One month away! Sorry! That wasn't intentional. Guess I've spent too much time catching up with my Facebook people. A lot has happened in that month, but it's just too much to go through- ha! I will tell you that right now a lot of big changes are on the horizon- the honest-to-goodness life changing changes that require a lot of prayer and counsel, so if I disappear again, I will be back.
Truth is, in this last month, I have been honeymooning with my Saviour. No, we haven't gone anywhere special, just here. Life has progressed at a mind-melting pace, but still, I have never felt more at peace.
I was sharing with a friend today that the relationship I have with my Saviour is overwhelming. It is intimate beyond comparison and just blows me away every morning. To know that every morning, He waits for me. He watches me while I sleep. He knows when I awake. He is there with me. My God, the Lover of my Soul, my Jehovah, my Comfort, my Sustaining Power... right there, with me, every single day. Blows me away.
I couldn't begin to capture it all, seriously. Couldn't begin to describe this change, this life I have now. I am more alive than ever and all I can do is let my fingers blubber across this keyboard in an attempt to express speechlessness. I can't. So instead, maybe I can lead you here. It's one of those "you have to see it for yourself" types of things, and all I can think to do is tell you how I ended up here, piece by piece.
I strongly encourage you to take up the challenges I lob at you. It's not because I am some great expert in Christianity. It's all because one day, in December of last year, a complete stranger did the same to me. I took him up on that challenge and my life has never been the same.
Spend two hours at the feet of your Saviour.
I know. Two hours?!? I did the same thing. I seriously thought my 30 minutes was worthy of a metal. I was fairly consistent at reading 4 chapters of the Bible and reading through my prayer list. Two hours was overkill.
Truth be told, I've never made it to the two hours. I average right around one and a half. The point is not to set a kitchen timer for two hours and sit around until the bell goes off. The point is to set aside time for God.
So often, we pencil God in. We fit our devos in between meetings. We get our daily bread via e-mail so we can read it while we check our e-mail. But two hours. Two hours alters your day. Your day centers around that. Your sleep schedule changes because of that. Life changes because of that.
And I promise, you will change because of that. If you make God the number one most important thing in your life. So much so that you make plans to spend two hours a day with Him, He will meet you there. He promises to.
If you're trying to figure out exactly how to fill those two hours, here's a basic outline of what I do:
1) I journal. Jessica, that isn't very spiritual. It's cleansing. It helps me clear my mind of everything going on. It gets all of the stuff out of the way and helps me focus. Not everyone has to journal, but I do.
2) I read. Pick something that takes you about 45-60 minutes to read, seriously. Start at Genesis and just read it through. It's amazing! I promise. Earlier this year, I did the Bible 90x (a read through the Bible in 90 days program). It was intense but I began to see connections I had never seen before. After that, I began reading a specific number of physical pages in my Bible. Whatever amount takes you about an hour to read- to actually read, not speed read, but actually read.
3) Reflect. This combines 1 and 2 (at least it does for me). I sit back and reflect on 2 and how it can apply to the situations in 1. It's meditation. It's something we are told to do.
4) Pray. This is my hardest spot. People say they can pray for hours, apparently I just think fast. I must be a speed-prayer. I am learning, and you will too. For my prayers I usually follow a pattern.
a) Reflection on God's character based on the reading
b) Praise (just plain praise)
d) Close friends
e) Ministry needs
f) My heart's desires
g) My needs for the day
h) Thankfulness for filling those needs (because He will)
It may seem like a sudden change, but it all starts with determination. I am no saint when it comes to this; believe me. I have missed more days than I care to count, and there are others when I barely clear an hour, but your spiritual life does not grow on its own. It must be nurtured. Nurture it.