Daily Devotional for Sunday December 19, 2010

One of the Reasons We Struggle to Get Through the Day is Because We are in a Rut

(Mark 6:30-32)

One of the reasons we tend to struggle just to get through the day, come home physically and mentally drained is because we allow ourselves to get into a rut. Our routine rarely changes. We get up most days and either go to work or school. As creatures of habit we end up going to the same stores, the same places to play, we become very comfortable in our lives. We get very good at simply getting from one day to the next.

On a spiritual level, we also get into what I call a "spiritual rut." We do the same things every day and get very good at avoiding to ever have to test our faith, to put our faith on the line. We get comfortable in our church, we get comfortable in the areas we serve God. Most Believers live very defensive lives. To use a football analogy, they play a "prevent defense" most of the time. That is what teams do late in the game when they have a big lead. They play very cautiously and try not to lose the game as opposed to being on the offensive trying to continue to score.

I want to challenge you today on several fronts. First in your day to day life. Try buying your groceries at a different supermarket this weekend.Try going to some stores that you have never shopped at before. Go play at a different park this weekend. For those who are married, take your husband or wife and go spend an afternoon doing something you have never done before. For those who are single, get one of your friends and do something this weekend you've always wanted to do but never have.

Next week when you go to work, take a different route to work. Don't go to the same coffee shop in the morning. Don't eat the same thing for lunch every day. Make it a point to get acquainted with some of the people you work with but don't know very well. For those of you still in school, get involved in some activities you normally don't participate in. Get to know some of the other students who aren't in your normal circle of friends.

In your spiritual life, pray and read the Word at different times of the day. This will help you keep your daily time with the Lord fresh and not something you simply do on auto pilot which can make your time with the Lord not as productive or special as it should be. This Sunday, go to your church in the morning and in the evening, go to a different church. If you normally serve God in one area, for the next few weeks try to find a new avenue of service.

Why am I saying this? First of all, I am not trying to meddle into your life. We ALL need change from time to time. We all need to see things from a new perspective. We all need to experience new things. God has blessed us with tremendous abilities. We have an incredible capacity to do so much. Yet most of the time we get into such a comfort zone that we tap in to a very small percentage of what we are actually capable of doing.

Another reason is that it gives you confidence in different situations. Life will always throw us curve balls along the way, hit us with things we aren't ready for. The more we experience, the more we are exposed to, the better we are able to handle life's problems. We are more capable of looking at many different solutions to the problems we face each day instead of looking at only one possible answer and getting discouraged if that way doesn't work. Lastly though, change stimulates our senses, it energizes us, it gives us a renewed spark for life. Change keeps our life fresh and exciting.

I love you and care about you so very much. I pray for you each and every day. I realize that you have many challenges in your life each day. Be encouraged today that the Lord loves you and wants the best for you. He has given you so much, yet we often only partake of a fraction of what God has given to us. Be aware this weekend and in the coming week that you don't have to turn your life upside down to keep life fresh and exciting, but that you can do some things differently. You can do new things. You can enjoy new experiences. Change your routine.

One of the by-products of change is meeting new people, allowing God to open new doors in your life. From time to time we need to reach out, stretch ourselves, and see what else God may be saying to us. It can be hard to hear His voice when we are in the same old routine each and every day. Life is made up of seasons. Each season of our life is different. Different people, different things that we occupy our time with, different interests. In the midst of each season though, we need to be careful not to get so regimented, get in such a rut that we lose that spark for life that makes life so wonderful.

More importantly, we never want to get into a spiritual rut and lose that spark in our daily relationship with the Lord. Make a conscious effort to keep your daily walk with the Lord fresh and something that you look forward to. The Christian life is not to be one of defense, but one of offense. We need to be moving forward, serving the Lord in our daily lives. Christ came to give us life and life abundantly. Each day is a gift from God and this brief journey will be over sooner than any of us ever expect. So make the most of each day and enjoy this wonderful journey through life.

In His love and service, Your friend and brother in Christ, Bill Keller