Monday, August 31, 2009

My New Personal Challenge...Day 1

Something that I admit I have always struggled with is staying constant in God's Word every day...I know it's a heart issue and that if I desired Him more, I'd want to spend more time with Him and desire in listening to His instruction and guidance every day. Well, I have been praying about it a lot lately and I have felt the Lord really prompting me to do something that it is a bit intimidating but also will help me stay the course with Him each and every day. I kept asking him, "Are you sure this is coming from you and not something I'm trying to do to "fix" what is a heart problem?" "Can I really do this?" Well, after going back and forth about it with him, He still hasn't let it leave my mind so I am going to take that as a big, "Yes"! and trust Him with the rest.

So I am going to start a year-long challenge that involves reading His Word each and every day. Yes, a year! Yikes! But with His help and prayer, I know it is possible. I am going to go thru the New Testament, Psalms, and Proverbs over the next year. I realize that this can easily fall into a "law-driven" thing and not a heart driven thing, but like I said, I am just trusting that God will take care of that as I listen to His instruction and guidance. Obedience is very much a heart issue, so if I'm willing to obey Him with a joyful heart, that in itself is a form of worship.

So here's the link with the plan that I am going to be following just in case anyone gets on here and is interested in following along. It's only chapter or two of reading a day so it looks very doable. And even if you get something out of just one verse, that's great!

I have also created a bit of a way to get something more out of each passage. I learned it through a study I did last year and it helped immensely. I simply write down in my journal any verses out of that passage that stick out to me and that I want to meditate on (usually 2-3 verses). I then will pray over them, and just kind of let is soak in and see if God is telling me anything specific, then I write it down as well. Then I write the question, "How can I put this verse into action"? James says to not just be hearers of the word but doers. I know I fall short of the "doer" part and really want to change that with God's help. After all, without Him, I can do nothing. In Hebrews it says "The Word living and active, sharper than any double-edged sword." How cool if I can really experience that as a reality in my life day after day...and not just on occasion.

In addition, I am hoping to blog each day about what God is showing me. Maybe a nugget or two of a passage that stuck out to me or that I am still processing. Hopefully it will bless someone who needs to hear a word or some encouragement on any given day. I'll let God lead that. He knows who that "someone" will be. It'll also be a source of accountability for myself. We'll see how it goes. I know I may fail on days, but I realize I am not under law, but under the grace of my Lord Jesus Christ. My heart will be the driving force here and nothing else. "My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever." Psalm 73:26

So here's my first nugget that the Lord has given me today. It's not ironic that He would plan this as my first lesson. You'll understand when you read ahead. In reading Psalm 1 and 2, I read about finding delight in the law (or instruction) of the Lord and what fruit will come of it.

"But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night.
He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season
and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers." Psalm 1:2-3

"Serve the Lord with fear and rejoice with trembling" Psalm 2:11

I realize I haven't delighted enough in following God's instruction and definitely don't fear the Lord enough. I pray that God will change my heart in this. Also the part that keeps coming back to me is the fruit that will come from it. After all, what do we try to teach our kids? Obedience brings blessings, and disobedience brings consequences...but we also want them to obey with a happy heart, then even more fruit will come of it. We all want to be "good" deep down and want to have some kind of purpose in life and know that we matter. My prayer today was that with God's help, I would start finding anything and everything to find delight in what God has instructed me in, and that He would start planting the seeds of His word in my heart more and more so that prosperous fruit would begin to come. I also realize this may not be an overnight change, but something that takes time, patience and waiting, but I must stay rooted in His word no matter what I see on the outside. Fruit doesn't form overnight, sometimes takes quite a while, so that is when I have to remember to stay rooted in His word, even if I'm not seeing results yet, and trust that He will not fail me in producing the fruit of His Spirit that He has promised. For His promises are true!

Thank you, Lord for Your instruction and Your unfailing love for us. And that you keep your promises! Help us to put your Word into action so we can see the fruit You long to bear in us. In Jesus Name, Amen!