This weekend has brought a lot of conviction from God Almighty. Conviction that only comes when we are quiet enough to hear His voice. Conviction that only comes when we ask God to show us our hearts, and our motives so that we can see ourselves like God sees us. He sees our heart, even what we would rather not be visible. I am being challenged to take a death walk this week. A death of self, and all that hinders me from taking care of what God has put before me. Him. My husband. Our children. Our home. And work. Wow! What lovely blessings He has given me, and how often do I really embrace them as the blessings they are? Not enough, I can surely tell you that!
God calls us to walk this way ~ dying to our self.
Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there. Galatians 5:24 NLT
23 Then he said to them all: “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. 24 For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it. Luke 9:23-24 NIV (84)
See. I didn't make it up. Sadly, we are not being convinced that we need to continue such a horrible walk ~ instead we are told that God that understands and how because our times are different from biblical times it doesn't necessarily apply anymore. Guess what!? Those scriptures do not have a time deadline.
We are often raised to go and be all that we can, so that we can enjoy a bountiful life. Not often are we reminded that life really isn't about us, nor what we can do! No! It is about God Almighty, and how we can live to serve Him. Chasing after a paycheck, over God's heart will not lead to a fulfilling life! Searching for finding your place in this world will not find contentment but will find us stress, anxiety, resentment, instead if we search the Word to see how God would have us live, and be challenged in following the leading of Jesus living a selfless life so that we can find life we will find it! A life worth living! A life where the moments will begin to matter. A life where we find God's leading through the Holy Spirit, and in that leading find ourselves in places and situations we never could have dreamed of.
The death of self isn't something that is easy ~ obviously. And ... as unique as each of us are, our death walks will be just as unique. Where I struggle, you may be blossoming in, and vise versa.
Here is the gist of the challenge:
1. Pray and ask God to lead you to seven areas of your life / daily routine that you need to die to in order to find life ~ HIS LIFE .
2. Start with one on day one. (I will be starting tomorrow.) Have one focus point, and find ways to apply it more in your day. In fact, make it a priority. If you'd like have it be a word of the day. "Joy" ~ Maybe your not a joy seeker, and choose to see the glass as half empty. On day one you would make it your priority to seek JOY in all areas, even if you get the worst of news ... find something good in it. Finding the blessings in the moments of now, will lead you to the place of living a life of joy.
3. Each new day you will have a new focal point, but don't lose what you learned and experienced the day before. By day 7 you will have not only tapped into seven areas of struggle ~ but you will have spent more then one day on six of those struggles. Build on each day like you would if you were climbing steps.
4. Journal your journey. Even if it is just on notebook paper ~ list your areas that God has revealed to you, and journal this experience. Use a spiral notebook, notebook paper, whatever. This can be a private journal just for you, or you can share it online in your blog or whatever means you choose.
I will be sharing this journey this week with you ~ openly as God allows the time, words, and ability. I know there are many areas where God is calling me into refinement, and none of them will be easy. Death isn't easy! Especially to experience death while your still living!
Here are a few areas that I need to work on this week:
1.) Time with God in the Word: Not just reading other's devotionals, books on scripture, etc. I need to get into the Word for myself! Not at the end of the day either. I have plenty of time in the mornings, but do not use it as wisely as He has called me to.
2.) Honoring and Serving my husband: There are times I know that I need to be more attentive, emotionally supportive, and simply just giving my husband the honor that he is due. During the week, we see little of each other in the morning, and do have a few hours in the evening. I need to make the most of it.
3.) Raising my Children to LOVE and KNOW God intimately: This relationship with God isn't just for me. And sadly, it doesn't come naturally because our world has become so desensitized to holiness and purity. We cannot let our children's hearts and souls be left to the church, and the world to raise!! We must take that responsibility to lead them to this relationship.
4.) UNPLUG when things need to be done. UNPLUG! That means to walk away from social media, blogs, pinterest, even texting and games on the phone/computer. How much time do we spend on these things, then yet at the end of the day say "I didnt' have enough time!". I don't want to look back 10 years from now when my children are all grown up and wonder how did I miss it!
5.) Make my words be so few, that the things I share do not get lost under itself. In other words ~ I talk WAY too much! I share way too much, in so many different avenues! I do love to communicate, and I am a very social person. BUT... God has called me to quiet more then once lately.
6.) No procrastinating! Stop putting off those little things, that always pile up at the end! STOP IT!
7.) Listen more. Listen to God. Listen to nature. LISTEN more then I talk.