This past Sunday my pastor said, “We are to be a sacramental people who carry the grace of God.” He also asked us a question: “Why is it that we must be engaged in prayer and fasting?” Again..being the Nextgen pastor, I have to be thinking how does this translate to the next generation. Here are my thoughts on Sunday’s message.
I love it when people use big words. Words have meaning and they are meant to be looked up. So lets break this down. Sacramental means to be consecrated or powerful binding (to bound to God). Also, (and I love this one) an outward and visible sign of inward and spiritual grace.
Being a people who are sacramental means that we are a people who have been with Jesus and that shows up in a visible way. Even if we are unlearned and don’t know a lot about the Bible, we can be like the disciples who were known by who they had been with.
Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated, common men, they were astonished. And they recognized that they had been with Jesus.Acts 4:13
Why must we pray and fast?
Because prayer and fasting bring you into alignment with Jesus. My pastor said, “We don’t get information from the newsroom we get it from the Throne room.” He alluded to that fact that when we are with God in prayer, daily, we wont base our identity on the opinion of other people. We will not major on minor things and let major things go unaddressed. We will stop trivializing the significant and important things. People as early as 40 years ago didn’t have to contend with the types of things that are so prevalent in our day. Our young people literally grow up with a smartphone in their hands. I remember when the first computers came out. If we don’t think that giving kids smartphones doesn’t create a ‘powerful binding,’ we are sadly mistaken. I know students, who I can’t hardly get a conversation with them, because their eyes are glued to a screen.
My pastor also said, “Entertainment is a detainment in that it keeps you from pursuing purpose in your life.”
Detainment is to hold back from and Entertain is the holding between or holding together. They both come from a Latin root word Teneo.
Look there is so much to see and to learn out there! Smartphones have made information so accessible. From my own experience, I know that when I skip my daily throne room visit with God because I want to read the continuing thread on twitter of the latest news; I walk around with eyes that are strained, I feel tired, I am edgy when people try to talk to me, and I am spiritually weak. And guess what I am so very susceptible to temptation.
- Put Down the Phone: I have put my phone on perpetual silence. I miss calls, I miss notifications, and I get to respond back later. I remember what it was like to run around without being tied to a phone. I practice that daily. I look at it when I am ready.
- Pray and Read daily: I subscribed to a email called Morning Word. It takes you through a section of scripture to pray, a section to read, has you answer 3 simple questions for reflection and gives you a verse to memorize. I LOVE IT!
- Return to the Lord: There is no guilt or condemnation. The Lord knows how many times I have drifted off through entertainment and been sways by the opinions of others. When the Holy Spirit wakes you up and you realize you’ve been off into the world of entertainment detained by some captivating thoughts, simply come back to the Lord humbly with repentance and thanks that He never stops calling us.
If you do not have a daily prayer life, you are not strong in the Lord!Pastor Lynn Furrow
10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.19 Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.Ephesians 6:10-20
Thanks for Listening,