Our sermon today was from Revelation on the church at Sardis. This was the church that looked like it was living but it was really dead. Our pastor mentioned some of the motions we might go through that do not actually make a relationship with God or a saving faith. He used the example of a fake plastic plant, a dead plant, and a living plant. He made the point that the plastic plant was more closely related to the dead plant than to the living plant in its purpose. Purposefulness has show up quite a bit in my readings this week, so here’s some of my thoughts on it from Proverbs 4.
Intentionality. Sleep deprivation and new baby responsibilities have made me choose a path of least resistance with my faith, of least effort. Too often I have been coasting and not actively seeking and doing God’s will.
Proverbs 4:19 But the way of the wicked is like deep darkness; they do not know what makes them stumble.
In losing purpose, intentionality, and connection; I have opened myself up to a place where I may not even know what is making me stumble.
Our sermon continued with the instruction, to build our relationship with God right where we are. Do we feel dried up and dead, then we shouldn’t pretend to be the living plant by putting on plastic, instead we should start where we are at.
So here is the list of instructions from Proverbs 4:
- Pay attention and listen closely [to the words and instruction of the father] vs. 20
- Keep these words in my heart vs. 21
- Guard my heart vs. 23
- Put away perversity and corrupt talk vs 24
- Look ahead vs. 25
- Make level paths and take ways that are firm vs. 26
- Do not swerve and keep my feet from evil vs. 27
This isn’t going to happen all at once. And this all requires attention and intentional effort. I can’t keep on coasting and expect righteousness and intimacy with God to be the result.
But there is grace. For me, and for you if you are in this spot. There is no place that I have been or will be, there is no circumstance that I am going through or have gone through that God is not there (Psalm 139). And He waits for us to open up that door to a better relationship again. It’s going to take purposefulness, it’s going to take intentionality, but the result is more life, more fruitfulness and less dead, plastic living.
Lord, help us be intentional.
What have you been learning this week?