Summer Time and The Living’s Easy
So often the summer season is a very bitter sweet time as Pastors. We love the beautiful sunshine like the rest of the world, but we also know what it means for the local church as a whole and also for many individual lives. Oh yes, summer time… picnics, putt putt, boating, vacations, late nights and open fires…these are a few of our favorite things. Summertime and the living’s easy! Or is it?
The worst D word for a Christian is DISTRACTION. And summertime seems to pull out all the stops in that area. Isaiah 26:3 (NKJV) says, “You (God) will keep him in perfect peace, Whose mind is stayed on You, Because he trusts in You.” One thing we notice during the summer months is quite the opposite of peace. Instead, it seems good-hearted Christians struggle with anxiety, lack, depression and the like, and there’s one major factor in it all. It’s distraction. Christians are too busy having fun to think about God. Christians are too busy with recreational spending to put God first in their finances. It seems the pull of the world wins out against the pull of the things of God, especially in the summertime. But notice what the Word said in Isaiah, as we keep our mind stayed on God, we keep peace in our lives, perfect peace, God’s way.
Galatians 5:22 (NKJV) takes this further saying, “The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness.” When you spend time with God, when you base your life on spiritual things, these are the byproducts that come along with it! If you’ve been experiencing the opposite in your life, you’ve got to ask yourself, how much time have you been spending with God? You can do an assessment of your life very quickly and discover the answer to this important question. Have you been walking in love and kindness with your family? Have you been patient with your spouse and colleagues? Is there peace in your home and throughout your day? Have you been faithful to come and to serve in your local church or has summertime made you less faithful? Yes, the devil uses the distractions of summer to keep Christians out of the highest and best that God has for them, if we choose to let him.
Look at Romans 14:17-19 (NKJV), “For the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. For he who serves Christ in these things is acceptable to God and approved by men. Therefore let us pursue the things which make for peace and the things by which one may edify another.” Let’s not pursue a life that only revolves around the natural realm, what we will eat, what we will drink, how we will earn money, how we will buy our kids clothes, how we will go on vacation, etc. As we focus on God, all things we need will come to us (Matt. 6:33), and we will walk in peace and joy, which is what God considers acceptable. We should likewise consider it unacceptable not to live in joy and peace as we’re commanded to do in scripture. Pursue the things which make for peace. Pursue the things which edify and build up your life and the lives of those around you. Stop allowing that nasty D-word to rule your life. Amen?