Complacency is a deadly foe of all spiritual growth.— A. W. Tozer
If you’re like me, there are aspects of how you live your life that you want to improve — especially in your relationship with Jesus. It can be easy to become content with how things might be, so much so that we might not even realize that there is room for growth! Working against us are cultural norms, peer pressure, bad habits — or simply a lack of encouragement to take the next step toward making a change.
Well, Houston’s First wants to be that source of encouragement. From October through Easter in late April, we’re providing helpful resources related to a different spiritual discipline each month. The goal of this intentional focus — called InnerChange — is to deepen our faith by incorporating practices that will turn our attention to Him and align our hearts with His.
As followers of Christ, let’s commit to never becoming complacent with where we are in our relationship with our Savior. If you do not already know Jesus, I invite you to ask questions and seek answers here at Houston’s First. Take a step toward making the greatest inner-change you could ever make — giving your life to Jesus Christ.
Pastor Gregg Matte
Busyness is often the accepted way of life in our culture. Even without a full calendar of meetings to attend and errands to run, our relationships and responsibilities can keep us occupied (or distracted) all day long — and keep us away from time with God. With this in mind, learning to simply be still can have a profound impact on our faith.
The suggestions and resources provided below are just a few ways to help you pause and be still in October. Whether using these or your own ideas, pursue intentional moments of peace and quiet this month. Perhaps you’ll develop a new discipline that will prove even more helpful as the busyness of the holidays is just around the corner!
Here are a few specific things you can do throughout the month that are designed to help you slow down the busyness of life and focus on Him.
You may not have to travel far to find an outdoor space where you can simply sit, look, and listen. It might be a challenge, but try sitting there for at least 30 minutes with your Bible and a journal. What does God bring to mind? How are you led to pray in that moment?
Take your time as you walk down your street or through your complex. Along the way, pray for the neighbors who live around you — either for the whole community or for specific people God brings to mind.
There are several short verses that talk about being still and quiet. Here are a few to memorize. What other ones can you find?
Beyond short verses, there are also stories in the Bible where being still factored in to what took place. As you read these, ask God what truths you can apply in your life.
In the midst of busyness, even our best intentions can get derailed. Purposefully set aside time to spend with the Lord — just you and Him. It could be over lunch, an afternoon, an entire day, or whatever. Schedule it around other appointments and follow-through with that commitment.
No, not forever! But, choose a designated hour each night when your phone, tablet, laptop, computer, and TV will all be turned off. Spend that screen-free time reading, praying, talking with your family — or simply sitting still and relaxing.
We want to hear your suggestions for how to intentionally be still this month (and beyond). Share your ideas with us using the short form below.
Pastor Gregg takes a deeper look at Psalm 46:10 — "Be still and know that I am God ..."
Our NextGen Ministries offer these suggestions for preschoolers, children, and students as you guide them in the discipline of being still.
When you have preschoolers, it is best to keep things simple! Take the family outside to a park or just the backyard. Have everyone lay or sit on a blanket. Encourage your little ones to be very quiet. Whisper to them “What do you hear? Do you hear a bird? Do you hear the wind?” Let them describe what they hear. Help them identify the sounds. Say, “God made the birds. God made the crickets.” Bring a Bible with you, and open it to Genesis 1. Let your children know God created everything, and it is good!
Here are some ideas that we encourage students and families to give a shot for the month of October.