Monday, March 14, 2011

"More stimulating than coffee"

So many things have been touching my heart and convicting it and challenging my comfort zone lately, and I thought I would try to share on just one of them, in case others of you out there are also struggling with this same thing. Let us strengthen one another with what we hear the Lord saying.
I'll go first.
Admittance: Finding time to read the Word of God is really challenging for me, and several days go by at a time without me opening His Word.
Agh, it sounds even worse written down than it did in my head, but it is also cleansing to have this struggle out in the open (now maybe you all will keep me more accountable).
I've tried unsuccessfully for months now to wake up earlier so that I can read before the girls wake up, but for months now I wake up and all I do is pray and ask the Lord to forgive me for staying in bed 20 more minutes. In fact, in recent weeks, I don't even think I've repented for this sluggish behavior, I think I just turn off my alarm and roll back over.
Another thing that has hindered my resolve to read everyday is the lie that because I am a mother of two I deserve to be a little lax in my pursuit of knowing Christ better, especially through reading the scriptures. Certainly my days are busy and I adore my sleep and personal time, but somehow I still find time to quilt and crochet, so why can't I find time to read the Bible.
I pray a lot, I even keep a sacred trust (unofficially) of sorts, doing roughly 12 hrs a week at the house of prayer. I pray in tongues, I pray with my children, I worship the Lord in my home, but I struggle to read the Word. So what is wrong with me, why is reading so much harder.
There is also that little voice in the back of my head that keeps saying things like, "you are doing good, that is a lot for a mother of two, don't be so hard on yourself, etc."
Yet I know the scriptures are a powerful tool, they are the living Word of God, sharper than any two edged sword, and worth more than their weight in gold for anyone who has eyes to see and ears to hear.
And if the scriptures are the Bread of Life, and we need bread to live, then I am practically starving. Three or four meals a week is not enough to sustain much of a life in Christ (I know the other 'stuff' I do could be counted as meals, but to keep the focus on reading the Word I have not factored them into my meals total).
Now I know that the Lord sees our weak struggles and loves our attempts toward obedience, but I don't feel I'm being too hard on myself. I know in my heart of hearts that I'm not trying very hard. I've also heard a sermons recently that encourage the body of Christ to throw selfish wants and comforts to the wind in pursuit of what will last in the age to come.
My few extra snippets of sleep will not count for much in the age to come, and I certainly wouldn't die without them, but when it actually comes time to wake up in the mornings and sacrifice that last few minutes in bed, I balk, I make excuses. Then I pathetically plead with the Lord to look the other way as I resign myself to ignore His promptings to rise up and read the Word.
Ugh, I feel even more pathetic writing about this, but now that it is out in the open, maybe I will try harder. Maybe..... but I think I also need to ask for more strength. I need to put a stop to all my excuses and make this a priority. It is not okay with me or the Lord if I take even a few months off from pursuing this, and I don't want to lose track of time and realize it has been years since I have seriously studied the scriptures.
The saddest part. I have been a 'Christian' for over fifteen years and I can barely quote a handful of scriptures and those I can quote almost word for word I couldn't tell you where they are actually located in the Bible. So you see, this isn't a new problem.
I know a lot of things in paraphrases and approximately where things are, but I want to be sharper in this area. I want to do my Lord justice by knowing more of His Words by heart, so that perhaps I can be an even better tool in His hands.
Also, as a sweet friend of mine reminded me, there may come a day in the near future where our Bibles will be outlawed and I will only have limited access to the written Word. At that point, what is stored up in my heart will be worth more than gold to me and my children.
Lord, teach me how to love Your Words more, enough at least to get up out of bed in the morning to soak them up. Let them be more stimulating than coffee to me. Amen.
I am resolving in my heart today to be able to report to you in six weeks....six months....six years that I am excelling in this area, or at least keeping up the good fight.


abbie said...

The Lord has been speaking to me about this too. Brett and I read the One Year Bible together in the evenings but sometimes I go days without reading my own bible. I try to read with the girls as much as possible too. I desire to know Him better and to be able to know His Word...I need it greatly! Maybe we could keep each other accountable?

Jody Aldridge said...

I know a great way to start memorizing scriptures because I started here when you were a little girl. Buy one or two of the kids scripture memory cd's. (OK, they were cassettes when you were little, mostly by Psalty, the Singing Songbook), but that is where I actually began. Singing the Word of God in kid's songs. And you have the First Place music too.....awesome for scripture memorization!! I learned those in 2006 and still use alot of them in prayer and exhortation of others.

Remember, it is not too difficult for you, nor is it beyond your reach. (Deut 30:11)

I'm praying for you.
Mom <><