Monthly Archives: July 2014

Be Still

dsc_5417 Recently God revealed to me the importance of finding a quiet place. I’m sure like many I experience times when I have really struggled to hear God’s voice. In our desperation we often place the blame on our Almighty Father for not speaking into our lives and directing our paths; we ask God to “reveal himself” and “speak clearly”; we pin the responsibility on Him.

He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” – Psalm 46:10

God is very clear in His instruction in hearing from Him. In order to really know that He is God we must first learn to be still. In today’s society it is almost impossible to be still; even if we are not on the move, our minds are always busy. This generation, the “now” generation, is always busy. Experts believe that we have a culture of being busy:

“a full Outlook calendar seems to have replaced the sports car as the new status symbol. Being busy means you’re important, needed, valued.”

The busyness of our culture distracts us from what is really important. Busyness becomes a sin when it replaces God in our lives; sometimes we can idolise the desire to look and feel busy instead of the need to be disciplined and focussed.

” “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” – Luke 10:41-42

God recognises our nature to put off putting Him on; and this is why He calls us to be still first; to see Him above the other things in our lives. Being still means to consecrate ourselves away from the things of this world; and to connect our spirit with the Spirit of God; to rest in His presence.

But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed. – Luke 5:16

Jesus was a busy man; the Bible tells us that news of Him had spread and large crowds gathered  to hear Him and to receive healing. We might feel busy at times but imagine being in demand from thousands of people. And yet Jesus still found the time to go to the wilderness, where there were no distractions, to spend time with the Father. It goes against our nature, but being Christ-like is not always easy. Sometimes Jesus would go up on a mountain side to pray and I believe we can learn from this; that to elevate our relationship with God, above all of the things that consume our time, our thoughts; to go to a higher place, with God, is to choose the better thing.

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On the B of the Bang

Hot Off The Blocks

The 100m is one of those events where the start practically determines the finish. If everyone else shoots off and you stumble, you probably won’t catch up. In the beginning, one must start well.

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. (2 Timothy 4:7)

It’s interesting that Paul should use the analogy of a race when writing to Timothy. Many a preacher I’m sure has benefitted from being able to associate a race in their sermons with themes of discipline, training, staying the course and finishing well; and it is also easy to see from this analogy how important starting well is to a good race. A good start sets you up for the race ahead; it can put you ahead of the chasing pack, which can in turn give you that motivation to push on. Indeed starting badly or false starting can disqualify you from the race entirely. So how do we start well? The B of the Bang We often talk about “going out with a bang”; Linford Christie, the former British 100m sprinter and Olympic Gold winner, famously claimed that he started races “on the B of the Bang”. To me this means to start in anticipation of the start, not before, not after. This means that you start when things start, not a fraction of a second after, but as and when things begin, you are there.

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. (Genesis 1:1)

In the beginning, God was there. Putting “Big Bang Theory” aside, He was there on the B of the Bang so to speak. For a good start God must be present and He must be there from the beginning and not a second after. This new blog marks the start of a new journey for me; I am leaving my full time job in the corporate world and assuming a place as an intern at Church. God has called me to this post and as a result I know that He is here as I start, and importantly I am here too. God is always ready and at the beginning of things; He is after all the Creator. He calls on us to meet Him there; to take our place at the start of the race marked out for us (Hebrews 12:1). As I embark on a new beginning I can be confident that God has prepared me for this new challenge; He has laid out a track for me, a lane to run down and a finish line to carry me to. What I need to do now is to start, and to start well. Bang.