Spiritual Fervency and Discipline

First Corinthians 14:33 tells us that “God is not a God of disorder but of peace”. In the pastoral houses of our Church (JMCIM), there is orderliness and discipline in daily praising and worshiping the Lord. For these workers in the Lord’s vineyard – preachers, prayer warriors, choir members, and all full-time workers – must needs be on their knees in praise and prayer, morning and evening. This is living out Psalm 113:3:

From the rising of the sun unto the going down of the same the Lord’s name is to be praised. (Ps. 113:3)

(image from Google)

As early as 6 o’clock in the morning, the workers gather to sing praises to God and worship. They close in thanksgiving and prayers and reading of the Word. In the evening, the same program is repeated. This discipline of praising and worshiping the Lord before prayers is taught also to be practiced in the homes of the believers. To praise and worship the Lord upon waking up in the morning. From the rising of the sun. 

Shall we now let this discipline wane in fervency and practice so that when we wake up in the morning, our first thoughts are our schedules and plans, and the first thing we hold and open are our electronic gadgets – cell phones, iPads, laptops? Shall we bury this godly practice of rising up in the morning, first and foremost, to praise the Lord, pray, and read the Word? Shall we now exchange these spiritual things with the Internet? Have we slowly forgotten the Lord’s words, “Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness…” (Mat. 6:33)? Seek ye first. God must come first. In everything.

When we stayed in the Fasting House in Pampanga where the room we occupied was attached to the chapel, I would hear a worker praising in the chapel even before the break of day. How blessed was that soul as he presented himself to God with his hungering heart and soul, singing to God with all fervor! It was his spiritual fervency, more than his discipline, that brought him to the chapel even before all the others. He wanted to be alone with God. He craved for Him.

And then there is the testimony of a former practicing dentist now a full-time worker and preacher of the Church. How he would close his dental clinic at noon, not to eat lunch in peace, but to get down on his knees and praise God to his heart’s content. This reminds me of faithful Daniel whom the angel Gabriel called “a man greatly beloved”. He praised, thanked, and prayed to God three times a day. He went to his house at noon just to do these things faithfully. Yes, even when there was a newly-signed law from the king that whosoever shall ask petition of any God or man save the king, will be thrown into the lion’s den (see Daniel 6). This was Daniel’s fervency toward God, and nothing, even death by being devoured by lions, could stop him.

And at the end of the day when all our toilings cease, shall we push the time to bend the knees to praise and thank God to the back burner and finish first all our stuff – Internet (seemingly endless social networking, reading, browsing, viewing), TV, etc. – which we may be eagerly anticipating to do? Shouldn’t we be enthusiastically anticipating to spend valuable time in the presence of the Lord? Shall we try to put private worship time at the very last saying that we are not yet in the mood to sing? We have certainly misplaced our fervency, pouring it out into our selfish pleasures instead of the things of God!

Before we realize it, it’s near midnight and all we want to do is sleep, and if ever we finally yield ourselves to praise and pray, the exuberance might be gone and weariness takes its toll on the flesh and spirit. Psalm 113:3 says that the Lord shall also be praised at the going down of the sun. At sunset or early evening.

Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place—unless you repent. (Rev. 2:5, emphasis added)

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Journey with Jesus,

Comments

  1. Joanie Qualls says:

    Yes!!!!!!!! such an important, helpful, wonderful reminder!!!!!!!!!! Hallelu jah!!!! He is worthy to be praised!!!!

  2. Grace says:

    Amen! A timely reminder.

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