God is pretty amazing and clever. He can use you to reveal things to others; WHILE, at the same time, teaching and revealing things to yourself. (Hope that made sense.) Have you ever been praying or talking with someone and something you said made you stop and think ... "Wow, where did that come from!?! Did I just say that... that was good!!!!" If it lines up with God's word and was revelation to you... that my friend, is the Holy Spirit using YOU to bless others while teaching you simultaneously!
That is exactly what happened as I was writing my last post. I experienced true conviction and an AHA moment from my AHA post! Martha, Martha, Martha was about priorities being out of whack.... Being too busy.... Or another way to say it ... Just plain DISTRACTED. One of Satan's most clever forms of deception.
My AHA moment from my AHA post:
For the most part, I always believed I PUT GOD FIRST...It was THE OTHER THINGS (kids, husband, friends, activities, work, etc.) I had a problem keeping in order.
But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.
This is the verse that God used to speak into my own life. As I was writing about priorities lining up (The correct way being: God -> Spouse -> Children -> Relationships -> Work / Ministry), I realized I had been deceived. I felt a check in my spirit that said, "If this were true, Christie. If you did put Me first, then ALL your other priorities WOULD line up perfectly and your life would be working out well." That is clearly what this verse says. It does NOT say, your circumstances, yourself or the people in your life would be perfect. It says, all would be well. You would experience the peace that passes all understanding (Phil 4:6-7).
I'm busy working on a ministry, writing a blog, taking care of my three children, maintaining healthy friendships, trying my best to keep the house in order, figuring out how to be a help-mate to my husband, and all the while praying for God to help me keep it all together.
Did you catch something? Read the last sentence again. The order I just wrote all that I'm doing shows where my priorities truly are. Ministry -> Children -> Relationships -> Spouse... and God is just interspersed whenever I get the chance. Wow. I'm humbled, but ever so grateful for the Lord's continual revelation!!!
I have been striving for that peaceful, restful state (fellowship with God) that we were created to be in. But instead, I'm doing, doing, doing ... and being DECEIVED BY THE LIE - "It's okay if I don't "spend time" with God today because my day is filled with working on a ministry, building christian relationships, asking for His help, etc...It's already full of God." The Truth is... It's full of GOOD... a lot of good, but not necessarily full of GOD - that communion with Him that He desires and I desperately need.
Satan is just plain sneaky. He can even use GOOD things to distract us. I am so thankful for this revelation as I seek His help (1 John 5:14) and His strength (Zechariah 4:6) to put my priorities in their proper place. I now know that all I have to do is look at my life (with a Kingdom perspective and not a me, me, me perspective) and how it's going (my state of peace) in order to know if my priorities are lining up.
- If I'm too busy and my life feels out of control; then I am NOT putting God first.
- If my mind is not in a peaceful, calm, restful state; then I am NOT putting God first.
- If I'm putting kids, before my husband; friendships before my family; then I am NOT putting God first.
- If I'm more concerned with getting the Lord's work done than I am with Sitting at the Lord's feet (Luke 10:38-42); then I'm NOT putting God first.
I must not confuse time DOING His work
as time COMMUNING with Him!
How do we make God our first priority amongst the chaos of life?
I am still learning, but I believe it's simple once we get it. This is what I have so far. If any of you have any thoughts, ideas on this topic, I WOULD LOVE TO HEAR!!!!!!
1. I'm working on giving Him the FIRST part of my day as a STATEMENT to Him and myself that HE COMES FIRST.
What does that look like? Joyce Meyer says, "There's no specific formula. It can look different ways. The important thing is that you spend time with Him daily." I completely agree. I does look different many days. Here's a few things I do (usually picking a couple (not all) each day). I have, by no means, mastered any of this, but I strive towards this goal.
- Ask Him what your day is supposed to look like (His "to do list," not yours).
- Sit still, close my eyes, and seek His presence until I feel it.
- Spend time listening to worship songs (prayer and meditation) to get my heart right to hear Him.
- Jesus Calling devotional - Go to the bible for the verses listed for the day
- Meditate on a verse (Priscilla Shirer-5 P's, Amplified Translation) just thinking on a verse all day and what He's saying to me through it.
- Go for a jog either listening to worship music or praying.
- Pray through my index cards - Always begin my prayers with thankfulness (because this puts Him first, then praying in the order of how my priorities should be.)
- Watch Joyce Meyer program - apply the truths spoken.
- Read and Study a Christian book in an area that I"m working on.
What does this look like?
- While doing my task for the day, I used to think... oops, I've gotta remember to have my "God time" AFTER I finish this specific task. This is a lie, I CAN have my God Time, WHILE I am doing that specific task. He is ALWAYS there.
- When something happens that threatens to take my peace (a person, a circumstance, a thought/feeling), I will close my eyes and speak "I trust you Jesus."
- As often as I can, when I see something or am reminded of something to be thankful for. I will close my eyes and speak, "thank you Lord."
- In the midst of chaos (i.e. kids crying, nothing going right, etc.), I will stop and sing "This is the day the Lord has made, I WILL rejoice and be glad in it (Psalms 118:24)." I used to just do this to be funny, but I have found it truly works - brings me peace in the midst of chaos and turns my day around. Give it a try.
- When I am weak and need His strength (daily with my kids), I will speak 2 Corinthians 12:9 And He (Jesus) said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.