Sunday morning can often feel like a mountain top experience. We are surrounded by fellow believers, are uplifted, encouraged, worship with others, praise God, thank Him, and are fed His Word. Then Monday comes.
Monday is often like a valley experience. Monday morning is hectic, get the kids to school, get to work, deal with a plethora of problems, and get back to dealing with the latest crisis in our lives. It waits for us. Our Sunday morning altar experience may have put a shade over it for a while, but on Monday it shines bright. Here are your problems. No church to run to now to hide in.
So how can we transition?
One of my aims in writing this is to help others see how God works throughout the week, and to ensure we do not carry guilt.
Sunday morning service serves a purpose, but that experience alone does not get us through the rest of the week. We will be sadly disappointed if we think that it will give us ALL we need to serve God and love others. Sunday morning service is hopefully where we give, and where we receive, but it’s not the cure all for what’s to come this week.
Here is what is:
- Bible study, reading and meditation. Yeah, yeah, yeah, tell us something we don’t know. Right? It’s true though. If we hope to deal with sin, with attack, and to know how to serve God, we must spend time in the Word. We alone are responsible for picking up the book and reading it.
- Study: perhaps choosing one book of the Bible, and picking up a good commentary to use to dig into the Word.
- Reading: there is merit in reading through an entire book of the Bible in one sitting. It helps us get a picture of what the entire book is saying. After we read it through we can go back and read through each chapter slowly.
- Meditation: there are times when our hearts are in such anguish that all we can do is utter a Psalm, and you know what, that’s okay. Take a verse and read it over and over. Pray the verse. Ask God to reveal its meaning, and give you the encouragement and strength you need to move on.
- Prayer. Daily prayer is needed to get through life. Saying you will pray for someone on Facebook doesn’t count. Time alone, in quiet, with God. No phone, no music, no distractions. Start with 5 minutes and work up from there. I know how hard it is, but this is our lifeline.
- Service. If Sunday service was great, then we should see evidence of that in our lives. We should be serving others. That should first be our spouse (if married), our children, family, the church, community and others in our lives. Serving others keeps us focused off our problems and onto God.
- Worship. Worship isn’t a once a week event. It should be a life style. I worship intimately with God when I am on a walk at a local state park. I crave that time. A heart thankful and yearning for God is a great start. How can you do this daily?
- Other ways. Singing songs, playing music, Bible study with friends, enjoying God’s beauty.
There are times when we can pray and our suffering or sin ends immediately, and there are times when it does not end immediately. God commands us to pray without ceasing. We do not know when or how He will answer our prayers. So we keep praying.
There is no reason to feel guilt because we prayed at the altar on Sunday, and then continued to suffer, or struggle with our sin. God does not promise that an altar call will cure us. It doesn’t mean we did it wrong. It could mean many things. If we are truly striving to rid our lives of sin then we continue to pray.
God’s Word promises that our trials will end. So we know the end is coming. The altar call and our action to go forward is part of God’s process for delivering us from trials and sin, but it is not a magic action that secures it. God secures it in His time, and in His way.
Sunday is beautiful, and so is Monday. Monday is when we begin living out what we professed, and were fed on Sunday. The feelings of Sunday may diminish, and that’s when faith kicks in. That’s when we run the race, and fight the fight. Sunday is only five more days away. Let’s do this thing!