Thursday, January 22, 2015

Soapbox... :)

I remember those days when my feet dangled above the floor whenever I sat on a church pew. At that time, I was sure that this would be my situation for the rest of my life - everyone else would have long legs and mine would always be short.
Although this did not turn out to be the case, at every stage of my development I still feared that my friends would keep on growing while I... somehow... would not...
I wonder why we don't fear the specter of "not growing" when it comes to our Christian development?
Most of us know that there are four key elements in spiritual growth:
One is to be in the Word: to do daily devotional reading.

Devotional comes from the word "devote". Synonyms for "devote" include: dedicate, entrust, pledge, give away....
The idea is that we dedicate ourselves to Someone, to our Heavenly Father, to our Abba. That we give away our heart to our ultimate Love. But on a lengthy reading plan I can find myself devoting myself to a schedule, a task, an assignment,a check list, if you will. And not to the God of the Universe who loves me and, inexplicably, wants to fellowship with me. (I John 1:3)
And then, when I'm done with my check list, I promptly forget what I read and begin to pursue my favorite mental activity which is fretting. I could win an Olympic medal for fretting... seriously. Maybe you don't know how to fret but I do...
And, yet, fretting is a skill... sort of. And what can be used for the negative can be turned into something positive.
So here is a suggestion for devotional reading for 2015. Take the portion you are going to read tomorrow and start reading it tonight before you go to bed. (Or, if you are like me, after you go to bed but before you are ready to sleep.).
When you get to a verse or phrase that speaks to your heart,say it over and over. Or write it on a card and prop it up by your reading lamp where you can see it. Meditate on it as you fall asleep*. (Meditating on Scripture is synonymous with the phrase "good fretting"... Truly! You can keep on fretting -i.e., wearing a groove in your mind...! Only now you are creating mental pathways that are positive and productive instead of debilitating because you are sowing God's truth into your mind before and during sleep).
Then the next morning finish your devotional reading, looking for any other verses or phrases that go along with the phrase you meditated on the night before. You will be surprised at how many times God will bring the same concept to mind, reinforcing that truth on your heart.
As you meditate on that phrase or verse, consider memorizing a whole verse once a week. Or two! Write the verse(s) down. Sing them. Pray them. Whatever... (As someone has said, if you can remember your name, your address, and your birthday, you can remember one verse a week).
AS you read, memorize, and meditate, you will find yourself going automatically into the second key to spiritual growth which is praying. You will find yourself automatically praying the Scripture back to Him as you meditate on it.
But that's the second step - for another day, another blog entry. Got to go soak my head, literally... ! Love sinus stuff in winter time!!!
*I got this idea from a book called, appropriately enough, "Meditation" by Jim Downing.

No comments:

Post a Comment