Echoes From the Campfire

He had never allowed himself to dwell on the darker times, for to live them once had been more than enough.”
              –Elmer Kelton  (The Good Old Boys)

    “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.”
              –Matthew 6:33 (NKJV)
We had communion last Sunday in church.  There’s nothing in Scripture that tells you how often a person should partake of it, but there are some guidelines.  Whenever we partake we are to remember Christ–His death, resurrection and return.  He will have communion with us again.  We are also to examine ourselves; do some inner sweeping and mopping.  The early church had communion whenever they came together, thus the practice that is in Catholic churches.  It doesn’t mean a thing if the heart’s not right and we do not remember Him.
    Yesterday was “Lent.”  I’m not a real proponent of what it represents.  Choose one a day a year to give up something.  If we listen to the voice of the Holy Spirit it is most likely more than one day and most likely more than one thing is given up.  The key is that we should do regular inventory of our spiritual life.  There should be constant introspection, not just on Lent or during the communion.
    Consider the following questions as you take time to look deeper into your soul.  Here, I going to assume that you do it.
         1)  Are you keeping God’s commandments?  (Phooey on those who say the Old Testament isn’t important.  Jesus said, “If you love Me, keep My commandments” (John 14:15, NKJV).
                a)  Are they positive or negative to you?
                b)  Do you welcome them as you would good food?
         2)  Are there particular temptations to which you succumb?  (Are you working on these with the help of the Holy Spirit?)
         3)  Do you enjoy spiritual exercise?
                a)  As you read the Bible are the suggestion given to you by the Holy Spirit repulsive or exhorting?
                b)  Do you talk about Scripture?
                c)  Is meditation at the top of your “exercise” list?
                d)  Are thoughts of God pleasant for you?
         4)  Have you done things that are unhealthy?  (we’re talking spiritually here)
There are other questions that could be added to this list, but I figured these were enough to contemplate on and digest.
    For the true believer the life is one of continual sacrifice and surrender.  The “whats” and “hows” may change but they are always there.  The Lord may tell you to give up something, or he may tell you to take more time for him.  If you truly love God, nothing can distract your attention.  While at work He can speak to you, He can give you a lesson, you can be a witness, you can live in joy.
    Don’t let Lent or communion be the only time that you check out your spiritual habits.  Do it often (daily) and see your growth, your strengths, your failures, your weaknesses.  Seek always to grow and improve.  Access your character; it is becoming more and more like the Holy Spirit?
    Perhaps you are just out of tune.  If so, tighten, or loosen the strings.  Tune yourself up by reading God’s Word.  Seek His way and not the the worthless things of the world.  In your inventory of your soul do not hesitate to thank God for even the slightest movement forward in your spiritual growth.  Seek forgiveness for failures; ask God to guide and keep you faithful.  Simply be honest with God.