With all the challenges and changes that this year is bringing in my life, I must admit that it is also filled with God’s great blessings and His peace. It seems to be a sweet spot, a sweet season, where I am walking in His will.
I’ve been seeking God for many years, trying to discern His will for my life. The world and its understandings and teachings had infiltrated my Christian life more than I’d like to admit. It is a difficult process of pruning away the unnecessary and repenting of my sinful patterns to allow God to mold me and to teach me His ways. I am still a work in progress, but this last year has been a great year of growth for me.
Here are some major changes that have brought me to this place:
- Eliminating Cable TV – seriously. Garbage in = Garbage out. This is one very subtle way that Christians have allowed the world to influence their hearts and their thoughts and therefore their lives. Turn off the TV. Be very selective in what you choose to watch.
- Walk by Faith not by Sight – stepping out in faithful obedience to what God has asked me to do was scary and costly (according to the world’s standards). Many probably view my decisions as foolish. But they have created margin in my life, given me the ministry of availability, and freed up my time and energy from the good things for the God things.
- Studying God’s Word – I’ve “studied” the Bible for many years, but it wasn’t until this past year that I really learned how to dig in deep and ask God to reveal Himself to me through His word. Don’t just read your Bible, learn to study it, ask questions and find the answers. Kay Arthur’s inductive Bible study techniques are worth checking into. Gather some seasoned Christians around you and study together. Iron sharpens iron. This takes an investment of time.
- Learn to say No. I’ve learned that others would love to fill up my “free time”. I have to be laser focused and only take on those things that God has called me to do, not what others have asked me to do. This requires a mature faith, a history with God, knowing your own heart, and a lot of prayer time. Having open space on your calendar is a must. Do not fill it up.
- Stop valuing what others think above what God thinks of you. This includes your own family. God must be in the pilot seat of our lives – not the voice(s) of others, and especially not my own desires. Check your self-talk and eliminate all negativity. Walk with a grateful heart.
- Balancing Mary and Martha – most women have a serving side that doesn’t know when to take a seat at the feet of Jesus. Yet if we haven’t sat at His feet and allowed Him to speak and work in our lives, we have nothing from which to serve others. Sit at His feet beloved.
- Trust God – REALLY trust Him with everything: provision, health, equipping, the salvation of others, opening doors that seem to be bolted closed, moving mountains, doing miracles. He alone is trustworthy. He is sovereign over all creation. His ways are best for me. Stop worrying and pray.
Obedience brings blessing. God has prepared many good works for us to do. He has more to teach us and to show us. Never stop seeking Him.
As he said these things, a woman in the crowd raised her voice and said to him, “Blessed is the womb that bore you, and the breasts at which you nursed!” But he said, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and keep it!” (Luke 11:27-28 ESV)
For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. (Ephesians 2:10 ESV)
Each of us is given the same amount of time in a day. Few of us know when our time on this earth will come to an end. We are not promised a tomorrow. Being intentional with how we live this one life will affect our eternity and possibly the eternity of others. Prune away the unnecessary. Focus on God and His plan. Be intentional with your time, energy and resources. Rest in Him.
Be encouraged. Press on.