September 14, 2007

 

Hard Habit to Start

By Marybeth Whalen

 

“My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God?” Psalm 42:2 (NIV)

 

Devotion:

At the beginning of this year, I made myself a promise—to read the Bible every single day. In order to be faithful to this commitment, I had to make this a priority above all the other things I used to enjoy doing in the morning. This meant that I would not check emails or read blogs, or start my daily household chores, or sleep a few precious extra minutes. I had to make this the first thing I did every day—and I had to keep doing it to make it a habit.

 

The first few days were hard. I didn’t want to get up earlier. I didn’t want to be held accountable if I didn’t “feel” like doing it. I found myself looking back at the days when I could just get up and jump online without feeling guilty. I found myself thinking, “Why did I get myself into this?”

 

And then I remembered a horrifying moment when I realized that, in all the busyness of life, I had let go of my connection to my Savior. I had stopped abiding in Him. I had broken off my daily fellowship in His Word. All of the demands on me had caused me to tell God I would just have to get to Him “later.” I had allowed my lifestyle to dictate my spirituality. I decided to become more intentional about reconnecting with my Savior and His Father. This was not a moment about guilt and obligation—far from it—this was a brokenhearted time of grieving over what I was missing.

 

From that moment on, I began to do the things I knew from experience would help me stay connected. I purchased a Bible written in a translation I could read with ease and that was divided into easily readable increments. I read Christian books that inspired me. I turned on praise music in my house and cranked up the volume. I spent time praying every day—shutting out all the noise and demands in my life so that I could focus on God. I learned anew what it means to listen for God’s voice, and then to take that important second step by actively responding to His voice.

 

This was a process I submitted myself to willingly, through no provocation save the urging of the Holy Spirit. I offered all I had—including my limitations—up to God, knowing that He sees my heart as the very basis of it all. Some days I have been more committed to it than others as I have established this habit in my life. And I know that He loves me, even on the days I fall short. Especially on the days I fall short.

 

This morning I woke up on my own just as dawn’s light was streaking the sky. I sat up and reached for my Bible, anticipating what God would say to me, savoring the precious moments I have with Him before life unfolds. What was once so difficult for me to make happen is now a joy and a delight in my life. I no longer have to force myself to spend time with God—it has become a habit that is as much a part of my day as breathing. I hunger and thirst for His Word. I need it like I need air. I am so grateful He waited for me to figure that out, and was right there waiting patiently when I came running back to Him.

 

Author’s Note: I wrote this to hopefully encourage another woman out there who feels too busy and overwhelmed to have a quiet time. Quite simply, I know that if I can make this happen, anyone can! Persevere and keep on making it a priority and it will become a habit. I have been amazed at how much I now enjoy getting up a bit earlier to spend time with God—something I used to say was physically impossible!

 

Dear Lord, help me to seek you earnestly. Help me to live like You are a priority in my life. I love you Lord and I want to spend time in Your presence. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

 

Related Resources:

Women’s Devotional Bible NIV Edition

 

God’s Purpose for Every Woman: a P31 Women’s Devotional Editors Lysa TerKeurst and Rachel Olsen

 

Do You Know Him?

 

Application Steps: 

Are you finding regular time with God a hard habit to start? Begin where you are with what you have. Commit to do whatever it takes to carve out time with God—you can get up fifteen minutes earlier.

 

Reflections: 

What is missing from your life? Could it be that a regular time of focusing on God and His desires for you would help fill up your empty places?

 

Power Verses:

Psalm 92:1-2, “It is good to praise the Lord and make music to your name, O Most High, to proclaim your love in the morning and your faithfulness at night.” (NIV) 

 

Psalm 119:2, “Blessed are they who keep his statutes and seek him with all their heart.” (NIV)

 

Proverbs 31 Ministries

616-G, Matthews-Mint Hill Road

Matthews, NC 28105

www.Proverbs31.org