Ironically, I’m not an avid note taker at church. Occasionally, I’ll dissemble offering envelopes to use as “note” paper. (It’s a trick I learned back in the day – you know, back when we used Baptist Hymnals for worship and something hard to write on.) I don’t have one of those flowery journals my friends use, and quite frankly prefer my envelope method when the need arises.
Well, in Sunday school two days ago, I could have filled up at least five envelopes. What God revealed to me was too exciting not to write down. Using the back side of the lesson’s study guide, I filled in all the white space with notes on prayer and reading the Bible.
Doesn’t get more Sunday school-ish than that.
But, these often taken for granted topics resonated on Sunday. God freshened-up my perspective. Here’s a rendition of what I wrote:
God calls us to pray, right? Praying in all things puts everything in its proper place, at the base of the cross. We can give to Christ our worries and troublesome burdens and experience peace (Phil. 4:6-7). When we don’t give everything to Him in prayer, our worries and burdens begin to weigh us down. They trouble us and confuse us, creating massive storms in the heart and spirit. These chaotic storms distance us from our Source of peace.
Enter the enemy.
In all the rainy chaos, deceit seeps in. And we thought things weren’t confusing enough. Now throw the distortion of deceit into the mix. Nothing makes sense and what’s really true anymore?
Prayer isn’t the only means by which we can experience peace and avoid all of that distorted mess. Being diligent in our study of the Word keeps us from confusion as well. (Ps. 119:130). Seeking Him in His Word gives birth to wisdom and insight. Apart from His word we cannot have a true, clear sense of direction. Apart from His word, the enemy can plant seeds of doubt and cloud our judgment.
I’m sure I’m preaching to the Sunday school choir here. But on Sunday, it resonated that any territory outside of the realm of prayer and reading the Bible is breeding ground for deceit. I never want to be in a place where deceit can breed and choke and kill. I’d much rather be a good Sunday school student, diligent in praying and reading my Bible so as to have clear direction. And peace. Peace so sweet that it’s mind blowing.
Originally written: November 13, 2012
Prayer: Lord, may we not stray into the territory outside of the realm of prayer. Keep us strong and safe in the shelter of your wings. In Jesus’ name, Amen.