Time with God // Part Three

time with God

So excited to be back and diving into part three, the final post in the series “Time with God”. I said this in my first post: “God seeks worshipers who worship in Spirit and in Truth.” But perhaps that doesn’t resonate with you, Maybe you are thinking to yourself, what does that even mean?

True Worship in the Spirit

I think some people have it in their heads that worship is similar to yoga… silence required!  Good thing that isn’t the truth otherwise moms like me wouldn’t have the opportunity to worship hardly at all. Other people may believe that worship is something we do on Sunday mornings, singing songs with other believers, and while that is one Biblically ascribed way to worship, there is so much more to worship!

The Holy Spirit through Paul gives us a great definition of worship here:

 I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. -Romans 12:1-2

So we see that true spiritual worship is a life offered up as a holy and living sacrifice to the Lord. Now here’s the bad news: you can’t do this on your own…. But here’s the good news: God has done it for you if you are in Christ Jesus and He is your source to be able to live this out moment by moment.

This type of true worship has everything to do with what my blog title is about, “Abiding Woman”. I chose this as the title because that is my deepest desire! To be a woman who is continually abiding in Jesus: relying and trusting fully on His works of righteousness and not my own and drawing from Him as my source in order that I will bear fruit for Him.

 

The Knitty Gritty: The Practical

Drawing from the Source:

Children and chaos do not keep us from drawing from the source, our own flesh does. Until this becomes a way of life, you will need to purpose to die to your flesh and to seek Him right where you are (this is the disciplining yourself for life and godliness that I was talking about in part two). It’s not always easy, it takes focus and patience, especially with little ones underfoot. It is easy in the silence of a morning or evening when all the house is asleep, and while that’s very nice and relaxing, it isn’t our reality for most f the time. We have to learn to draw from Him as our source in our real, kinda loud, sometimes mundane, moments in every day life.

Here are some ways I do this:

*Have a plan: A Reading Plan. I have a Scripture reading plan. I hope to go into more detail on this at some point, but basically my plan is suppose to be a year long plan, however I do what I can when I can. My goal is to read and understand and respond, not “knock it out” so I can check it off my list. Each day on my plan I’m scheduled to read 2 chapters in the Old Testament, 1 Psalm or Proverb, and 2 chapters in the New Testament. This morning I was only able to get through the Old Testament portion before kids woke up and started stirring and asking for breakfast. So I’ll finish the rest this evening, or I’ll pick back up tomorrow where I left off. Sometimes I even work on this as my kids are playing together in the same room as I am in. I figure if I can check my facebook, look at pinterest, or even write a blog post while they play underfoot, then I can certainly read God’s Word! I also think this is a great thing for them to actually see us mamas doing throughout the day, we are an example to them… all our “time with God” should not be done before they wake. They need to see us seeking the Lord, not just hear us talk about it. This is also a great opportunity to look up from God’s Word and say, “guess what I just read….” and share a little of it with those sweet little ones in excitement, you have no idea the impact this will have on them!

*A Bible Listening Plan, I am currently going through a chronological plan that I keep on my fridge and check off as I go. I use the Bible.is app for this. When I’m doing dishes or chores around the house I push play. The kids listen along sometimes and other times they play and know to keep their voice levels low so that I can listen. The great part is, they are listening too.

*Sermons and podcasts are a mom’s best friend! These are great for in the car or for listening to while kids are napping and you have to get chores done. Stick your phone in your pocket and put some headphones on if you think the noise may wake the baby. It is such an encouragement to my heart to hear Biblical teaching and preaching throughout my day. If you’re not sure what to listen to, try some of these sites (my favorites):

I’ll Be Honest  (this group is always posting good stuff)

Revive our Hearts (just for women)

Desiring God sermons

Ask Pastor John (I love these for quick listens)

Look at the Book (I adore these!)

