How to Kill Your Relationshiop

There are five ways to kill your relationship with Jesus, and they’re really simple…

1.     Comparison
2.     Comparison
3.     Comparison
4.     Comparison
5.     Comparison

I mean, I’m sure that there are other ways, but this seems to be one of the fastest ways that you can harm and damage your relationship with Jesus. We so often and so easily take our eyes off Jesus and who He is calling us to be and look around at what other people are becoming and try to do that.

And, this is one of the surest ways to kill, not only your spiritual growth, but also your relationship with Jesus. Your relationship is hampered, harmed and can even be cut off when you seek to become someone other than the person Jesus is shaping you into. The really dangerous part of this is that you can feel full of guilt and shame for not being someone else, when you were never designed to be someone else – God designed you to be you. And, here is a true, but radical thought – God actually likes you and the person He is shaping you into becoming. You don’t need to be someone else, but to embrace the person and the callings that God has for you.

But, we struggle with accepting who we are. And, while so many of us “know” this, it is truly hard to live this. We see other people’s giftings, inclinations or passions and wish we could be like them. I’ve seen this all over the church, and even in pastors; pastors who wish that they could speak like “so and so” or lead like “so and so” or pray like “so and so.” But, you aren’t called to be anyone else; you are called to be you.

And this applies to not only pastors, but also apostles too.

In the book of John, Peter is having a last conversation with Jesus, and what we find Him doing right as Jesus is directing him is this – comparing. He sees the beloved disciple following and says this, “What about him, Lord?”

Jesus response, I think, is needed for all of us. He says this essentially, “What does it matter the future I have for him? What is that to you? You, follow me.”

And, I think that’s good advice for all of us. What does it matter what someone else’s gifting or calling is. You be you and follow Jesus. Because the truth is, the world needs all of us – each unique, each simply focusing on following Jesus and not focusing on anyone else.

Power of Prayer

On Sunday we are starting a new series on spiritual practices. These practices are incredibly important. The reality is that many people want to grow closer to God but they don’t know how.

So over the next few weeks we are going to be looking at practices that have drawn Christians deeper into a relationship with Jesus throughout the years. That whether you are exploring Jesus, growing with Jesus, or completely centered in Jesus, you could discover a next step to grow further. Because the reality is that the Christian is never finished, we can always grow more, take another new step, and become more Christlike.

So on Sunday we are starting by looking at prayer. We are going to be discovering what prayer is, what it does, and how to actually do it. To do this we are looking at the creation of the world, the life of David, and Jesus all in one sermon. So it will be a bit of a whirlwind but through it, our hope is that prayer will become more real to you than ever before. Henri Nouwen writes:

“Praying is no easy matter. It demands a relationship in which you allow someone other than yourself to enter into the very center of your person, to see there what you would rather leave in darkness, and to touch there what you would rather leave untouched.”

So we are going to discover how God can change darkness to light in prayer. We will be learning what tohu va vohu means and how it changes David’s and Jesus’ prayer life.

But before we get there, what has helped your prayer life? What questions about prayer do you still struggle with? And does prayer matter to you?

On Sunday we’ll see how it matters and how it changes darkness into light…