Of all the things that you need to plan for, there is one that is supremely more important than the rest. You may fail to plan in every other area, and though your lack of planning may cause you hardship and despair at times, you cannot fail when it comes to your relationship with God; it is eternally important. Everyone ends up somewhere, but few end up somewhere on purpose. The only way to end up eternally secure in heaven is to continue to grow and develop in your relationship with Jesus Christ. But like any relationship, if you don’t pay attention to it, if you don’t invest in the relationship, you will drift away, you will drift apart, and danger awaits the drifter. In Revelation 3:15-16, Jesus speaks of three spiritual statuses people fall into—hot, cold, and lukewarm. He says it’s best to be either hot or cold. If you are hot you are growing in your relationship with Jesus. You are passionate and putting him first. If you are cold, you haven’t made a decision for Christ yet, but you are just one step away. However, if you are lukewarm, it is abhorrent to the Savior. Lukewarm means you accepted Christ, but you have drifted off to do your own thing, live your own way, and he is down the list when it comes to priorities. This is a dangerous place to live. If you are going to end up somewhere on purpose in your relationship with Jesus Christ, you must plan!
Scriptures – Ex 20:3; Ps 24:4-5; Pr 15:22; Je 29:13; Mt 6:33, 16:26; Jn 14:15; 1 Co 10:13, 15:34; 2 Th 1:3; Hb 2:1; Js 4:8; Re 2:4-5, 3:15-16
Verses – Where there is no vision, the people perish. (Pr 29:18) “I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cole—I am about to spit you out of my mouth.” (Re 3:15-16) Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. (Js 4:8)
A daily plan and daily disciplines are required to have a growing relationship with God. You must connect with him. This isn’t just attending church on Sunday; although it is good, it isn’t enough. You can gain information and make some progress through listening to the Sunday message and applying it to life, but your ability to grow comes from the personal relationship, the personal time you spend getting to know God. Putting God’s word into your mind, heart and spirit are essential to growth. Many people don’t read the Bible. They read Bible based literature, which are good, but reading God’s word brings about a change within that can’t be explained, only experienced. If there are barriers to your relationship with God, get rid of them. Sin is the greatest hindrance to our Godly connection. Some people appear to be Godly, they fake it, but on the inside there is unconfessed sin that is holding them back from God’s best. Be honest with yourself. Confess your sin to him, and get rid of the barriers. For many professing Christians, there are no deep hidden sins lurking in their soul, but they are not putting God first. The command to not worship idols isn’t just talking about bowing down to an image, it’s referring to anything that you put ahead of God in your life. Idolatry is probably the most prevalent sin among Christians. God demands and deserves first place in every area of your life. Everyone ends up somewhere…
Questions – How do you respond to someone’s excitement about their favorite sports’ team? How do you respond to someone’s excitement about Jesus? Do you find one person a little crazy and the other totally normal? Why? What is the best way for you to connect with God? How many ways can you think of for getting God’s word into your heart? Do you have a daily plan for connecting with God? If so, share. What is the most frequent obstacle to your time with God? Why is failing to plan, the same as planning to fail when it comes to a relationship with God? Where are you wasting the most time? What can you change?
Response – Establish a plan for connecting with God each day. Find creative ways to incorporate God’s word into your life while you drive to work, exercise, cook dinner… Where do you need to adjust your time to put God first? Make your relationship with God a priority. Create a schedule that puts him first.
Prayer – Lord of Creation, you created me, and time is in your hands; yet I often forget that I live and move and have my being, each and every day, only by your grace. Help me stay connected to you—the source of my existence, hope, peace and security. Thank you for loving me. In Jesus’ Name I pray, Amen.