Here recently I have been working on getting back to the basics of The Way of Jesus; the things that bring us into a deeper relationship with Him. I feel like in our personal lives it is essential to make sure we practice these things regularly so that way we are not only getting closer to Jesus but we are also becoming more like Him. That’s the point of all of this anyway; to Love God and to Love others.
I’ve been following John Mark Comer and his teaching at his Church in Portland, Oregon called Bridgetown Church. He leads a church of mostly young single people living in the thick of the Post-Christian society. Most of them have not grown up in church and never learned the basics or core practices of following Jesus. So that’s where they start and what they continue to teach on. While listening to Him, and other people much smarter than I am, talk about the world as a whole shifting to a Post-Christian society, it makes you think about your local communities.
Most of us don’t live in places like Portland or Seattle, but we can see the rate of people who don’t attend church rising even in the bible belt of the world.
…in 2004, 17.7 percent of the population attended a Christian church on any given weekend. – Churchleaders.com
So we can only assume that if they haven’t been in church as much, most people won’t even know the core practices of following Jesus. So I will list them below because, to be honest, I was not fully aware of them myself until about a year ago.
- Silence and Solitude
- Bible reading
They sound so simple and it makes so much sense. But until its put down in words in front of you, you might never think of them as something to keep as priorities in your life. Some of them are obvious; like praying and Bible reading. But things like Silence and solitude, Sabbath, and fasting are ones we tend to push to the side as followers of Jesus because our society is always so busy and self-fulfilling.
We are overstimulated as a culture and the idea of finding time to just be quiet and listen to God could make us feel uneasy. We distract ourselves with technology.
Our culture runs 24/7, taking a day off to completely rest seems uncalled for.
And we believe that only certain people are called to fast. But that is far from the truth. We could all take some time and fast from something… we live in a self-gratifying world where we get what we want when we want it.
These things are tough to intergrade into our lives but I believe they are important in strengthening our relationships with Jesus. They require us to lean on Him and not our own strength.
For me, fasting, silence and solitude, and Sabbath are where I struggle. I feel like I’m always needing to get something done, so finding time to be quiet and just listen to Jesus is hard for me and that feeds into my Sabbath time; its hard to take a day off when you are always moving at 100 mph. And as you guys know, I have a problem with overeating, so fasting and learning to lean on God instead of food wouldn’t hurt either.
So why don’t you come alongside me and start adding some of these practices into your own walk? I would love to hear where you are thriving and what practices you need to intergrade into your own life.
Below I attached a link to John Mark Comers website with resources on how to easily intergrade some of these practices in your own life.
Thank you for reading this post. I get a lot of inspiration from John Mark Comer. Follow this link to find resources that are super helpful. practicingtheway.org/practices/be-with-jesus
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