15th of August
Welcome back from your vacation. I do live in Sweden for the time being where most people take their time off in June, July and August. If you live in other parts of the world, you might have vacation at a different time. I know that in India they have time off from schools when it is either too hot or too cold. I am actually not writing about vacations now, but what is happening when it is over and one is back to daily routines.
In Scandinavia we have had a huge amount of Christian conferences during the summer this year. They have focused on families or different age groups. They might last from a few days till over a week. Most of them invite well known speakers from the entire world. Some focus on reaching the lost while others are building up the believers. Some conferences are emphasizing on Christian music while others are advertising all their activities. When you ask people why they come, they might answer everything from being spiritually refreshed till the desire to meet their friends from last year. Many are praying for beautiful weather while others are saying that it is the spiritual content and not the weather that matters. When one studies the speakers, one will see that many speak at many conferences, not only one. They are the attraction of the conference. Many conferences take money from the participants and many speakers might manipulate the people to give a huge amount of money. I know of several churches that are totally dependent on the money they receive during the summer. I strongly believe in tithing and giving gifts so I do not want to be misunderstood, but all giving is not based on faith and love for God.
I am not against conferences. They are meant to be like vitamin-injections that are supposed to last for the rest of the year, but many are travelling from one conference to the other and get a lot of vitamins and sometimes a little wrong spiritual food. Many might say: “ It doesn’t matter because it was so cool.” I am not sure that I can agree to that.
My question to you is this: “ What is happening when you arrive at home?” You might have been strongly recommended to enter the Bible-school in the church that held the conference and you were sure that the speaker was right. You ran forward, but forgot your wife and children and the economical responsibilities at home. When God is calling you to do something, he will also put that in the heart of your partner. The economical responsibilities are also taken care of. I know quite a few Bible-school students who say that they live by faith, but they cannot pay the rent and their bills. That is dishonoring God and is far away from faith. I have fortunately also heard quite a few testimonies from people where God has provided what they needed even if it was in the last moment. If God spoke to you in a meeting with a spiritual atmosphere, He will also confirm it to you when you are alone in your own place. The Lord is not dependent on special music and a lot of others around you in order to speak to you. I could tell you many stories about that from my own life. He wants to have a relationship with you alone. If you have promised something at a conference that you cannot keep, confess it as sin and tell the people to whom you have given the promise. If you have promised to give money, they count on you. If it is to start the Bible-school, they plan the teachers and the program according to the approximate number. Shouldn’t Christians keep their promises or should they think and pray before they promise anything?
Did you raise your hand when they asked who would read the Bible every day? Maybe you went out and bought yourself a reading plan. Where is it now? I can actually hear some of you saying: “Can’t you understand that I have a lot to do after such a long vacation? I have to get up very early in the morning and in the evening I am so tired that I fall asleep right away.” I understand that very well, but it has to do with your priorities. If you say that Jesus is Lord over your life, He is also Lord over your time. The Word says that we should give the best to the Lord. I am not my best right after I wake up. Now I wait a little before I am with the Lord, but I always read and prayed before when I worked. Many are jumping out of bed and grab the newspaper. What are you feeding yourself with as a start? “Don’t you understand that we have to be up to date? Yes, but do you need to know everything about the deeds of the devil?” God has His plans and He wants you to live in His plans daily. It might seem easy at a conference, but the fruits are meant to be seen during our everyday-life. The seeds are sown at the conference, but you are the one to make them grow. “The Holy Spirit is called “the Helper”. He wants to help us every day. The Bible says that we should be as children in order to enter the Kingdom of God. A child is very dependent on his parents and we should live so close to our Father I heaven that we can think His thoughts and walk in the deeds that He has prepared for us.
Not everybody has attended a Christian conference. Many have been with family and friends or travelled to other countries in order to be on a beach or experience other people and their culture. Some people lacked money and could not do anything special and might look forward to the routines that create a certain security for life.
Vacation is meant to be something different than the daily routine. One is supposed to charge the batteries. Since we consist of spirit, soul and body, we need to take care of all three parts. He wants that for our everyday-life also. Maybe we need to bring some vacation mood into our everyday-life. Do you get enough rest? Do you move enough? Do you take time to eat at least three meals a day? Do you get spiritual food? If you are married, do you take enough time to spend with your spouse? God wants us to love Him first and foremost. The next one I should love is me. Then come my spouse and children and after that my job or ministry. A well-known preacher recently announced that he would remarry his wife. He had seen that he had prioritized ministry before wife and children.
What do I mean when I ask if you bring some vacation mood into everyday-life? I think of many things. I wonder if you see or hear something that will inspire you? It could be food both for the soul and the body. It might be good music, beautiful pictures, a good movie, a true story, a good preaching, a spirit-filled prayer-meeting, a walk in God’s nature, a testimony, an experience with God or the joy of practicing Mark 16 (the signs that follow the believers). I mention things that concern the spirit, soul and body. We need balance and must avoid living a lop-sided life. You know what is good for just you. You might want to spend some extra money on good food, something extraordinary. Everyday life is not meant to be boring and monotonous. Many believe that it is boring to be a Christian. I can only say that we Christians have given a wrong impression of God then. God is creative and we are created in His image. We need His help in order to use our creative abilities. Make everyday life exiting! It doesn’t need to cost much. It depends on the “glasses” we put on in the morning. If you only see negative things, that will be the content of your day. We use sun-glasses when the sun is shining, but we are sometimes using too dark glasses and everything seems to be dark. I am naturally speaking in symbols. If you are fighting with your spouse, write a list of the reasons why you married him or her. If you are too upset with your children, write a list with the positive things with them. If you think that everything is wrong at your job, think of the positive or think how you would be without the job. If the negative is overwhelming, change the job. We are often locked in our circumstances, but we can pray for solutions and God will open our eyes so that we can see them.
LET THIS FALL BE FULL OF FRUITS AND MAKE IT AN EXITING ONE! MAKE EVERY DAY MEANINGFUL AND FULL OF JOY!