Assuming the driver of our road trip knew where he was headed? Hours-long detour.

Me assuming my wife took all the kids home from church? A trip back to church to get the kid I left behind.

My wife assuming I know where those three things she needs at the grocery store are located? Dinner delay.

You get the idea. Assuming can be dangerous business.

In Matthew 6 (historically known as part of the “Sermon on the Mount”), although assuming can be dangerous, “Danger” seems to be Jesus’ middle name. As He preaches to a crowd gathered on the hillside, He gives instructions about three spiritual disciplines He assumes we will follow through with…

Matthew 6:2 – When you give…

Matthew 6:5 – When you pray…

Matthew 6:7 – When you fast…

Giving, praying, and fasting. He spends no time discussing whether or not we should do these things; instead He assumes we will. I imagine that’s because those were (and still are) popular things to do. In fact, with each set of instructions, He gave real life examples from people who were already doing them. The issue isn’t our motions; it’s our motives behind the motions.

You’re going to give.

A homeless person, a Salvation Army bucket, a Girl Scout selling cookies, the offering plate at your church.

You’re going to pray.

You’ll “bless the food,” pray for safe travels on a road trip, or pray for that growing list of things you think you need.

You’re going to fast.

Actually, Jesus could rightly assume that in His culture, but no so much in American culture. We have the opposite problem.

Either way, what Jesus is getting at is this: it’s not just what we do, but even more importantly, it’s how and why we do it.

The launch of a new year (and in this case, a new decade) feels like a new start. A clean slate. As we work hard to form healthier habits and make 2020 into a great year, let’s make sure it’s not just our motions that are right, but that our motives are right!

One of the best ways to do that is to spend time with God every day in prayer and reading His Word. Join Awaken Church throughout 2020 as we read the New Testament, Psalms, and Proverbs together. Just remember: it’s not about the reading as much as it’s about the rhythm. Download this month’s reading plan at!