As the year begins it’s rapid conclusion, there is excitement at the prospect of a new season but also the dread of bush fire season that has begun early in our state. For most people, it is a long awaited time of rest and an opportunity for prolonged enjoyment. It is important that we do that in order to de-stress and de-clutter our lives.
There is a tendency, however, in these times that some lose focus and deviate from their commitments, particularly with regard to their spiritual lives. Due to exhaustion and burn out, their priorities are severely challenged and in worst cases, they end up in sin and make decisions that they later regret.
It is of utmost importance that as far as our spirituality is concerned that we don’t finish this year with a whimper but that we ensure, like a good athlete nearing the finish line, that we burst forth with a little more effort.
It’s a little bit like the bush fires that we had recently. After the climax of the intense fires had somewhat subsided but not completely extinguished, I was amazed to see the Fire authorities burn more bush land in what is known as ‘back-burning’, while there were still uncontrolled fires around. To the uninitiated this would seem ludicrous as some fire fighters are trying to put out fires while others are lighting them. Back-burning or ‘controlled’ burning is done so that uncontrolled fires have no fuel to burn, thus eliminating disaster.
In a similar way, as we are at the dawn of another year, feeling perhaps tired and deflated, we ought to be putting out some fires with rest and recreation but at the same time we need to light the fires of prayer and drawing even closer to God. Let our hearts burn with even more passion for the Living God. Just like Jesus did when he was at the height of his ministry, giving to meet the needs of everyone around him, he would separate himself into a secluded place to find refreshment in the intimate presence of God (Luke 5:15-16). Finish strong, in Jesus’ name.
“Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it” 1 Cor 9:24
This is a blog post from Stanley Harvey, the Senior Pastor of the Pentecostals of Sydney.