Hello, my friends! I’m finally sitting down to write this post…I’ve taken a bit longer, because of all of the “doable resources for peace and sanity” posts, this one is the most important. We’ve arrived at what I consider to be the linchpin that holds the wheel of my life on its axle. Without this one, there is nothing that makes my life make sense. I approach the writing of this post with a bit of trepidation. I write this with gentleness and humility, knowing that I need to live this authentically more than anyone else; God holds me responsible to live what I teach.
So far we’ve talked about having a doable routine and a doable organizational system. While we are forming our routine and finding our sweet spot with organization, it is of the greatest importance to place our alone time with Jesus right at the top of that list.
We may think that our time with Jesus is about us – gaining strength and direction for our day…our lives. Although, we do gain strength and direction, starting our day before the throne of grace is actually the best and most powerful thing we can do for our marriages and our children.
Our culture indoctrinates us to believe that our lives should be focused on us – our happiness, our fulfillment, our comfort, our success. We get antsy when the tangible stuff of this world doesn’t “do it” for us. I have been guilty of transferring this mentality to my relationships, including the most important one – the one with my Savior.
We know in our heads that we aren’t going to find fulfillment in anything but Jesus, but do we live it? This is the true purpose of Jesus time – not about our focus, our filling up, our faith – but allowing His TRUTH to penetrate down into the very marrow of our bones.
A few years ago, I read a book, by Kyle Idleman, titled Not a Fan. If you haven’t read it, I encourage you to do so. The author writes about how Jesus wasn’t looking for fans while He was here on earth; He was looking for followers who would take up their cross; He is the same today.
Reading this book was like stepping on a rake – the handle coming up to smack me between the eyes! Whack! The premise of this book is a complete affront to our all-about-me culture. It was convicting.
James 1:22 says that we should be doers of the Word, not just hearers. We must allow His truth to touch every area of our lives. Nothing held back. Rooted and grounded in the Word of God. Sometimes this doesn’t look or feel pretty. It takes us being completely humble before God, confessing and repenting from our sin, and being willing to lay every agenda and insecurity down at His feet.
I have a confession – I love super hero movies; Captain America is my absolute favorite! Maybe it’s because I have lived in chains of slavery, bound by bitterness, anger, and pain, that I never tire of oohing and ahhhing about my freedom in Christ. It’s still hard for me to wrap my mind around! Being a Christ follower is the coolest thing in the universe because I have access to the throne of God, through the sacrifice that Jesus made for me and through no worthiness of my own! When the rubber meets the road, and I’m being called on to stand or sway, I want to live my faith in Christ according to HIS standards, not our world’s easily offended standards of wishy-washy “faith.”
I’ve learned that when I am diligent to start my day with Jesus time, I go to give God glory, I go to remind myself that He is God and I am not, I go to worship at His feet because He is holy holy holy and I am not, I go to lay down my pride and repent for anything that I have exalted above His will, I go to study and apply His Word to my life, I go to ask Him to make me a follower who would be willing to do anything He asks me to do, I go to thank and praise Him for not giving up on me, I go to invite Him to flow through me today to everyone He puts in my path, I go to suit up with the armor that He has given me, I go to put the enemy of my soul on notice that I’m not going to put up with any of his crap today.
My 2016 New Years resolution was to become a woman of prayer. I want to not just pray more, I want to have a strategic and powerful prayer life, to pray for my family, my friends, myself, my ministry, and anyone else God places on my prayer list. I have been praying through these resources: Fervent by Priscilla Shirer, The Power of a Praying Wife and The Power of a Praying Parent by Stormie Omartian. I also simply pray the scriptures over my family on a daily basis. I want to make myself available to Holy Spirit to teach and guide my children, and to support and love my husband.
One last thing, my friend, I encourage us all to lift our eyes. When we focus on ourselves…our pasts, our situations, our issues, our feelings, our emotions, our problems, our clothes, our social media popularity, our inability to control stuff, our weight, our stuff, our mess, our successes, our beauty, our smarts, our mistakes, our happiness, our depression, our fulfillment, our purpose, our want, our lack, our excess, our anything…it becomes our god. When we constantly look inside, or look outside with inward turned eyes, we see only how we measure up with human standards. Instead, let’s truly move our mind up. Let’s focus on the greatness of God – the God Who made the universe and everything in it, with just the words from His mouth. This same God knows us. He has always known us. Our names are written on His hands. He is our purpose. He is our strength. He is our joy. He is our Peace.