I have a confession to make.
Coming up next week, I will be speaking at a men’s ministry event, and later that week, at our church. Several days ago, I came to the conclusion that I devote so much more time and energy to prayer, study, journaling, and meditation, when I am preparing for something than I do normally. This time around, that realization brought with it a conviction. I tried to shrug it off by telling myself that it makes perfect sense to devote more time during a preparation period. However, I knew deep down that this wasn’t true.
In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I give you this charge: Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction.2 TImothy 4:1-2 NIV
Paul’s words to Timothy can be applied to every believer. Whether we are speaking in front of an audience, or living our everyday life, we are a kingdom of priests called to witness Christ. To do that, our hearts and minds need to be intuned and prepared. Delivering a message at a church or leading a bible study are important, but not more so than the message our lives speak to our loved ones, friends, neighbors, and coworkers. As I was doing my mental gymnastics a few days ago, I felt the Lord opening me up to this idea. I need to carve out the same kind of time in my day-to-day that I do in preparation for speaking.
The Bible speaks so much on the topics of prayer. More than that, it says how prayer should be a constant. The connection with Christ shouldn’t be seasonal or circumstantial. I had to confess to my wife also that I spend more time in prayer when things aren’t going smoothly. How sad is that? Prayer and contemplating God’s word, are supposed to be ingrained in our lifestyle. Check out these passages.
- Pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17)
- Be constant in prayer (Romans 12:12)
- Pray about everything (Philippians 4:6)
- Meditate on the Word day and night (Joshua 1:8)
- Fix our eyes and meditate on God’s words (Psalm 119:15)
- Delight in God’s words and meditate on it day and night (Psalm 1:2)
I owe Christ more. I owe Him everything. I owe Him all of me. How could I be so inconsistent? How could I be so misguided? Conviction can produce one of two outcomes. I will either learn and grow. Or I will retreat due to guilt. May the latter not be so. If any of you reading this are convicted as I am, join me in trying to draw nearer. Let us pursue a more consistent connection to the Vine. Thank you Jesus for your patience and grace.
Peace in Christ brothers and sisters.