My Biggest Temptation…Each and Every Day…

“Let us leave a little room for reflection in our lives, room too for silence…Let us hear the Word of God in stillness and perhaps we will then come to understand it” – St. Augustine

Want to know what my biggest temptation is as a pastor? Want to know the one thing that I’m tempted to do everyday that would be the downfall of my ministry?

No it’s not something sensational. No it’s not something full of mystery and intrigue. It’s something everyday and ordinary.

My biggest temptation is to go to the office…and get to work.

Yep that’s my biggest temptation. My biggest temptation is to actually skip meeting with God, and get busy doing work for God. My temptation is to skip reading his Word, spending time praying, and get a lot of stuff done for God. Do you sense the irony and the problem with that?

The biggest factor in my relationship growing with God is spending time with him and reflecting on his Word. The problem is that seems so…inefficient. The problem is that it doesn’t seem to accomplish a lot, or change the number of things on my to-do list.

But that’s the temptation isn’t it? To see time spent with God as optional, as inefficient, as unnecessary, as not actually accomplishing things. But the type of change that happens through daily spending time with him isn’t instant. It’s long-term, it’s legacy building, it’s mentoring of the deepest sense. And it matters more than anything else. Nothing impacts your walk with God as much as spending time with God.

So now when I’m tempted to run and do ministry for God, I try to remember I’m really meant to do it with him. I try to remember that when I choose to stop doing things and be with Him.  It’s giving him space to do something in me and through me. I try to remember that time spent with God is the best way to spend my time.

So while I still get tempted to get to work…I’ve learned through enough failures that the work can wait. What can’t wait is the need for me to grow with God.

So today if you get tempted like I do, why not carve out some time, read a passage, reflect, pray, and pause. Take up the challenge and see if your day doesn’t go better by involving God in it…

Hearing Psalm 121

Over the summer we’ve been looking at different Psalms. To download the sermons in this series click here.

On Sunday we are going to be looking at Psalm 121. It is by far one of my favorite Psalms. In fact it became my favorite through an unlikely source…a hasidic Jewish reggae rapper named Matisyahu. Yes, I know an odd combination, but he sang about it and reminded me something about these Psalms. They are to be sung. They are to be heard. They are to be experienced. There is something powerful through speaking these promises aloud.

So before we even get to Sunday why not take a moment, relax and read out Psalm 121 aloud. See what you notice. Read it a few times. Let it settle into your soul. And then come Sunday we are going to not only read it, but also experience it through communion together. We are going to God and experience how our help only comes from the Lord. So to begin today – read it slowly, read it aloud, and let God speak to you through Psalm 121:

Psalm 121

A song for pilgrims ascending to Jerusalem.

I look up to the mountains—
does my help come from there?
My help comes from the Lord,
who made heaven and earth!

He will not let you stumble;
the one who watches over you will not slumber.
Indeed, he who watches over Israel
never slumbers or sleeps.

The Lord himself watches over you!
The Lord stands beside you as your protective shade.
The sun will not harm you by day,
nor the moon at night.

The Lord keeps you from all harm
and watches over your life.
The Lord keeps watch over you as you come and go,
both now and forever.