Thursday, 24 February 2011

No quick fix

I have been looking hard at Acts 2:42-47 recently, that is the embryonic fellowship which was the first Christian church. While I would not want to turn the clock back and try to recreate that situation I think there is a lot we can learn about being God's people from it.

A key part is in verse 42, they were devoted to prayer, communion, meeting together and the Apostles teaching (scripture today). The one that, for me, underpins the rest is prayer. As a people of God, all that we do should come from our relationship with him and that relationship can only grow if we are prepared to put some effort into it.

Looking at it another way, if we want to do well in a career we put effort into learning about it, reading about it and practicing it. If folks find someone with a "useful" or helpful life style method, they listen to the DVD's, read the book's, do the exercises and stick at it if they want any results.

Then comes the problem - results take effort and are sometimes a long time in coming. Reading about the Lewis revival in the late 1940's prayer was heavily involved and not just a quick throw away one either. We live in an age of instant entertainment, instant news, instant conversation and connection, but one in which if we don't get instant results we look for the next "instant" quick-fix solution.

Actually there is only one way to find out what God wants and that is on our knees in prayer, there is no quick fix to this, its all about relationship and that just takes time. One lesson, among many we can learn from the Old Testament is that, when the Israelites stopped talking and relating with God their plans fell apart, when they got on their knees and put that relationship back on the right footing, God heard them and helped them.

If we want to feel God's power in the things we are doing or think we should be doing, then we must be rooted and grounded in relationship with him. The cross is not a quick fix to life's issues, its a gateway to a life-time of relationship with God ... if we are prepared to put in the effort.


Graham said...

Another point about the Israelites is that when they did turn back to God it often meant a tough time ahead, fighting a war, marching though deserts or rebuilding a city. Pray and be prepared, don't expect to hear a 'Sit back and leave it all to me' answer.

Tony Mayes said...

thanks Graham - I think theres a thing called consequences, while God is there at all times, there are consequences to ignoring him and doing our own thing :-) thats one of the reasons prayer is so important.