In Need of a Spiritual Tune-up? What if I told you that was impossible?
Devotional Thought of the Day:
1 “At that time the Kingdom of heaven will be like this. Once there were ten young women who took their oil lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. 2 Five of them were foolish, and the other five were wise. 3 The foolish ones took their lamps but did not take any extra oil with them, 4 while the wise ones took containers full of oil for their lamps. 5 The bridegroom was late in coming, so they began to nod and fall asleep. 6 “It was already midnight when the cry rang out, ‘Here is the bridegroom! Come and meet him!’ 7 The ten young women woke up and trimmed their lamps. 8 Then the foolish ones said to the wise ones, ‘Let us have some of your oil, because our lamps are going out.’ 9 ‘No, indeed,’ the wise ones answered, ‘there is not enough for you and for us. Go to the store and buy some for yourselves.’ 10 So the foolish ones went off to buy some oil; and while they were gone, the bridegroom arrived. The five who were ready went in with him to the wedding feast, and the door was closed. 11 “Later the others arrived. ‘Sir, sir! Let us in!’ they cried out. 12 ‘Certainly not! I don’t know you,’ the bridegroom answered.” 13 And Jesus concluded, “Watch out, then, because you do not know the day or the hour.
Matthew 25:1-13 (TEV)
24 Let us be concerned for one another, to help one another to show love and to do good. 25 Let us not give up the habit of meeting together, as some are doing. Instead, let us encourage one another all the more, since you see that the Day of the Lord is coming nearer.
Hebrews 10:24-25 (TEV)
788 Have you seen how water is stored in reservoirs against a time of drought…? In the same way, to achieve the even character that you need in times of difficulty, you have to store up cheerfulness, clear insights and the light which the Lord sends you.
There used to be a group of people that came to church on Christmas and Easter. They would make their annual trek to church, sit through service, say all the right things, and say they would return, and soon.
It was if they were coming for a “spiritual tune-up”, making sure God was still there, making sure grace was still available, that there was still a little spark in their lives. And we would plan for them a special brunch and an egg hunt for the kids. A lot of regulars are grateful for their showing up, yet cynical, thinking they will never become a regular part of the church.
But they aren’t the only ones who treat church this way. Some who are here every Sunday see it as their spiritual tune up – a necessity given the hellacious life they are living. We feed into this when we talk about the Sabbath rest as if this was the only moment they could rest in the presence of God. As if this was the only place to walk with Him, and we’ll be back next week, same time, same channel.
And while the church service and bible studies are important aspects of our lives, they aren’t spiritual tune-ups or fill-ups. God doesn’t abandon us when we leave church and enter the mission field.
We need to walk with God, moment by moment. To realize He is there, in each and every moment. We need to remember these things, so that when we are struggling, or when our brother or sister is, we can point to God’s presence and encourage each other.
Treating church like it is a spiritual tune-up, necessary only when we aren’t
able to cope is bad practice. It is harmful, extremely harmful, for where we have ignored God, we’ve not only damaged our relationship with Him, but we will damage our relationships with those around us. For we won’t be able to be there for them when they need to know God is there.
Should we neglect church (and our private time where our devotion to God grows) we will eventually beomce the foolish virgins, whom miss the wedding banquet. Our faith, our ability to depend on God will be replaced by idolatry, our ears will grow deaf, and our eyes won’t recognize His glory.
So be involved, spend time with God, realize His presence, His love, His mercy. Don’t treat church like a necessary obligation once a month or once a year, but make it part of your life, recognizing what God pours out on you through the people you gather with, share with, struggle with. Learn the treasure that is in your Bible, and drink it up, knowing it reveals how much you are loved, and that you dwell in the presence of God.
Escriva, Josemaria. Furrow (Kindle Locations 3267-3269). Scepter Publishers. Kindle Edition.