Writer by day, transcriber by night, Renee is a boy mom, PPD survivor, recovering fear-a-holic, and former educator. She lives on Christ and caffeine as she attempts to finally transcend mediocrity and live the life Jesus died for her to have. When not tied to her desktop and swimming in coffee, the native Floridian can be found wherever the water is salty, spending time with her son and husband of 15 years.
She’s a contributor to Disney's Babble, The Huffington Post, and The Washington Post. You can learn more about Renee’s journey and her passion for helping women find their worth in the Word, not the world, at [email protected] Scribe.
FINDING TIME FOR GOD’S WORD: HELP FOR THE BUSY BELIEVER
Spending time in God’s Word doesn’t have to take hours. There’s no rule that says you have to lock yourself away for three hours a day to study His word. I wonder if many of us feel that since we can’t schedule x amount of time, why bother. I know I’ve felt like that in the past.
TIME IN GOD’S WORD: QUALITY VS QUANTITY
I’m convinced that God is more concerned with the quality rather than the quantity.
SPENDING TIME IN THE WORD IS REALLY A MATTER OF THE HEART AND NOT A MATTER OF THE AMOUNT OF TIME SPENT.
Ideally, our day should be structured around our quiet time.
That may mean getting up before everyone else in the house to spend a few minutes in the Word to get that quiet time that will set the tone for the rest of your day. (Remember, the early bird gets the
It may mean reinventing yourself as a night owl, allowing the special time with Him to bring you peace and lull you to sleep.
But, most likely, because of the world we live it, it may mean grabbing snippets here and there throughout the day. And that’s better than not spending time in the Word at all.
AT YOUR FINGERTIPS
Spending time in the Word on-the-go isn’t ideal, but with so many ways to make that happen, it’s certainly an option. Carry a small Bible or devotion in your bag. Download a bible or devotional app or Godly podcast for your smart phone. Listen to a teaching CD on your commute.
Frankly, there are so many different ways for us to get God’s word into our ears and hearts that there’s really no excuse to not do it anymore.
TECHNOLOGY HAS MADE ACCESS TO GOD’S WORD SIMPLE.
So no matter how, find a minute here and there. God’s word in your ears, brain, AND heart will help defend you from the enemy’s attacks. It will strengthen you. It will encourage you. It will make a difference in you.
If you’re new to the Word–and even if you aren’t–I believe a great place to start (if you haven’t already) is with finding out who you are in Him.
I’ve just now started understanding who I am in Him.
Not who I think I might be. Not who someone told me I was (or wasn’t). Not who the enemy would like me to think I am. Not who I think I should be. No, none of that!
I’m talking about who He says I am.
I don’t say this lightly by any stretch of the imagination: It’s impossible to know how much He loves you and what kind of a life He truly wants you to have without understanding who you are in Him. I’m talking about your true identity–who Christ died for you to be.
When you learn what He thinks of you, how much He loves you, the affectionate names that He calls you, how He has actually equipped you to be bold and courageous, everyday life takes on new meaning.
Once you find your true identity, you’re then enabled to think about yourself as God does. You’ll start to see yourself as He sees you.
YOU’LL BEGIN WANTING WHAT HE WANTS FOR YOU AND YOUR LIFE.
Remember that spending time in God’s Word isn’t about time; it’s a matter of the heart. It’s that you’re actually putting aside a small block of time, no matter how hurried and scurried you are, as an expression of your need for Him in your life, your need to have a two-way relationship, and your desire to be obedient to Him. It’s more about how much you’re yearning to hear from Him, spend time with Him, and invest in your relationship with Him.
Here’s a list of my favorite scriptures (linkable) that will give you a jumpstart to finding out your true identity:
How will you make the effort to start spending time in His Word today?
Pretty big lizard, eh?
He’s actually on
our dock right now. I’m on vacation and experiencing the Iguana Invasion of The Florida Keys. But nothing could stop me from connecting with you!
We met this big, large-and-in-charge guy last year during our stay. This year, my son brought his live trap, hoping to capture this lizard we’ve named Charlie, to get an even closer look at him! It’s our fourth night here and no luck yet.
I’m wondering if Charlie will be able to resist the trap for much longer. He comes very close to taking the bait. I think it’s just a matter of finding his weakness. Is it mullet? Is it crab? Is it a piece of leftover, fried snapper? We’re studying him and learning just what might prove successful. It’s a lot of trial and error and has become a game of sorts. I suppose if I were Charlie it’d be chocolate-covered popcorn that would sucker me in.
How about you?
What would lure you back again and again…
and maybe even ensnare you?
Chocolate-covered popcorn your weakness, too?
Or is your weakness…
An old habit?
Lack of Faith?
Your past failures?
Your past life?
While it’s true that I’m a sucker for sweet-and-salty in the form of crunchy goodness, I do have some serious weaknesses that the enemy uses to entice me to put myself first–to cause me get my eyes off of God, to unravel, and maybe even to “pitch a lil’ fit,” as we say here in the South. (I’ve not been the most patient on this trip, friend, I’m embarrassed to admit. Smutty Face has definitely been working on my weaknesses–setting traps loaded with temptation that’ll lead to my frustration and reveal my life-long struggle with patience.) He’s been baiting the trap with little inconveniences that may cause me to lose my cool.
What’s the enemy baiting the trap with today that’s going to play on your weakness? What will he dangle in front of you to get your eyes off of God, to distract you, to frustrate you, to entice you, to lead you astray?
