Monday, April 17, 2017

From languishing to flourishing, by God's grace

I've been languishing.

Spiritually speaking, that is. I've been spiritually languishing.
Def.: (verb) to lose or lack vitality; grow weak or feeble
Yeah, that's me. For some time now. A kind of subsiding, as of a dying flame.

This can't go on. As any Christian believer will tell you, this simply can't go on. Whatever measure you want to use--Bible reading, prayer, praise and worship--all these things have suffered. That is, the practices that make up the life of faith

I've been that guy who reads the Bible front to back in a few months, keeps a prayer journal, sings loud at church, and plays the role of encourager with other men. I've been. But am not now.

What is the explanation? I'm not at all sure. But I sure now that I want to do something about it. I want to da a few little things, small steps, to return to daily Scripture reading and prayer, and to incorporate some hymn singing into my regular quiet time.

These are all more-or-less private matters, of course, but in time it begins to affect your outward walk, the way you think and thus the way you speak, and the kinds of work you lay your hands to. It begins to affect the way you interact with people, the choices you make about your time and your money, the things you set your mind to: in short, the lived life.

I plan to read briefly from the Scriptures each morning. Not large chunks, but brief passages from the life of Jesus. This will keep me in the four Gospels for the foreseeable future. I'm going to write out a verse or two that I want to focus on, and I'll seek to form a prayer from the passage as a whole.

Finally, and this is new to me, I'm going to sing a worship song. This is probably the most revolutionary thing I'll do, in the sense that it goes against my more or less inhibited nature (not to mention my deep dissatisfaction with much that falls under the heading of worship song).

That's the beginning. Together they are a way, I hope, of setting my mind on things above, as Paul urges, or as he says elsewhere of putting on the new man. Or, to put it yet another way, of exalting God in my daily life. But I also intend to involve A Stranger Here in this process. I'll be sharing the Bible verses and the songs. In so doing, I'm taking the blog back to its roots as a devotional journal of sorts, and I hope also to be much more frequent in my posting here. You may see other changes here in due time as well.

Pray, please, for the languishing to turn to flourishing, by God's grace.

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