We all want God to bless us. We all want God to answer our prayers. None of us would say we could live without the blessings of God. The question comes, are we on the pathway to God’s blessings? Are we walking in step with the Spirit in such a way that He can and will bless our lives? Can we say without reservation or hesitation that we are obeying Him fully?
Of course, we immediately make excuses, point fingers, or just hope God grades on a curve. But when you read the failures of the children of Israel, they are tied to things like not taking God’s Word seriously, not doing what God said promptly, serving other gods, stealing from God, compromising God’s commands. The list could be longer, but you get the point.
So here are some questions that might be worth pondering as we head toward the spring and summer – or, for that matter, 365 days a year.
- Am I planning my daily calendar to include times with God? Or am I winging it and hoping for the best? Am I modeling what I want to see in my family?
- Am I prioritizing the kingdom of God in my time and budget? Am I taking advantage of the opportunities provided by the church for spiritual growth? Am I investing consistently in the church that invests in me?
- Am I walking into church with a “God, speak to me” attitude? Do my children see my heart tender toward the Word?
- Am I faithful in attendance? (Studies show that most people think they are faithful if they come once a month. Try that on your boss, your school, or your marriage.)
- Am I raising my kids to follow hard after God? For parents of younger children, are you making sure your kids are involved in Kids Rock, Xploration Station, Sherwood Kids Praise, and missions opportunities? As Chuck Swindoll said, “The church can’t resurrect what the home puts to death.” When worship times are forsaken for self, we can’t whine when our kids don’t prioritize the things of God. Remember, it only took two generations for all the commitments made by the generation of Joshua to be forgotten. Read Judges. It’s an account of what happens when parents are haphazard, callous, or inconsistent in doing what God has said.
- As my kids get older and move off to college, am I slacking off on my commitment to the church? Have I developed a “done my part” mentality when I now have more time than ever to serve the kingdom?
- Am I defensive right now, or am I asking God to show me where I’m off the narrow road?
This is not about being legalistic. It’s about obedience. It’s about surrender to the lordship of Christ. My great concern as a pastor is when the people of God forsake the clear teachings of the Word of God and choose self over the Savior. Then they want to know why their kids are rebellious or prodigals. The choices we make determine the roads they will take. Choices WILL affect you. They will most definitely affect your children.
We can’t be flippant, inconsistent, or apathetic about the things of God and then expect our children to be spiritual giants. We can’t control the future and whether our kids walk with God, but given all the opportunities that we have as a church to train our kids in the nurture and admonitions of the Lord, it is possible that we are cooperating more with the enemy than we are with the Savior. We are in a battle with the world, the flesh, and the devil. The enemy plays for keeps. He wants the hides of our children on the wall as trophies of his kills.
As a pastor, I want our children to be trophies of grace. So when I see all that we offer from preschool to youth, I ask myself, who wouldn’t want their kids to be “all in” with those ministries?
It’s worth thinking about.