Don’t underestimate our clever opponent, the great deceiver, friend. He’s studied each of us and knows our every weakness–and is always upping the stakes in the game. He’s patient and doesn’t mind the extra effort of trial and error to ensure his win.
BUT DON’T BE AFRAID
James 4:7 tells us to …submit to [the authority of] God. Resist the devil [stand firm against him] and he will flee from you.
During this 4th of July holiday, as we reflect on our independence and celebrate the freedoms we have as a nation, let’s remember the freedom we’ve been gifted because of what Christ did for us on The Cross. We are made free in Him, friend.
2 Corinthians 3:17 says:
Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty [emancipation from bondage, true freedom].
in case you need reminding: YOU are a friend of the King! That’s your title!
And anyone with that title behind her name surely has the power to resist the strategic snares of the enemy and exercise freedom. Stand up and fight alongside your friend, The King of Independence, and claim your liberty from guilt, sin, and condemnation!
May we diligently keep Him the center of everything today that we may resist the temptations that are put in front of us.
No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it. 1 Corinthians 10:13
Thanks for letting me come into your life today, friend. Before we part, I just want to remind you that no matter what this world would have you believe, YOU are HIS masterfully-crafted love incarnate. And nothing can change that.
IDENTITY. FOUND. FINALLY.
We’d spent so much time together, growing and sharing and changing while submerged in comfortable darkness—perhaps the only time darkness can ever truly be comfortable.
When I was a small child, maybe four, I’d daydream about her snuggling with me in the warmth of our mother’s love. We knew not who we ourselves were, but I suspect that in our own way we understood the bond—felt it.
The two of us came from one. We were indistinguishable to all except the One who’d masterfully formed us. We were to be delivered into a world that had no choice but to welcome us—well, in an ideal world, I suppose.
But, friend, I bet I don’t have to remind you that this isn’t an ideal world, do I?
Sometimes God allows one twin to stay here in this imperfect habitation while another He chooses to take Home.
I spent most of my childhood and adolescence grieving for Delise. Isn’t that a beautiful name? Perfect name for the perfect child who would live in the perfect place with the perfect Savior.
My days were silently filled with wonderings of why her and not me.
Why did God leave me here?
Why did He choose her and not me?
He must’ve left me here for a reason—to do something great. (No pressure there, right?)
Maybe I thought that it wasn’t really so much about not being chosen as it was simply being denied to be in His presence. I wasn’t good enough?
Needless to say, I struggled in finding my identity, more than the average girl. I simply crumbled under the pressure of being left here to do some miraculous work—to justify to myself (and everyone else?) why I was chosen to stay.
I was crushed by the pain of missing the other half of me. Somehow I knew that if she was here with me that I’d have comfort; I would have meaning with my companion by my side.
When this damaged, limited, broken world fills a hurting, fearful mind and heart with a lot of the stuff it feels the need to offer—brokenness, fear, and plain old junk, well, it’s pretty easy to believe that you’re not good enough, special enough, smart enough, woman enough…that you’re a failure, nobody, and worthless. Sweet friend, I’ve been a certifiable, anxious introvert with deep-seated trust issues for decades because of two reasons: One, I believed the things the world said about me. (I believed what the world wanted me to believe.) Second, I didn’t know who I was, my true identity.
Let’s Get Real Here.
How is it that the world beats us down to nothing, telling us we’re insignificant failures who’ll never be good enough so why bother? (And we buy into it!) Yet, this same world
expects demands that we attain the unattainable—perfectionism? Crazy, right?
Well, I say to the world: YOU DON’T KNOW ME!
Say this to yourself and claim it as your own, with an attitude! Say it like you mean it. You’re doing battle with the world, after all. [May I suggest saying it in your best hip-hop, gangsta rap voice–minus the expletives, of course?]
This world may have shaped and molded me more than I’d like to admit, but it did not make me; Therefore, it does not define me. My Maker, my Molder, the One who knows my secret ingredients because He used them to Masterfully create me—that’s Who really knows me. That’s Who defines me!
I’m convinced that had I started learning of my true identity earlier in life, I wouldn’t have accepted so easily that which the world wanted me to believe about myself. The enemy wouldn’t have so easily been able to manipulate me and my thoughts. I wouldn’t have allowed that plethora of questions I had no answers for haunt me into my adulthood. I would’ve known my worth is in Him, not this world.
And I wouldn’t have struggled for so long!
Are you like me?
Have you suffered a decades-long identity crisis?
Have you been spending too much time in the world and not enough time in His Word?
Have fear and low self-worth kept you a prisoner?
Have you been looking for your identity in someone else, maybe even someone who is no longer here on this Earth?
I Have Good News.
It’s not too late to find out your true identity! It’s not too late to be restored! It’s not too late to let yourself off of the hook and live the life you’re meant to. One of abundance.
The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance [to the full, till it overflows]. John 10:10
I encourage you to spend some time with the One who wonderfully crafted you with His own hands. Read His promises for you and your life. Read about how much He loves you and the many affectionate names He calls you. (Yes, our Heavenly Father has nicknames for us!)
He has proclaimed you as a child of the King! And no child of the King should be a slave to the world. I promise that your worth can be found in His Word, not your world.
BUT DON’T TAKE MY WORD FOR IT—OR ANYONE ELSE’S. FIND OUT FOR YOURSELF!
Here’s a short list of verses to get you started on the journey to learning who you really are—not who the world says you are, not who your parents wanted you to be, not who the enemy says you’re not, but your true identity—Who you are in Him.