Reserve a daily time with God for self-examination, Bible reading, and prayer in order to KNOW God and His will for my life, and to gain the power to follow His will.
John Baker introduces this next choice simply writing, “In the last six chapters, you’ve been learning about coming out of the dark and exposing your problems to the light of God’s love. At whatever level you’ve been able to accomplish this, God has been healing the hurts, hang-ups, and habits that have messed up your life. Many of you are already experiencing some of the amazing changes in your life” (page 206).
Through the comments on our Facebook page, the changes are happening in the lives of those who are sharing this journey. For some, the changes have been small; but for others it’s been mind-blowing. It’s not about comparing where you are with another person but on a personal focus on your growth. This will be an on-going process, not something we attain and stop doing. If you are not alert and intentional with your Christian walk, you can (and will) relapse into the old habits and thought patterns that brought you to this study in the first place. Obviously this is not our goal; but rather we hope to give helpful information to encourage you to maintain the momentum towards God and His will for your life. Baker tells us to “Celebrate any victory, no matter how small, and do it on a daily basis” (pg 214).
This week we’ll discuss the causes of relapse, and how to prevent relapse by introducing NEW habits into your life. Unlike those we’ve been shedding over the past 6 weeks, these habits are good for us and will only serve to strengthen and refine us even more as we draw closer to Him. By the week’s end, we’ll introduce “praying the Scriptures” to bring encouragement to your prayer life.
Seeing the choice for this week, I will be the first to admit that I know I should have a daily quiet time with God. He desires to spend time with me, to hear my voice speak to Him as if in conversation with an old friend, and He wants to bless me with His wisdom and love. As a parent, I know how much I love to have time with my children, so I can only imagine how much He wants to spend time with me! But I’m running ragged with a full time job, volunteer responsibilities, church activities, and of course, family obligations (aren’t we all?).
Every time I hear a message on having this quiet time, I immediately offer up the excuses—“I’m too tired after work…I can’t get up early because my body requires sleep…I’m reading devotional emails so that’s something…I listen to praise and worship music at my desk so I’m constantly ‘focusing’ on Him…I’m reading this book or that book that talks about God and gives Scriptures…I take notes at church.” There’s nothing inherently wrong with what I’ve said, but it still doesn’t address His desire to spend time with me—quality one-on-one time.
Yes, I’m tired after work; but He has promised to give me strength (Philippians 4:13). Yes, getting up early is a challenge; but there’s no better way to start your day (Psalms 59, 65, 90, and 92…just to name a few).
While reading the devotionals and books, taking notes during a sermon, or listening to music will reinforce the messages and keep our minds more focused on Him, these are not substitutions for personally reading His word and finding the applications for my life. So the challenge for me this week is to put aside all of the plans to do it, and (like Nike) JUST DO IT! I’m convicted by this week’s choice and need to put my head-knowledge of knowing a lot about God in to a solid heart-knowledge of truly knowing God.
Reading Assignment for Week 7: Chapter 7 of Life’s Healing Choices
Monday: Laurie will discuss Principle 7: Growth Choice
Tuesday: Leslie will discuss the Causes of Relapse
Wednesday: Kim will discuss Preventing Relapse
Thursday: Amy will discuss Make The Choice
Friday: Laurie will bring it all back home with a recap of our week
Music has always been an emotional connection for me (in good ways and bad). Christ speaks to me more through music than most other media. One song that’s been a strong encouragement and reminder to me over the past couple of years is “Captivate Us” by Watermark. I want to close out today with the link to the song. I’d also like us to use the lyrics as a prayer—to bring the encouragement and the desire to be captivated by God in the coming week. Read the lyrics, and then play the song. While it plays, close your eyes and use this as your prayer to draw closer to the Father who wants to spend time with you.
Captivate Us – by Nockels, Nockels, & Hall
Your face is beautiful
And Your eyes are like the stars
Your gentle hands have healing
There inside the scars
Your loving arms they draw me near
And Your smile it brings me peace
Draw me closer oh my Lord
Draw me closer Lord to Thee
Captivate us, Lord Jesus
Set our eyes on You
Devastate us with Your presence
And rushing river, draw us nearer
Holy fountain consume us with You
Captivate us Lord Jesus, with You
Your voice is powerful
And Your words are radiant bright
In Your breath and shadow
I will come close and abide
You whisper love and life divine
And Your fellowship is free
Draw me closer O my Lord
Draw me closer Lord to Thee
Let everything be lost in the shadows
Of the light of Your face
Let every chain be broken from me
As I’m bound in Your grace
For Your yoke is easy, Your burden is light
You’re full of wisdom, power and might
And every eye will see You
Have a wonderful & blessed week!
A wonderful pocket-sized (28 page) booklet that talks about our walk with Christ is “My Heart Christ’s Home.” It’s available HERE as a 5 pack for a small price. It speaks of allowing Christ into our home and how we care for Him as our invited guest. Does His presence require spring cleaning, or a light dusting? Do we lock doors to certain rooms, or give Him full access?
If you would like to send Amy a private email in regards to this blog, please email her at: Amy@girlfriendscoffeehour.com