I am writing this as I sit in a hotel room in Berne, Switzerland. It’s Saturday, January 5th, 7p local time. It has been fast and furious since I arrived in Berlin on the 2nd of January.
I’ll not go into a lot of detail about the trip in this post, but will do so (Lord willing) later next week along with some pictures and videos of my time here to share with all of you.
Suffice it to say, it’s been an incredible time. Tomorrow, Sunday January 6th, I preach three times at the Vineyard church here and am looking forward to seeing what the Lord of the harvest is going to do.
Because of the time change, not sleeping well, and the schedule, I’ve been missing my normal times with the Lord.
Years ago this would have bothered me and I would feel like I let the Lord down by missing my planned times with him. Personal disciplines (I have learned) can easily morph into legalism or thinking I am earning God’s favor and love by the disciplines I practice.
I now practice those disciplines not to be loved, but because I am loved; not because I have to, but because I want to; not to prove something to God, but to bask in his love and grace. For me the spiritual disciplines are a pathway to intimacy with Him.
I received some advice from a leader many years ago. He told me to “Keep an eye on the climate, not on the weather.” The climate is the overall picture of my life whereas the weather is what happened today or yesterday. For example, the climate in Lake Forest, California (my home) is warm and sunny, but yesterday it may have rained.
So when I miss a day or two, that’s the weather. The climate of my life involves regular and sweet times with Jesus that refresh and encourage me. Now, if the climate should start to resemble bad weather most of the time, I need to trust him for some changes in my priorities.
Jeremiah 2:32 is helpful to me in this regard, “Can a virgin forget her ornaments or a bride her attire? Yet my people have forgotten me days without number.”
Forgetting God days without number is the climate and is very different than missing a day or two once in a while.
It’s easy to let bad weather (physical as well as spiritual bad weather) bum me and you out. The devil will accuse us and whisper in our ears that if we are not really one of those spiritual types who pleases God by spending time with Him every day.
Keep an eye on the climate and don’t worry about the weather!
+So, fellow traveler…how is the climate and weather in your spiritual life these days?