Overlooking the Obvious
April 3, 2009 • By Ed Wrather
And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers. - Acts 2:42 NKJV.
A woman in Kissimmee, Florida had a real problem, and so she called 911. The woman thought that she was locked inside of her car after the electrical system stopped working. She tried again and again to open the doors with the electric door locks, but nothing happened. She complained to the 911 dispatcher that it was getting hot, and she was not feeling very well. The dispatcher though had a great idea, the dispatcher told the woman to manually unlock the car door, and…it worked. In the words of the woman who thought she was locked inside her car, “Um, I’m sorry.”
Have you ever been in a similar situation, a situation in which you were growing more and more desperate, but suddenly you realized, or someone told you the solution which was very simple? I know I have been in situations like that before. Even though we may have been Christians for many years we still often overlook the obvious spiritual solution.
One of those things that we often overlook as Christians is the vital necessity of prayer. No matter what the situation prayer is available to us. We can verbalize our prayers and God will hear us. We can pray non-verbally and God will still hear us. We may only have time for a very short prayer, as in, “Help me!” But God hears all prayers that are according to His will as the apostle John tells us, “…if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him (1 John 5:14b-15).” When the world around us is going crazy we can pray and God will give us peace, peace “which surpasses all understanding,” and that peace “will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
Something else that should be obvious to Christians that we overlook is the reading of the Bible. We know we ought to read the Bible, but we have not made it a habit and put it into our daily schedule. As a result, we may go for weeks or months without really sitting down and reading the Word of God. We wonder why it is so hard to cope with the circumstances that life sends our way. We wonder why we have a hard time handling things emotionally. It is because as Jesus says, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God (Matthew 4:4).” If we want strength to live life as it ought to be lived, we need a daily intake of the Word of God.
It is troubling to me that one of the most overlooked things in the life of many Christians today is attending church. It should be obvious that attending church is God’s will, because church was God’s idea. Christ died for the church, and He is head of the church (Colossians 1:18). It should be obvious that if you are not attending church that you are not in God’s will for your life. Yes, there are hypocrites in the church, but they are God’s problem not yours. If we want to grow as Christians we need the church, and we should do as the writer of the book of Hebrews says, “let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching (Hebrews 10:24-25).”
Let us not overlook as Christians the most obvious essentials of our faith. Prayer, Bible, and Church are not optional accessories; they are essentials that every child of God needs integrated into their lives.