Major confession: My time with the Lord lately is thin and flimsy.
Problem #1: I've distracted myself with shopping, crafting, reading, writing and just about anything besides sitting quietly and spending time with God.
Problem #2: Because of Problem #1, I've filled up my life with things — things that don't fulfill the deep desires of my heart. I'm running on empty and I continuously turn to these things to attempt to fill my "cup." Yet, these things drain out of said cup faster than I can keep up with.
I'm in a crazy cycle that has lasted about three weeks, and my life is a bit off kilter. This is what happens when my time with the Lord is replaced with other things. I'm hoping to get back on track with a strategy, and if you find yourself in the same boat as I've put myself in, I would love for you to join me.
Step 1: Evaluate my time spent online. This is a tough one, and it is my biggest drain of energy and minutes in the day. Click after click I spin farther away from my absolute priority: time with God. I know that there are meaningful things to do on the Internet, but I want God to know that He is more important. "Liking" a page on FB or tweeting about my latest shopping excursion to Target can wait. With that thought in mind, I've determined that I must not open my laptop in the morning until I have opened my Bible and opened my heart to what God wants me to hear for that day.
Step 2: Get out my journal and a pen when I open my Bible. By writing out a Bible verse or journaling my prayers, this keeps me engaged with the words in the Word. Asking myself, what am I going to do differently today based on the scripture I just studied is what keeps things real and actionable in my life and holds me accountable for what the Lord is teaching me. Though it is not easy to actually do something after my time with the Lord, I'm convinced that God blesses those who put to action the commands from His word.
Step 3: Scripture memory — a tough one for me. Memorizing Bible verses and Bible passages is a tried and true way to replace the junk in my mind with words that are meaningful and lasting. Every time I'm tempted during the day, I can refer to my Bible verses to replace those unproductive thoughts with time-tested scripture. I've been so resistant for so long to memorize scripture, but this empty cup of mine and my efforts to fill it up with shopping or Facebook is just no longer cutting it. So it is time to get down to business.
This week, will you join me in my three steps to getting back on track with God? Will you join me in the tough step 3, memorizing at least one key verse from a passage of Scripture that always touches my heart, Psalm 84? I think it will solidify our need to make Jesus the priority over every part of our life. Here it is, in the NLT version:
Psalm 84:1-4, 9-10
1 How lovely is your dwelling place,
O LORD of hosts!
2 My soul longs, yes, faints
for the courts of the LORD;
my heart and flesh sing for joy
to the living God.
3 Even the sparrow finds a home,
and the swallow a nest for herself,
where she may lay her young,
at your altars, O LORD of hosts,
my King and my God.
4 Blessed are those who dwell in your house,
ever singing your praise!
9 Behold our shield, O God;
look on the face of your anointed!
10 For a day in your courts is better
than a thousand elsewhere.
I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God
than dwell in the tents of wickedness.
I can't wait to get back on track with some meaningful time with the Lord. I'm excited to pour into the scripture with you this week and experience an outpouring of God's love and wisdom in His word!
Take a moment to read over Psalm 84 1-4, 9-10 and even re-write it in your journal. Follow this link to a journal prompt that I call Soaking in the Psalms, something that can help you in your journaling of Scripture. Choose one verse to memorize this week. Then leave me a comment with which verse in Psalm 84 you are going to memorize and tell me how this verse speaks to you.
Get Your Praise On by Jenifer Jernigan — this is Sarah's latest favorite devotional book. A very creative and fun way to spend time with the Lord.
Sarah can't believe she just admitted to flimsy and light-weight time with God. She really and truly desires a heavy-weight faith. Join her on her blog for her journey and read her thoughts straight from her journal. www.liveitoutblog.com
© 2011 by Sarah Martin. All rights reserved.
For more devtionals like this one, check out Proverbs 31 Ministries