Did you know that good posture reflects a correct alignment of your bones and muscles as you stand up under the weight of gravity? Correct posture minimizes wear and tear on your joints and allows your body to move with optimum ease, efficiency and balance. It’s incredibly important to a healthy life! So often, athletes have great posture and it shows in how they play. I’m always impressed by those football players that can get blindsided by a block, but then spin, stutter step and keep going. It reflects amazing balance and it shows their ability to adjust to the unexpected and keep their eyes on the goal line. You might say that they have great poise, or an athletic posture.
We tend to move with a certain “spiritual posture” as we go about the normal rhythms and routines of our daily lives. Situations and encounters tend to be predictable and we have a good idea about when we need to be attentive and when we can cruise on automatic pilot. When our routines are disrupted however, it’s both a challenge and an opportunity. Change can make us feel disoriented, unmotivated or upset! It can also prompt us to reconsider our spiritual posture and make adjustments.
We’ve all been blindsided by the events of the last few weeks. Thanks to our study of James, however, we know that God uses trials like these to form us and refine us. Jesus was not immune to such trials and his earthly ministry can teach us a lot about how we might approach these next few weeks and months.
Read Matthew 14:1-21
· First off, what do you know about the relationship between Jesus and John the Baptist? What happened to John the Baptist in this passage?
· Why do you think Jesus “withdrew from there in a boat to a desolate place by himself?”
· What did he find when he arrived and what was his response?
Jesus faced two trials in this short passage. He lost his cousin and friend in a gruesome murder and as he tried to mourn and pray, he was confronted by a “great crowd.” No rest for the weary. Fortunately, Jesus had an established spiritual posture that flowed from a mature relationship with his Father. As a result, Jesus was able to respond to the crowds with compassion, healing the sick and even physically feeding the hungry mass of people. Think about that for a moment. Compassion flowed from Jesus despite his own distress, his pain and his desire to be alone.
God invites us to maintain a healthy spiritual posture so that we can respond to the needs of others with similar compassion. You can do this in many ways, such as taking 15 minutes to rest with Him in silence and solitude, meditating on His Word, or worshipping to name a few. Abiding allows us to remember our identity in Christ, take hold of the promises of God and then be aware of opportunities to share Christ-centered hope and encouragement with those who don’t know Him.
Take a moment to think about your spiritual posture. Are you still recovering from getting knocked around by the coronavirus or other life circumstances, or are you available to God and others? A God-honoring spiritual posture is reflected in a right view of yourself and your needs, while continuing to Love God and your neighbors as yourself.
We can also learn a lot about how to respond to trials by looking to our brothers and sisters in Christ around the world who live under constant pressure and persecution for their faith. Believers in China are taking advantage of the fact that government facial recognition software can’t identify those who are wearing face masks. Covid-19 is allowing them to evangelize openly on the streets! In an Islamic country heavily impacted by the Corona Virus, believers are handing out face masks and supplies. When asked why they’re helping, they have the opportunity to share about their faith in Jesus.
Read 1 Peter 3:15
· Do you need time with the Lord to feel secure and settled, equipped and available to move with compassion towards those you encounter?
· How would you respond to someone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you? Role play with a family member, or simply take a moment by yourself to practice what you might say.
Take Action: Print out the attached card and drop it in a neighbor’s mailbox. Share a Gospel of John along with some groceries or … dare I say it, a roll of toilet paper.
Dan joined the Cornerstone team in November 2018 as the Pastor of Missions. His focus is on empowering the church family to step beyond the boundaries of CCLB to declare the Good News, so that the Body of Christ might be established where it would not otherwise occur. In addition, Dan provides oversight for Cornerstone’s Care ministries.