"So encourage each other and build each other up ... " 1 Thessalonians 5:11
I hope to inspire and encourage others through my own life experiences and my faith ...
Wednesday, April 13, 2011
Challenge Part I - Prioritizing Him
So my journey begins ... I am eagerly seeking to grow closer and develop a deeper relationship with my God. There is so much that I know I need to do to achieve this but where to start? Well, I started with the most obvious - making time for Him!
My heart has heard you say, "Come and talk with me." And my heart responds, "LORD, I am coming." Psalm 27: 8
I have a confession to make ... I sleep with my phone next to my bed. It is the last thing I look at before I go to sleep. Before I even sit up in bed in the morning I reach over and pick it up to check my email. Then I go on to look at facebook and then I lazily roll out of bed and scramble to get the kids and myself ready for the day. I go crazy if I can't check my email right away ... don't even ask how often I check my email throughout the day. Sadly, I have made technology an idol in my life. It has come before almost everything and I am not proud to say that. I badly need to get my priorities in order! If I checked in with God as often as I do my email and facebook, I can't even imagine how much deeper my relationship with Him would be.
So, the very first thing I am doing is keeping my phone plugged into my kitchen wall at night- not next to my bed. This way I will not need to check in before bed and will not have immediate access to it right away in the morning. Also, I have pledged to [gulp] get up early every morning during the week to do quiet time. It is the only time of the day when I can be totally alone in silence to spend quality time with Him. Today my alarm went off at 6:15 and I sleepily got up, avoided the phone and made my way to my living room couch where I did day one of quiet time.
Here are my thoughts on the importance of prioritizing Him better ... and trust me when I say I am reaffirming this lesson for myself more then anyone else. As my bible foot notes put it, "The decision to follow Jesus should not be put off, even though other loyalties compete for our attention." I really struggle with slowing down. I am such a go, go, go person and although I try to make what I am doing about Him I fail to actually "check in with headquarters" as often as I should. How can I make my ministry, my everyday, my life about Him when I fail to put Him first? I need to be filled up with Him if I want to be my best for the world especially if what I am doing is for His glory. It is going to be so hard to slow down and rearrange my crazy schedule but doesn't He deserve my best?
Just think, if we are worn down by life, struggling to make it through each day how much better equipped will we be if we start out by seeking Him? I firmly believe that by giving Him the first part of my day He will in turn not only give me blessings but also make time for everything else I need to get through that day. It's like a balancing act- the scale will always be tipped if I am racing to be super mom, super wife, super writer, super everything all on my own ... I can't possibly keep up. But if I have Him on my side, making Him my number one I think that the scale will be balanced. I can accomplish more, achieve my goals and grow in leaps and bounds if I seek and allow Him to guide me.
"Trust Me enough to spend ample time with Me, pushing back the demands of the day. Refuse to feel guilty about something that is so pleasing to Me, the King of the universe. Because I am omnipotent, I am able to bend time and events in your favor. You will find that you can accomplish more in less time, after you have given yourself to Me in rich communion." -Jesus Calling, Sarah Young
Challenge: I challenge that you sacrifice a part of your day to spend time with Him. Whether that means getting up a little early, staying up a little late, changing your lunch break routine, etc. MAKE time to spend with Him. Read a bible passage or a couple pages of a good devotional. Give Him precious time in prayer and communication. You might not see amazing works happen right away but pay attention to what little things change throughout your day. YES, it will be hard to adjust to making this change. YES, it may disrupt your schedule and seem inconvenient. I promise though, you will be rewarded and this is the best first step to deepening your relationship with Him. Please share what changes you notice as you follow through with this challenge!
Prayer: LORD, I yearn to grow into a more intimate relationship with You. Please help me to make time for you today, tomorrow and this week. Help me to realize the importance of making You my first priority each day. I ask that You reveal yourself to me and shine Your face upon me. Deepen my desire to seek You and give me the strength to follow your guidance. Give me ears to hear Your words and eyes to see Your works in my life. Thank You for Your loving patience and for never giving up on me. Amen.