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Posts Tagged ‘pray’

Tithing is a biblical principle of bringing God the first fruits, the best of labors. One of the ladies in my Bible study group mentioned about tithing our time as a way of making sure God is our priority.

 

Although, “tithing of our time” is not an actually in the Bible, being stewards of the things He has given us is.  I think it’s safe to say that God has given us time.  In my case, sixteen waking hours.

 

I was excited about the concept and was challenged to try it.  How many hours does our culture spend on Facebook, watching a marathon of our favorite shows, reading book after book of our favorite series or, genre? Yet when it comes spending time with God we do a quick ten minutes because it’s what good Christians do.

 

Ten percent for me is approximately two hours of my day.  At first I thought “Whoa, that’s a lot”; however, I can sit for three hours reading a great mystery book.  I can spend two hours watching my shows and then I complain I don’t have time for the things God has for me to do.

 

Now don’t get me wrong, the mystery books are okay, TV is okay even Facebook is okay, but when it’s stopping me from God and what He has for me, then it becomes a problem.

 

I don’t necessarily have a schedule that allows two hours straight.  But a half hour here, fifteen minutes here and there and another half hour later, I have accomplished two hours focusing on God and what He has for me.

 

It’s being intentional and giving God the priority throughout the day not just when we have devotional times.

 

Let me show you some things I’m starting to do to make God the priority though out my day:

  • When I walk in the morning this is the time I have started using to pray. Evening walk now are times of praise and worship through music
  • Instead of watching my favorite show, I’m choosing to watch instructional video’s to improve my writing skill. Or writing more on what God is teaching me.
  • I also now keep a book like When the Enemy Strikes by Charles Stanley in the car so I can read while I wait for my children to get out of school.
  • I also leave out one or two devotionals so that during the day, I take fifteen minutes to read and mediate.

 

These are just a few of the adjustments I’m making.  I’m busy with my children, chores etc.  But just making these little changes help me keep focus on who I am in Christ and what He has called me to do.

 

However, It’s more than just reading and praying, but giving God our best in everything including ministry, and fellowship.  Do you have a ministry you are involved with?  If not, pray about it.  There is nothing like serving the Lord and others to keep our focus on Him.  I‘m scheduling coffee dates with other woman so I can encourage and fellowship more.

 

Some may say, “You’re a stay – at- homer you have all the time in the world. I work 40 to 50 hours a week.”  How do you use your lunch breaks?  Maybe take a prayer walk, read a devotional, or take time to encourage a co-worker.  We all have twenty-four hours in a day.  It not about quantity but quality.

 

I have been following this principle for a week and I have been amazed at how God has used it.  There has been peace, even energy during the hardest parts of the day (afternoons).  I have also been “responding” rather than “reacting”.  I missed one day I could tell there was a difference.

 

Warning:  There is a risk that the “tithe” becomes a ritual or legalistic. I will not become a slave to the clock.  The heart and motives are important too.  It’s all about the relationship.

 

Pay careful attention, then, to how you walk-not as unwise people but as wise- making the most of the time, because the days are evil.  So don’t be foolish, but                                                    understand what the Lord’s will is.                                                                                                                                   Ephesians 5:15-17 (HCSB)

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Recently I was asked to write a 150-word blurb for my church’s Moms at Heart Newsletter on the topic of “How do we trust God, when life doesn’t make sense?”

 

I laughed.  My life doesn’t make sense. How am I to write about a topic when I don’t have the answers for my own life?

 

God impressed on my heart, “You’ve been indulging, in me and there is peace even though you don’t have the all answers.”

 

Of course He was right.  When is God ever wrong?

 

I’ve been indulging in Him a lot lately.  Some synonyms for indulge are savor, marinate, and enjoy to excess.  It’s hard to picture savoring God, or marinating in His presence.  However, that is what I’ve been learning to do.

 

I’ll give one word to describe it: chocolate.  Whoa God is like chocolate?  Well, no that would be absurd, but how we experience Him can be.

 

To say that I love chocolate is an understatement.  Unfortunately, because I like it so much, I have a tendency to scarf it down without enjoying it.  My weight can attest to it.  This is how I can act when it comes to God.

 

I get up, spend time reading, answering my study questions and then immediately start my day without any time to let it soak in.  It’s almost as if I am saying, “I’ve done my obligation; now on with my day.”  Sure I pray before starting, and the Lord shows me things, but is it really soaking in?

 

Since I didn’t really understand what savoring meant, I took a piece of chocolate from my husband’s stash, sat down and let it melt in my mouth.  I was totally surprised.  Taking the time to indulge, I tasted it, felt the texture and it was satisfying.  I didn’t need another.

 

Last year I posted about soul care – taking time every so often to go to a place without distractions to pray and listen.

 

Over the past several weeks, it has been almost an everyday occurrence.  I haven’t been on my knees just for my life, but also for my family and friends as well.  I read, pray and most importantly listen (being literally still, waiting and not speaking until the Lord directs).

 

Have the answers come? I’m seeing God work.

 

Indulging in Him also means being intentional.  I have to make the time; it’s not going to suddenly happen.  I’m trying to be deliberate every day.

 

Warning:  If we aren’t careful, even this purposeful time is in danger of becoming ritual.  The Christian life is about a relationship with the One who created us, not the “works” or rituals that we do.

 

Are there situations in your life not making sense, not “fair” or just plain anxiety – filled?  Take some time to indulge in the Lord. I can’t guarantee your situation will immediately change.  Some of the answers I’ve seen have taken months, but what I can promise is peace.

“Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.  Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart; and YOU SHALL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS. For My yoke is easy, and My load is light.”

 Matthew 11:28-29 (NASB)

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The other morning I was moving a picture screen full of pictures from my dining room to the living room. As I looked over the pictures, I couldn’t help but wonder where the time had gone. My girls are 14, 13, and 8 now.

At times I struggle, with the  concern that my girls will just rely on the faith of their parents and not make it their own or flat out reject God.

When I took my fear to God, He impressed on my heart four things I could do as a parent.

1. I can set the example

Even though my girls may not sit with me while I do my quiet times with God, the time I spend in the Word influences the way I go through my day as well as how I react.  We also make it a point to have dinner together as a family every night and have devotions together afterwards.

2. Pray for them

I have a desire to see them want to have a quiet time and prayer time on their own, so I pray that they will have a hunger for God and His word.

It’s not only important to pray for the present but also for our children’s future (who they marry, schooling, career and their spiritual lives).

3. Pray with them

When one of my girls has an issue with a friend or has to make a difficult decision, I try to make a point of praying with her over the situation. By doing this she will see how important is to bring their requests to God – no matter how small or large they are. Then when the answer comes, they will experience God answering prayers.

4. I can pray for moments when I can bring God and His word to the forefront.

There have been times we were out at the store or riding in the car and within the conversation I have been able to say, “This is what God says in His word about the situation and a reason why it’s wrong to do this activity.”

To be honest though, these steps don’t guarantee that they will go the way of the Lord. As parents we can only do what we can and then leave everything to God. We must learn to lean on the promise “…so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty but will accomplish what I desire…” (Isaiah 55:11)

This gives me hope for my children’s future. God’s in control. I need to let Him have His way.

“I have no greater joy, than to hear that my children are walking in the truth“

(3 John 1:4 NIV 1984).

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