So, we have discussed the need for establishing rhythms and the importance of it. How to go about trying to start some rhythms. This time we’ll take a crack at the mindset we should have about our rhythms.
So, you are going to start a new rhythm. Maybe it is hanging out with friends during happy hour on Wednesdays after work, going to the local tennis club, inviting neighbors over for dinner instead of eating by yourself. What types of things should you be thinking and processing while you are rhythm-ing?
This is where, I believe, it can become over complicated if we let it. I was taught when I was younger that while I was “evangelizing” to be looking for a way to sneak in talk about the church, Jesus, and sin. It was up to me to be on guard to look for a way to pounce on them with Jesus once the opportunity presented itself.
Here is the problem with this method: Jesus rarely pounced. I can only think of a few times that He did. Almost all the time He just existed with people. He was present with them. He lived with them. He was their friend. And that type of lifestyle sounds much more inviting and attractive than having to be on guard every time you have a conversation with someone who you aren’t sure knows Jesus. And honestly, how genuine, authentic, and real (all words Christians love to use about themselves) it is to always have a loaded gun on you every time you have a conversation with someone? I understand that sometimes a conversation needs to be had about something, but every time? Come on, no.
What I’m getting at is that you should just be yourself when entering into these rhythms. Be truly genuine, authentic and real, but don’t be pounce-y, ya know? Don’t be pushy. Be present. Listen. Love. Invest. Dig in. Get messy. Ask the Spirit for help. Reorient. Die for these people.
And the comforting truth about the whole thing is that God is invested and loves the same people who you are trying to build relationships with. If He wants all to come to a knowledge of truth (1 Tim. 2:3-4), and loves and died for the whole world (John 3:16), then He is interested in the same people who you are. That means that the Spirit is already involved and at work in those people.* And if the Spirit is already at work with these people, then trust Him that this is where you are supposed to be. Make connections and dig into the lives of these people.
“Okay, but what if I try something and it fails?” Don’t worry about it. Now you know what God has not called you to, or at least, what He hasn’t called you to for this season, but maybe some other season in the future. Just keep looking for where God wants you at. Ask the Spirit and try to follow Him the best that you know how when it comes to where and who you feel called and sent to.
Lastly today, when it comes to where you are sent not many people ever think to themselves “This is exactly where I want to be called. This place makes so much sense and will be so easy for me.” It seems like every time someone talks about where God has called them it sounds a lot more like, “I never would have thought about this. It is so out of my comfort zone. It is crazy God called us here…but it makes total sense.” If God has called you somewhere and you believe that this is where the Spirit is leading, then believe it. Ignore the naysayers and keep listening to the Spirit.
I hope this all helps you figure out what to do with these rhythms we’ve been talking discussing.
*For more study on this idea look up the “Seven Realities” of the Experiencing God study by Henry Blackaby.