t you glad that He is faithful to us even when we aren’t?  Don’t get me wrong, God will chasten His children as needed (Hebrews 12) and that is never fun, but even in the chastening, His mercy is evident!  He could “consume” (kill us)!  He could do many things to us, but He is merciful!  Look what Jeremiah says about this in Lamentations 3:21-26… “This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope.  It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not.  They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.  The Lord is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him.  The Lord is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him.  It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the Lord.”

Always Take Him!  Never Leave Him!

Let me encourage you to not ever get too busy to spend time with God!  I am urging and encouraging myself too!  I don’t want to leave God!  I need Him too much!  In a very real sense, I want to be a taker!  I want to take in all that I can of God and never be spiritually dry again!  As I write this, I desire to long for God in deeper ways and see Him with a greater vision!  That’s my desire for you too!

Let’s seek God together! 

Let’s seek God’s BEST together!

Let’s be disciplined in our lives to make Him the first priority!

When we don’t, thank Him for His mercy and then get back on track!