“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”
I want to use this simple phrase (taken from an ancient Chinese proverb) to introduce you to a concept that God is really emphasising with me at the moment. If you have been a Christian for any length of time you will know how incredibly easy it is to wake up one morning and realise you have been stuck in a rut for three weeks, or six months, or two years… you get the idea. Whether it is reading the Bible, praying, growing in your giftings and callings, or just experiencing more of that John 10:10 life Jesus came to give us; we can often find ourselves lacking some consistency in the growth we experience. Now the good news is: there’s no condemnation, and the better news is: it doesn’t have to stay that way. I believe what we need is balance, let me explain.
In Ephesians 1:17 the Apostle Paul tells the Ephesians that his prayer for them is that the Lord would give them “…a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him.” So why does Paul want them to have a spirit of wisdom and of revelation? What’s the difference? If we look for a moment at a definition of wisdom it is: “knowledge of what is true or right coupled with just judgment as to action” So in other words, a spirit of wisdom is heavenly insight into what is good for us joined with the ability to make that practical. However, it doesn’t stop there; Paul knew if all we do is simply put processes into place its not too long before we are just going through religious motions, and becoming “puffed up” on knowledge and self-effort. That is where Paul’s prayer for a “spirit of revelation in the knowledge of Him” comes in; the word revelation literally means: “God’s disclosure of Himself and His will to His creation.” Practically speaking, this means God’s plan is to show up in our lives and explain who He is and what He is all about!!! I believe Paul was praying that these early believers would have the wisdom to apply the truth they had already learned, while constantly expecting to learn more through encountering God for themselves.
Consistency without connection creates a lifestyle of religion. Long story short, we need balance. In my experience, if we always wait till we “feel like it” to engage in any spiritual activities or disciplines then our quality of life in those areas is going to be left severely lacking. At the same time, if all we do is develop habits and rituals that get us doing and saying all the right things but never connecting our hearts to God’s heart; then we will be left cold and hard with little signs of life. What does this look like on a day to day basis? I would suggest taking the dreams God has placed in your heart and start applying practical wisdom to them. Do you want to have a greater understanding of God’s word? Start setting 15 minutes aside everyday to read, pick a book, and stick with it till you are done. Once you have finished, ask God does he want you to read it again? Does He want you to pick another book? Before you know it, you will probably start pushing 15 minutes to 30, you will realise you have read your Bible everyday for a month, and you will have some fresh insights you didn’t have before. Allow practical wisdom to set you up for divine encounter!!!