“It’s time to press the reset button” was the phrase I woke up with a few days ago. I don’t remember what my dream was about, but this phrase lodged in my mind and it stayed with me. I had been thinking about Brexit and the problems with the American elections as well as how to build the church in Swindon. (I know that Jesus builds the church, but we are co-workers with him, so we are building the church with him too). However, as the day went on, I realised it was more to do with God drawing my attention to my daily disciplines as a Christian. The goal of these good Christian disciplines is to get us closer to God and be more effective as his sons and daughters
It is easy, through overwork or holiday distractions to allow good disciplines to lapse. Things like daily prayer, reading the bible, regular monthly fast days and praying with others, including your spouse if you are married, can go out the window. I know that because there is so much delicious food around, I have been overeating. Yes, even thin people like me put on extra tissue where we shouldn’t! I can feel this as I try and climb the hills out of Henley on my road bike. I know I have to be more disciplined in my eating and pick one day a month to fast and pray too. I have continued to read my bible because I do a daily app on my phone where a portion of the new testament and old testament are read as well as a psalm. This daily app gets me listening to the bible and I can complete a whole ‘read though the bible’ in a year. However, I know I need to plan in some extended times where I can meditate and chew over a small passage of scripture.
Which of those good Christian disciplines do I need to reset over these next few days before the beginning of 2021? Pressing the reset button is an action I take, and is proactive, and if the picture is right, not too hard an action. So, my new list includes these. Asking Di when it is a good time to pray together during the day and start the prayer time by asking her what she would like me to pray for her about. Second is reading a good Christian book over the next month. Neil Townsend pastor of the Wantage Church sent me the book “Face to Face with God” by Bill Johnson. One of the topics it covers is how to deal with distractions that enter the mind during prayer/meditation times. It’s my goal to have read that book by the end of January. I am going to make the daily exercise time, a time of prayer too, rather that listening to sermons or songs on my headphones. I am going to set aside monthly fast and prayer times and put them in my diary. I have been praying with others in a men’s prayer triplet each week, here in Henley and when I move to Swindon, I am going to find a new triplet to pray with. I want to put in my diary a time to meditate in the scriptures each week as well as do my “bible in a year” app. All these are achievable so I’m setting myself the task of actually taking action to do them.
Enough about what I plan to do. I’d like to ask you if there are things you need to press the reset button on, in terms of those lapsed Christian disciplines? Why not think and pray about it a little and then write down a short sentence of what you are setting back into place at the beginning of the year. It would be so good as a whole group of people to share with one another what we are setting back into place in our lives, so we can encourage and provoke one another in those good disciplines.