It has been a crazy few months. Well, actually a crazy year. So many unexpected turns and twists on what was supposed to be a predictable path. But isn’t that the reality of life?

Debbie and I are heading off on a little vacation, but please allow me to share a few short thoughts from a study I have been doing (All In, by Mark Batterson) with two of my small groups at church that likely help explain the course of the last year.

“Is Jesus following me or am I following Jesus?”

While both phrases involve Jesus, they are radically different. A prayer life that routinely asks the Lord to “please be with me as I …” or “please bless my efforts to …” could unintentionally become requests for the Lord to stay close behind me as I head out in a direction I have chosen and to clear the way for me to do the things I have in mind (and they may well be very good things). Can you see how much different life might turn out if the daily prayer were, “Lord, I have some things in mind to do today; but I am totally available to your leading in this moment and throughout the day.”

“We often follow Jesus to the point of inconvenience but no further.”

Praying prayers like the one in the above paragraph will definitely put us on a Kingdom path; but what happens when the journey with Jesus suddenly becomes challenging? What if Jesus says, “Son, I am so glad you are with me. Today we are going to learn how to forgive,” or “we are going to love your wife today,” or “we are going to experience sacrificial giving this week,” or “have you considered changing jobs so you can focus more on your family and ministry?” What happens when following Jesus becomes inconvenient?

Perhaps we need to reword our prayer to something like this: “Lord, I have some things in mind to do today; but I am totally available to your leading in this moment and throughout the day. Even if what you may ask is hard or something I do not fully understand, I will be right behind you.”

Can you see why this group study is entitled, All In?

Praying this is an adventurous week for you and God.

Pastor Jim

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