Do you ever get to the end of a week and look back to realize you didn't spend one minute purposely with God? Have you beat yourself up for not reading your Bible enough? Have you felt shame and guilt over not making time with God a priority? If your answer is "yes" to any one of these questions....trust me....you are not alone.
This post is not intended to heap more guilt on your already guilt ridden head. God does not want us coming to Him out of guilt or shame or an "I ought to" attitude. He wants us to come because we want to come. Because we miss Him. Because we want to hear from Him. Because we want to thank Him. Because we want to give Him praise for Who He is and what He has done. Because we know that when we come....He will meet us.
I was encouraging our son Taylor this week in this struggle to "find the time" in this fast pace, overscheduled life many of us live. I told him I believe one of the lies the enemy gets Christ followers to believe is....if I don't have 30 minutes or more to spend with God, it doesn't do much good. WRONG. LIE. NOT TRUE. FAR FROM RIGHT. Get the point? The enemy, as stupid as he is, knows that even 10 minutes in the presence of the Almighty can do more for our thirsty souls than we can ever imagine. This thought of "oh, I only have 10 minutes, I can't accomplish anything significant with Jesus in 10 minutes" is so far from true....but we believe it time and time again. The enemy loves it and the Father continues to wait.....for us to have more time.
So this week...I want to challenge you to take those 10 minutes you have, or 15, or maybe the 20 minutes you have....and get alone with Jesus. Pray, read a Proverb, sit in silence and listen to what He might speak to you. You will feel better and closer to God and the enemy will realize you got ahold of the truth....the truth that ANY time with God is valuable and worth every second!
Have you ever had a day where you just don't feel like exercising? Well, this was my day to drag my heels, tell myself how tired I was, discuss (with myself) how much I had exercised that week and how I surely needed a break....and on and on it went. As I was listing out all the reasons why I didn't want to go I knew what was best and remembered what I had committed to. So, out the door I went with heavy feet!
Just as I stepped into the water I noticed a small ripple began to slowly move it's way across the entire pool. I began to warm up on the stairs; the ripples became bigger and quicker. As I began swimming laps the ripples became more rapid and consistent. That's when I heard God whisper in my spirit, "that's your life. If you just obey and step in....I'll be the ripple effect from you to this world. The effects will be far and wide as they move out from you....I will use them for my Glory."
As I finished and began to dry off I noticed that the movement had continued without my body even being in the water anymore! Ladies, that's how it works. Long after a conversation or an encounter with our spouse, children, neighbors, co-workers, those along our day; He will continue the ripple effect....the effect of grace, love, support, prayer, words of encouragement that we gave out along the way.
So, even if you don't feel like it today.....just step in and wait and see what He will do with your ripple effect!
Hey Everyone...welcome to our new blog site! Tracie and I are adding something new to Living Well Ministry in the form of blogging and video devotions...there should be new posts coming each week starting today..so we hope you will come along for the ride. Entering the world of blogging is a venture that can be intimidating and filled with questions....who will read it? who would want to read it? do we really have anything to say? with all the great stuff out there already, do we really have anything to add? These questions have kept us silent too long and we are feeling God saying "do it...please!" So we are. Our heart's prayer is that in some small thing we might say or write, your heart will be encouraged and touched by Him. So...let's get going!
God has taken me on quite a journey these past 6 months in the area of my health and fitness. It all started with me getting back on the wagon, AGAIN I might add, to try to get the 20 pounds off I've been trying to rid myself of for the past 18 years. I began by pulling out my journal and writing down my goals, eating plan, and over all strategy to get the job done. I imagined myself toned and lean all over and looking fabulous for my 44 year old self. Along with my vivid imagination was a hope that somehow THIS TIME would be different and the weight would fall off for good. I wanted a miracle.
So, I began....out of nowhere God entered the journey and BOOM! things began to change. When He came on the scene and began to deal with me about some habits I had and lies I'd been believing about myself...the journey became about obeying Him, not about losing weight. So here I am 6 months later, 20 pounds lighter and living in the truth about myself and a different outlook on my health. I got that miracle....He was the miracle.
So yesterday I struggled all day with my attitude. I had no good reason to be grumpy and impatient and irritable, but found myself battling it all day long. After dinner I ran out to get some kleenex for my sweet man who has a cold...I found myself wanting some ice cream. Badly. I thought " I'll get me a Dove Icecream bar....I deserve it...that'll make me feel better...yeah...a Dove bar...yum!"
Right after that thought came the Holy Spirit speaking to my heart "Elizabeth, I can give you so much more than a Dove bar can...come to Me." I realized in that moment that I was trying to feel better and feed my flesh with food instead of going to the One who has everything I could ever need. I began to pray and ask God to come and settle me. You know what?....He did.He came in His sweet, comforting way and washed over my soul and brought joy to my heart. Not a shallow joy like a Dove bar would have brought for about 2 minutes, but a deep, satisfying, wonderful, stay with me kind of joy that went deep into my soul. It was a beautiful moment and I learned that too often I turn to other things to fill me when God is there with what I need and so much more.
Now I want you to know that eating a Dove bar is not sinful...you might just find me eating one sometime soon! But when we go to those things looking for comfort, peace, rest and happiness...they simply will not satisfy us like He will. He wants us coming to Him to fill those places...not looking for what we need in something as shallow as ice cream.
So what are you turning to today instead of responding to His call to "Come to Me"? No matter what it is...He is so much better.