Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Seeking Him - Foundations

Sniff.... snurple, ::sigh::, sniff... (wiping nose with back of hand...) I can't believe we're here at the end of our Seeking Him Together journey. It has been an incredible 12 weeks, and I honestly cannot believe how quickly it's gone by. Honestly, it's just so very sad, and I hate to see it end, but our hostess Amber has made it known we get to write one final "wrap up" post next week, so I will suck it up and just get through today's discussion questions as quickly as I can.

Honestly after weeks of deep thought, digging in to both the word and self, at times filleting our hearts, motives, habits, words, attitudes and more, the final chapter has truly come about in a surprisingly, very simple and practical way. We've been asked to look at our devotional habits and the process of being in the Word. So let's hit the questions.

1.Why is daily prayer and scripture reading important? I would not travel on a far journey or attempt a great feat without a map or/ and a plan. Honestly even going to the grocery store is a smoother process when I plan and make out a list of what I need. When I find myself wandering in the grocery store lst and hungry I make poor choices and getting out of all the good lines like budgets and recipes. If something so simple as that goes more smoothly, how much more important is it to have a course set and a plan made, with clear guidelines than this great big beautiful experience we call life.

When I find myself wandering, "lost and hungry" through life it is undoubtedly because I have wandered off of the course I need to follow. The map and plan are found in God's word. Unlike the grocery store where I know where I am going and what exactly I will find, however, the adventure of life is more like a great treasure hunt. I don't know what lies ahead by any stretch of the imagination, I do not know what the future holds, but I do know Who holds the future. Since I know that, the best possible plan for me is to follow the treasure map He has given me and be in the Word constantly. If I do not study the Map and the Plan, it is impossible for me to know the right way to proceed.

2.What is your current routine? Can you hear my conviction about the importance of the Word of God in my answer to question #1? Because I really think I believe it, but (funny God) my pastor made a comment on Sunday that gives me pause. He said (paraphrase) our actions indicate our beliefs. And my current (recent) routine doesn't indicate my conviction about God's Word at all, because it has pretty much stunk. Seeking Him has of course been a big help, it's been a more consistent direction for me. I have had seasons where I followed a steady course in my devotional time, but the problem always becomes for me that it gets very routine and I get caught up in the checking it off my "to do" list rather than really seeking God. A couple of years ago during a long successful season of rising daily before the kids to spend time in God's word I stood in a worship service at a women's retreat and heard the Lord whisper to me "I don't want to be a habit." Ouch. And I by no means am saying that is the case for all, but it was the case for me, so I struggle to find a way to be consistently in the Word, without being routine. BUT I cannot use "routine" as an excuse to be neglectful.

3.How will your current routine be changed (if at all) after studying this chapter? Hmmm.... this is a tough one. I have to find that balance of consistency and freshness. One thing I know to be true is that in hard and stressful times, the draw to the Word becomes greater. It's like being so hungry and lost, you can't find the grocery store, your wallet or the keys to your car (and there might even be a few evil ninjas laying in wait between your front door and the check out line). In that moment you will tear the house apart to find the map and the list to get to where you know you need to be,and you'll head off to the store carrying a really big sword. Well, in a lot of ways, I am really feeling like I am in that place. There is so much going on I can barely differentiate between my upside and my backside, and I am feeling so very needy! And not the kind of needy where I was to be coddled or stroked with junk food, I want some good solid meat that will nourish me to the bone. (Please forgive the mixed metaphors.) So I don't want anyone else feeding me at their table or dropping a few scraps by, I want to dig deep and feed my own soul, so I desperately study the map, pour over the plans and find myself Seeking Him with everything I am.

Even before we got to this chapter the Lord was weighing heavy on my heart about being in His word daily. I do not know what the exact plan for that is. I do know I have 5 more weeks in the study with my IRL group, so that will help, but all the more I long to find the freshness of a good and godly habit that is not a check off my list of "to do's." And like I wouldn't go a day without feeding my body, I am determined not to go a day without feeding my spirit, which is of far greater value.

Your word is a lamp to my feet
And a light to my path.
I have sworn and confirmed
That I will keep Your righteous judgments.
I am afflicted very much;
Revive me, O LORD, according to Your word.
Accept, I pray, the freewill offerings of my mouth, O LORD,
And teach me Your judgments.
My life is continually in my hand,
Yet I do not forget Your law.
The wicked have laid a snare for me,
Yet I have not strayed from Your precepts.
Your testimonies I have taken as a heritage forever,
For they are the rejoicing of my heart.
I have inclined my heart to perform Your statutes
Forever, to the very end.

Psalm 119:105-112

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