January 27, 2021 — It Takes More Than Just Being There

“I have a neighbor,” Stan began, “who is really casual about most everything in his life.  He doesn’t take much seriously, being a firm believer in the expression that ‘Eighty percent of life or success in life is just about showing up.”

“Just showing up?” I responded.  “Do you believe that?”

“While the expression probably has some validity in some instances,” he replied, “I know for a fact that it has no application to a person’s faith walk, especially mine.”

“How so?”

“Just showing up doesn’t cut it.  Let me give you a simple example from a friend I had before we moved here.”

Continuing, he said, “this friend of mine and I went to the same church and we were both involved in the same Bible study class.”

“Sounds good.”

“Not so much, but it got better,” Stan replied.  “It turns out my friend went to church and to the Bible study class, not because he wanted to, but because his wife wanted him to do so.  He was there, he showed up, but that was pretty much the end of it.  He really had no interest beyond making his wife happy.”

“How did that work out?” I asked.

“I don’t know about my friend’s relationship with his wife, but I clearly saw what was going on with him and his relationship with God.”

“In what way?”

“For several moths at the Bible study it was clear that my friend was just going through the motions.  He would be there, but he hadn’t done the lesson, or had only done a part of it.  He rarely had anything to say in the class.”

“However,” he continued, “over time there was a noticeable change.”

“What happened?”

“It was gradual.  My friend would have his lesson completed and he began to have some really good things to contribute to the class discussion.”

Continuing, he added, “After a few classes where there was a clear difference with my friend, I talked with him and complimented him on his contributions to the class discussion.  I asked him about the change.”

“What did he have to say?”

“What he said really struck a chord with me.  He said that he had come to realize that the Bible study class was more than  just showing up.”

“Did he say how he came to that conclusion?” I asked.

“What he said is that one night after class the Holy Spirit, in essence, asked him, ‘What are you doing?’  From there, he spent some time having serious conversations with God about what he was and was not doing in his relationship with God.  He said it became real clear, real fast, that he was not where he was supposed to be.”

“Then what?”

“Just like everything else like that,” Stan concluded, “my friend confessed, repented, and asked for help in following God’s lead to wherever God wanted him to be — and to not just show up, but to really be there!”

________________________________________

Bible verses to consider:

And Peter answered Him (Jesus) and said, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.”  And He said, “Come!”  And Peter got out of the boat, and walked on the water and came toward Jesus.  Matthew 14:28, 29.

In that day you shall know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you.  John 14:20.

Abide in Me, and I in you.  As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you, unless you abide in Me.  John 15:4.

Prayer:  Thank you, Father, that you want me to be where you are and that you want me to be a part of what you are doing.  Please forgive all of the times I have just shown up to be in a certain place, but did not have the willingness to truly be with you.  Please open me to see you and what you are doing, and help me to get out of your way so I will truly and deeply abide in you, knowing that you will lead me to where you want me to be.  Thank you that I can and do bring these prayers before you in the name of Jesus.  Amen.

Think on this:  In what ways does “just showing up with God” not result in a deeper relationship with Him?  Is just showing up better than nothing?  Why or why not?  Where are you in your relationship with God?  Are you where you want to be?  Why or why not?  If you would like to have a deeper and closer relationship with God, do you know how that can happen?

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