It is important to stay on target–particularly in the day in which we live! But how do you stay on target? Many believers think you can stay on target if you have a routine to diligently read a chapter a day from God’s Word, attend church once a week, and pray at least once a day. Many believe as long as those few things are practiced, then life will be okay.
Routinely I have asked people, “Do you go to church?”
“Yes,” they respond.
“What did the pastor preach about Sunday?”
“I do not remember.”
“Do you pray?”
“Do you read the Bible‘?”
“What did you read about today‘?”
“l do not remember.”
I discovered a few reasons for this forgetful lifestyle–which keeps us from staying on target.
We Zone Out!
I have had this experience many times in church–I would park my body in a pew and mentally leave! If the pastor had counted bodies he would have counted mine. I was not paying attention to what was going on around the area where my body was resting. Your body can be in one place and your mind can be somewhere else. I recall a lesson from a preschooler. The child was in a dad’s arms and was beating his little fists on his chest saying, “Daddy, daddy, daddy, why do not you listen?” The dad had a baby in his arms, yet his mind was not there. Wake up and pay attention.
Attendance vs. Worship
There is a difference between attending church, and worshipping while at church. If we attend church but do not engage and focus on the One who is to be given the greatest attention, we will drift off and think about our own tasks for the week. The more we think on our tasks, the more selfish we become. Worship requires one to deny self and focus on Christ.
Avoiding What We Really Need
We tend to avoid Bible passages that would capture our attention. Here is an example. A husband may know that he should love his wife. If he is mad at her, he may avoid her for a time. During this time he knows that the Bible says that a husband should love his wife. So, that is the time he decides to study about David and Goliath instead of a passage about marriage. After all, he can truthfully say, “Well, at least I have been reading his Bible.” The problem–he is not reading for direction or correction, but for comfort. Comfort focuses on self instead of on God. When this happens, you lose your mind!
Every day you should open a copy of God’s Word and pray a simple prayer like this: “Lord, as I read, help me to see something in Your Word that will help me to think on You today, correct a wrong action in my life, or encourage me to remember and share this passage with someone else today.” For me, this helps me to stay focused on God and protects me from losing my mind!