My Fitness

Friday, August 25, 2017

warp speed ahead!

Yes, I said that. It is true. I've seen every episode of Star Trek. EVERY EPISODE EVERY SPIN-OFF EVERY MOVIE. (except ST: Enterprise, that one was just too weird for me)

Ever notice that "make it so" is essentially saying "amen"?

I wrote on Facebook that if Baby didn't show up in the next 24 hours I would start preaching. So here I go...make it so!

Thursday morning I was pondering over some answers I was giving to questions asked of me. The questions varied between specifics and hypothetical scenarios about how I deal with a situation or a passage or how would I advise someone else to deal with it. My answers were all strangely similar. They were variations on a theme: Pray, read, memorize, meditate, fellowship, praise. 

I wanted to make an acronym though (can you tell I'm tired? I haven't been getting a lot of sleep. And I hate it when people make acronyms for things.). Reading, memorizing, and meditating were all variations of the same thing: get into scripture. Fellowship is more than just fellowship it has with it confession of sins and keeping each other accountable. And praise is another word for worship. So I came up with....

WARP! - Lauren Mulford's Guaranteed Express Guide to Christian Maturity!!!!! On sale today...

(These bouts of false labor have me delirious. There's no guarantee. Only the Holy Spirit can bring about maturity. But this will be a helpful tool.)

WARP!- Worship Accountability Reading Prayer (exclamation point because it brings happiness and excitement!)

These aren't in a special order and I don't know if one part is more important than another or not. Maybe we can figure that out together. Well, I guess the order is special because it spells warp.

Worship
Christianity is about God and worshipping God because he is God.
Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised, and his greatness is unsearchable. Psalm 145:3
Christians should worship the One they love. It's the top commandment and the first (or second depending on denomination) of the Top Ten. You shall have no other gods before me. Deuteronomy 5:7 
And one of the scribes came up and heard them disputing with one another, and seeing that he answered them, asked him, "Which commandment is the most important of all?" Jesus answered, "The most important is, 'Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.'" Mark 12
1 Chronicles 16
We should worship God in everything we do and think and say. Being "Kingdom Minded" (seek first the Kingdom of God...Matthew 6:33will help us to stay focussed on Christ and help us to make the most of every encounter and redeem the time since the days are evil by taking and never giving (Ephesians 5:16). In all you do, honor Him. Whether you eat or drink, do all to the glory of God and so worship him continually. (singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. Colossians 3:16-17) Sometimes that will be a specific time of singing or dancing or painting or other artistic expression and sometimes you worship God by reading about him or praying to him or loving others.
Through him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name. Hebrews 13:15

Accountability
At first it's tempting to call this "fellowship" but it's much more than the church-wide potluck. It's more than studying the Bible together or attending weekly services together. It means confessing. You have to confess your sins. You regularly have to confess your sins to an accountability group. Maybe your group consists of just one person, but I encourage to make it a larger group than that but not so large that you maintain anonymity. You need to be held accountable and have your partner(s) text you during the week asking how successful you've been and give words of encouragement or prayers or Bible verses. If you only have one partner it's possible that s/he will suck at his job and you may as well be talking to a stuffed toy. I've seen the dangers of people with a bunch of head knowledge with no accountability continue in their faith with no growth or maturity. If you have felt stagnant in your faith, consider confessing your sin to someone. Start looking for and naming your sin. Start with The Top Ten and see where you have coveted, and where you have idolized, and where you have forgotten the Sabbath. Find someone who will WARP! with you.
And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near. Hebrews 10:24-25
I acknowledge my sin to you, and I did not cover my iniquity; I said, "I will confess my transgressions to the Lord," and you forgave the iniquity of my sin. Selah. Psalm 32:5
Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working. James 5:16 

Reading
MMR - the vaccine against ignorance. Memorize and Meditate on what you've Read. (well, if you don't know how to read or don't feel like reading, listening is good too. Some cultures don't have a written language yet after all.) I've seen people read their Bibles every morning for their entire lives and see that it makes no difference to their lifestyle. You can't read the Bible like you can a murder mystery novel (or even memorize it - doesn't Satan know Scriptures better than we do?). You can't read it just to get through it. You can read just a few sentences to a chapter maybe and seek ways to apply it immediately. Just because you read something doesn't mean you understand it. Figure out what it means. Go to the ESV page and search for key words and commentaries. Go to DesiringGod.org and search for the topic mentioned in the passage. I really like to use a Hebrew Interlinear Bible to see if I am understanding the translated words correctly.

Read the Bible. Take a little piece of it and memorize it. Meditate on that bit through the day.
but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night. Psalm 1:2
I will ponder all your work, and meditate on your mighty deeds. Psalm 77:12

Prayer
Duh. You've got to pray. Funny story: once I was at a loss for words in my prayer and I actually said to God, "Why didn't you give an example of how to pray in the Bible? Like, why didn't you teach us to pray?" And right then I was like, "wait a second, that sounds familiar..." So I remembered the introduction to The Lord's Prayer in Luke 11. "Lord teach us to pray." and Jesus replied that they should pray, "Father, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come. Give us each day our daily bread, and forgive us our sins, for we ourselves forgive everyone who is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation." He then told a parable about how one friend kept asking another for something until out of sheer annoyance the other gave him his request. "For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened." And he made note that even bad parents give good gifts and so much more so does our good Father in Heaven give even better gifts.

If you don't know how to pray, read Luke 11:1-13. It might be beneficial to read a book by Stormie Omartian.

In The Lord's Prayer we see it broken into three main sections: praise, request (spiritual and physical), and confession. And so I often use this as an outline for how I pray...especially that night that I asked God for an example! Father, [hallowed is your name. Your kingdom come.] {praise} [Give us each day our daily bread, and forgive us our sins,] {physical request} [for wee ourselves forgive everyone who is indebted to us] {RIGHT?? go ahead and use that as confession since you don't do that} [And lead us not into temptation] {a spiritual request}

When I think about it, that summarizes my WARP! procedure as well. Praise is Worship; Request is Prayer; Confession is Accountability; Spiritual Request is by Reading. (So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ. Romans 10:17) It's actually a way of life. A living sacrifice (Romans 12:1) to take up your cross daily to follow Him (Matthew 16:24). And perhaps that's how we can pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17)...hmm. That's deep. Maybe the more false labor I have the deeper my walk with Christ will be.

So there you have it, Jesus agrees with me. I guess it is guaranteed then.


Just for fun:

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