We could feel the tension increase as the Willamette Star Cruise continued to struggle. What should have taken a few minutes stretched to almost half an hour. The Captain was unable to bring our boat to the dock. Jokes passed across the deck below as some from the wedding party waited to disembark. “Now you can see why I never joined the Navy.” “Hmmm, wonder what he’s been drinking.” “Must be a rookie driver.”
What us landlubbers failed to realize was our skipper was fighting a wind. As he tried to ease the boat against the dock, the wind relentlessly pushed us out. It took immense sweat and concentration for him to finally berth the wayward vessel.
How often do we try and improve our relationship with God only to find that we are drifting? So often I come to the end of a day and groan—“O Lord, I did it again. I let the mundane and unnecessary keep me from getting quality time with You.”
If I’m in prayer, the struggle is to keep my mind from wandering. The challenge is in listening, and guiding my thoughts so that they are edifying and useful for deepening my relationship with my Father. Spiritual concentration requires effort. If it was as easy as breathing, Jesus would never have had to ask His devoted disciples to watch lest they fall into temptation. He knew in hours they would ditch Him.
Are you willing to daily take a portion from God’s word and meditate upon it? Are you game to be disciplined to grow spiritually? Give the Lord your wheel and let Him guide your passage through waves of unending activity and winds of opposition. Set your mind on Him so that you might live in a manner that brings Him glory. It won’t come by happenstance. It will take effort and devoted focus. Is it worth it? Ah, that depends on how we define health!
Matthew 26:41--Stay awake and pray, so that you won’t enter into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
You no more need a holiday from spiritual concentration than your heart needs a holiday from beating. You cannot have a moral holiday and remain moral, nor can you have a spiritual holiday and remain spiritual. God wants you to be entirely His, and this means that you have to watch to keep yourself fit.—Oswald Chambers in My Utmost For His Highest
©2000 Daniel York ARR. Reveration is the weekly devotional ministry of First Cause. If you would like to receive these devotionals go to www.firstcause.org and click on the “Click here to receive weekly devotionals” box. Unlimited permission to copy this devotional without altering text or profiteering is allowed subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.
Ecclesiastes 12:10-The Teacher sought to find delightful sayings and to accurately write words of truth. (Holman CSB)