Wednesday, September 11, 2013

My Wake Up Call

Stillness.  Quiet.  Comfy PJs.  Fresh brewed coffee.  My Bible.  God.   Ahhhh.  It's priceless.  I never know what God will say, but He is always there with me.  Those of you who have been reading my blog for a while know how much I have come to LOVE, LOVE, LOVE my morning devotional time.  It is my essential start to the day.  I wrote an entire post a while back about taking time to be with God, "We Can't Make Time But We Can Take It."  Notice though, I said "I have come to love..."  Without telling you how old I am, let me just say that it wasn't until this past year (10 years of marriage and three kids later) that I finally found this routine that works so well for me.  I look forward to my alarm going off every morning no matter what time I go to bed, how much sleep I get, or how early I have to be out the door.  I wake up before everyone else in my house.  That's the key for me.  I need this time with God like I need my coffee in the morning.  

Confession time now because that's what I do with you.  I already told you it took me forever to get this whole daily devotional thing down, and I am still changing it up from time to time.  I knew devotional time everyday was important and many believers did it; but I still didn't really get it.  For a while, it was just another line item on my to-do list that only sometimes made it to the top.  It was another one of those things I knew I should do, but I had a million "buts" that took its place day after day.  Devotional time was hit or miss.  I had no idea what to do, when to do it, or how to do it, and asking for help meant admitting my inexperience and lack of knowledge.  People my age have all this stuff figured out, you know.  Please don't read this post as any sort of guilt trip because I have been the world's worst at daily devotional time.  My first attempts at it, embarrassingly enough, involved some bathroom reading material and depended on "nature's calling," not God's, if you know what I mean.  Really. 

Why in the world am I telling you this?   Because I wish someone had talked to me about it in a conversational way.  What I am learning as I get closer to God is that my relationship with Him is as I am, handmade by Him, one of a kind.  My time with God cannot possibly be defined or confined to a simple Wikipedia definition.  It is less about words and more about the experience, nurturing my personal relationship with God.  What works for me doesn't necessarily work for you.  God makes us unique on purpose, His purpose.  How we experience daily devotional time is just another example of His divine plan for each of us.  I will share a few things that have helped me grow in my daily time with God, transforming it from another item on my to-do list to a regular and necessary wake-up call for my soul.  

  • {Intentional Time}
I make a date with God everyday.  I have to plan it and actively make the effort to be with God.  For me, that means same time, even if it's a different place, each morning.  This way, time with God is not subject being swept away by my potentially crazy day.  It is a guarantee.
“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to 
you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened." 

  • {Quiet}
I need quiet so I can hear God and feel His presence.  It is very hard to hear His voice over the noise of busyness.
"My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. "

  • {Conversational Prayer}
I sometimes get hung up on "how and what" to pray each day.  The truth is, God just wants 
us to talk to Him about everything and everyone in our lives.  My daily time with God is a 
conversation, not just a time to give God my requests.  Prayer is a two-way street.  Like any strong relationship, we can't do all the talking.  Listening to God is crucial to giving our lives to Him.
"Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus."

  • {My Bible}
This Holy book is the key to my daily time with God.  It is His Word for us, even today (see my post, "Grab a Bible" for more).  The Bible is how God speaks to us, guiding us with examples, filling our hearts with His promises, and showing us His will for our own lives.
"Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path."

  • {Various Trusted Christian Influences of Your Choice}
I am learning that God keeps me on my toes.  I know I want His path for my life.  His Way, though, isn't always obvious or easy to find in the hustle and bustle of our day to day lives.  I am easily distracted by my circumstances, and there is always more to learn.  So, I have to be sure to renew my mind with God's positive influences- people, places, words, books, music, and media that are full of God's living presence in the here and now.
"Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of 
your mind.  Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is- His good, 
pleasing and perfect will."
  • {My To-Do List}
I started giving God my to-do list.  You heard me.  I pray about the people and things that are on my list for the day.  I had to quit compartmentalizing my life, similar to the separation of church and state that is so popular in our culture right now.  There were things I naturally and easily share with God on the one hand.  And on the other hand, there are things I need to quit trying to handle on my own, things I am not used to handing over to God.  But the more I get to know God, the more I am certain He wants all of me and all that comes with me.  The more I give to Him, the more He is able to use me for His amazing purposes.  The same goes for any of us who are willing to trust Him.
"Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for The Lord, not for human masters."

I encourage you to keep searching for your own Godly "sweet spot(s)" when it comes to spending time with your Creator, your Lord, your Redeemer, your Mighty Counselor, your Savior.  Expect changes with time.  Embrace them because God always knows exactly what we need.  And as always, I hope and pray that this post will help or inspire you in some way.  

A prayer for today-

Dear God,

I thank you for loving me, everything about me.  Thank you for being with me, for hearing me when I talk to you, for speaking to me, for guiding me, for comforting me, and for filling my heart with the peace of Christ.  I pray You will help me grow closer to You and breathe new life into my daily relationship with You.  You, Lord, are my rock, my redeemer, my Savior.

In the name of Jesus I pray,


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