Another Monday has found us..these pesky things just keep showing up. 😛 I had a pretty *fantastic* weekend, so I’m hoping that momentum will carry me into a great week. Of course I do have a birthday coming up, so that should help. 😉
Today I thought I’d share with you what my birthday gift to myself is going to be. <What? You don’t give yourself a birthday gift? Well just you wait…maybe you will after reading this! *wink*>
Luckily for you I’ve already unwrapped it <jk…I didn’t really wrap it for myself!>, so here it is…a daily reading bible!
Earlier this month I really started to feel the Lord calling me to read through His word during this next year. It’s not something I’ve ever seriously considered before…always felt a little daunting & some of those old testament books…yikes! However, through my personal time of study and discussions with my home group, Sunday School class, and Experiencing God groups at church I’ve been reminded of several truths that I had forgotten about a little bit.
~ God pursues an intimate love relationship with me.
See, I tend to fall into the trap of thinking of the things I need to do better, the things I need to do more of, the things I am or am not doing for the Lord. Basically I, I, I. Then, when I fell short…didn’t say my prayers, missed my quiet time, fell back into a sin…it felt easier to just give up for a bit and say “I’ll start working on that again next week.”
What I’m learning more and more is that doing things on my own accord will always end in failure, even if I’ve got the best intentions. God is pursuing me, so I need to drop my agenda and wait for Him to reveal Himself to me and to direct my path. That doesn’t mean that prayer or reading my bible aren’t important <they are essential!> but what it does mean is that my focus should be on Him, not on what Christian checklist I did or didn’t check off that day.
As my relationship with Him grows, spending time is His word and with Him in prayer will become a natural outpouring of that connection. I have experienced this type of closeness with Christ before, and I remember the peace and ease I felt. I’ll take the Lord’s peace over the frustration and guilt I have been feeling in my Christian walk as of late.
~ God reveals His plans and purposes through His word.
Sometimes life seems to come with so many question marks. And yet, God reveals His nature and ways through the Word. I had never really stopped to consider that we can learn about the way He interacts with us based on the way He interacted with people throughout history in the bible. <Now that I say it all I can think is “duh!’…but it’s kind of been an aha moment for me.> When we examine the bible we see that God does speak, that time and time again people recognized His “voice” and heard His direction for their lives.
The hang-ups for me come when I also realize that…
– He doesn’t speak in formulas. Only Moses had a burning bush. I can’t expect to interact with God in the same way Moses did, because just as I am a unique creation in Christ, so is my relationship with Him.
– He often doesn’t reveal the entire plan. This is a big hurdle for me to overcome, because I like to know the end results, as long as the steps along the way. What I’m seeing in scripture and through my studies is that God often just shows you what He wants you to do in that moment. As you trust Him in that moment and obey, He will lead you step by step down the path of His choice. <To just give me the plan would eliminate the need for faith, for a relationship.>
Are you catching hold of the key here? It’s all about a relationship. That’s what I’ve really lost along the way. These days I’ve seen that I talk at God much more often than I talk or listen to Him. I’ve been reading the Word without purpose or direction.
~ God will never ask me to do something that goes against His nature.
This one isn’t new to me, but it does help me with that burning question of “Is this really God talking to me? Is it my own voice? Is it Satan playing a big trick on me?” God will never ask something of me that goes against who He is, and who He is isn’t a secret…it’s laid out in the bible. Pair that with the growing relationship with Christ and learning to recognize the ways in which He speaks to me and that question can be put to rest. Isn’t that a relief?!
So all these revelations from Christ have really convicted me. I am so thankful that God is actively pursuing me and for the lessons He has been teaching me. I want to know Him more, and that’s where this birthday gift comes in. His word is really a gift for all of us, and during this next year I want to really take time to enjoy it.
As I talked with friends and researched what Bible translation would be best, I heard over and over how the Message reads more like a novel. Since I’m not looking for a study bible, it felt like a great fit for just sitting down with the Lord and feasting on His word. This particular version <Remix: Pause> struck me because it’s about hitting the pause button and slowing down life for a bit. Another lesson I’ve learned is how God doesn’t want us to be busy for Him for the sake of being busy. Sometimes, He wants us to pause and just wait on Him.
That’s what I’m praying this experience with Christ will do for me. Help me to pause each day, to develop my relationship with Him, and to get to know Him through His word in a new and fresh way.
One last thing…accountability in the Christian walk is huge. I’m asking you guys, and would love for you to, help hold me accountable by asking me, e-mailing me, or shooting me a comment checking in with me. I feel God calling me to do this, and with His help I will follow through on it.
KEEP CALM & SEE WHAT GOD HAS FOR YOU IN HIS WORD TODAY!