I needed God in those Bible study moments to soften me to see the WHO and not the WHAT from those chapters. In the end, I felt so encouraged to see that God is continually revealing Himself to us through His Word, and helping us to know Him in deeper ways.
We are called to praise throughout the Scriptures and this is not limited to one kind of praise. Singing worship on a Sunday morning is great, but our praise of God should never end there. Praise is not a moment in time. And it’s not a spiritual gift that only a select few participate in. Scripture tells us to “let everything that has breath praise the Lord. Praise the Lord” (Psalm 150:6). When we praise, we are simply ascribing worth to God. Praise is an attitude of the heart, and should be like a sweet fragrance that oozes from our pores.
Confession is often our practice of admitting sin to God or to each other, which is what freaks us out. But it isn’t just that. Confession is telling the truth…which also freaks us out. Some truths are easy to tell, while others are scary. And telling the truth isn’t always about revealing sin. Sometimes it is just speaking honestly about how we feel, or admitting that we don’t “have it all together,” or that we just aren’t sure what God’s up to–or if He’s up to anything at all.
Silence isn’t like going to a vending machine and knowing what you’re going to get if you put in your time and press D3 or B5 and out pops the candy bar or soda you selected. One day God talked with me about the trinity. Another I had a picture of taller stick figure walking with a shorter one and knew it was God and me.
It wasn’t all theologically deep and rich. One day I said, “I’m listening” and God said, “That’s good.” And we sat there.
Scripture memory, to put it candidly, is a matter of discipline, choice, and perseverance. Our minds will be full of SOMEthing. What is that something going to be for you? Lady Gaga lyrics? Sports stats? Maybe even a tad more concerning, all the names and info involving the latest bachelors or bachelorettes…?
It doesn’t take much does it? A few days here and there, a stressful circumstance or two, a marriage gone bad, a job lost, a busy season…most of the time it happens so quickly we don’t even realize the gravity of it until all hell breaks loose and we are not prepared for battle.
I liked the discipline of the rule and what it afforded me—the opportunity to be on spiritual autopilot instead of searching my heart and evaluating the “why.” The rule removed me from seeking the Lord and navigating what I know it means to walk in the Spirit. My dependence rested on a rule instead of my God, who wants me to weigh a situation and ask Him if I am making the best choice.
As this word kept coming to my heart and mind, I couldn’t stop thinking of how it gets thrown around in so many different circles. When you ask a beauty queen at a pageant whIMG_0045at she wishes for, you can almost always expect to hear, “World Peace.” (Miss Congenitally reference? Anyone?) Or when you drive around at Christmas time you can almost always see, “Peace on Earth” displayed in the yards of your neighborhood. I hear this word often, but have I ever stopped to reflect on its meaning? Its significance? Have I ever really experienced peace in life?
My problem wasn’t my litany of mom-fails; my problem was my misplaced identity. I’d been measuring my worth on a scale of everything but Jesus. Pinterest, Martha Stewart, the gluten-free Joneses…I was speeding on the expressway to fruitless living.
I’ll never forget the first time I performed a Christian fast as a new believer. I was on a mission trip in England and the leader called our team to fast together. Although I was a stranger to any sort of spiritual discipline, I was no stranger to going without food for a period of time. I was recently saved from a worldly lifestyle where I invested much time in my looks.