Grace to You

Sermon Audio -There is an app for this also! (look up Paul Washer, Richard Own Roberts, Anthony Mathenia, Tim Conway, Charles Leiter, just to get you started)

here’s a screen shot of my current “Abide” apps. (there are certainly others, these are just the ones I use)

Screenshot_2015-01-15-15-39-23

*Scripture memory and meditation: I have recently been using the phone app Remember Me for Scripture memory. In the past I have also just used index cards. I still do this from time to time since having something as a physical reminder in my pocket is very helpful. If I find I am really struggling with something, I write the Scripture on the card and meditate and pray through it when my mind is tempted to think in ways that are not according to God’s truth. This is one way that I work to renew my mind. Let’s say I’m struggling with bitterness towards someone, I write a Scripture where I’m commanded to forgive and place it on the card in my pocket. If thoughts of unforgiveness or hurt rise up, I pull it out and start praying over the situation and praying for the Lord to change my heart and give me grace to forgive.

These are just a few ideas….  there are certainly other ways to be soaking in God’s Word throughout our days.

Responding in Prayer, Song, Word, and Deed:

Now this isn’t just a one way thing… we also are responding to what we are hearing  from the Lord through His living and active word. We respond in prayer, songs, words, and deeds all throughout our day. Pray about the things you learned or read or just listened to on a sermon. Confess sin if the Lord showed you an area of your life that needs repentance. Thank Him for thing things He has done and the things He is showing you. Rejoice in who He is and just worship Him! Sing songs of praise and hymns as you go about your daily work around the home. Praise the Lord out loud to your children and husband and friends. Speak of Him often to everyone that you can. If you are constantly taking in His Word, then you very easily begin to speak His Word to others. And respond with obedience right where you are. Did you read about patience or seeking unity, do that! Did you read about forgiving others, do that. Did you read about evangelism, do it! Think of tangible ways to respond to His commands. Do you need to sit down and write a letter to a friend to share God’s truth with her, do you need to pick up the phone and repent to someone for something you did, do you need to go repent to your children for anger or impatience, do you need to go open God’s Word and teach your children? What did God say to do? Do it! Jesus says if we love Him we will keep His commandments. That is a way that we worship! We worship in response to His words.

The Presence of God: He is with us!

The Lord is not far off, He is with you even when you may feel distracted from that truth, it is still a reality. Furthermore, He longs for us to worship Him in these ways. He deeply loves us who are in Christ Jesus, He has made us His own, and He cleansed us so that we no-longer would live in separation from Him. He delights in us delighting in Him! Take time today to purpose to do this throughout your day.

Maybe you couldn’t wake up early and seek Him in the silence, that is okay, seek Him now! If you were able to get up early to spend time alone with Him, let it continue, we can’t just be products of our environments, we must seek Him when it’s easy and when it’s hard. 

There is a quote that I read in a study called “Behold Your God” that has affected my perception of God’s presence and what my response is to it:

“You can have as much of God as you want; in fact you already do!” 

It is very true!

Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you!

Time With God // Part Two

time with God

I’m so excited to journey on in this series! Walking in light of the presence of God is of utmost importance!  If you haven’t read the first post yet, hop over and read it, then come back here to dive in deeper.

 Time with God in the Trenches of Mommyhood

So what does time with God for the busy and often tired mom of young children look like? Should we make it our goal to set aside a specific time to study the Scriptures and pray, be it in the morning or during the naptimes of our children, or in the evening when everyone is asleep YES ,ABSOLUTELY! We should definitely pursue making this happen! I hope that no one heard me say that it was unnecessary for you to have, pursue, and desire those alone times with the Lord in my first post. In fact, I did a challenge here on this blog just a year ago in June called the Triple G Challenge that is all about pursuing waking and getting with God first thing in the morning because it is good to start your day with Him and to continue to walk with Him for the rest of the day.

If anyone got that they were not to pursue this type of time with the Lord out of the first post then you very much misunderstood me, and absolutely must stick around because what I was sharing there is almost the complete opposite of that.

The first post aimed to address this tendency for moms to set these goals of waking before the children and spending time with the Lord (much like the Triple G challenge), but when plans fall through because the life of a mom is unpredictable and let’s face it sometimes sleepless, instead of walking out the rest of their day with their Savior at their side, they walk it out in condemnation. But here’s the truth sweet sisters:

There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. -Romans 8:1

Jesus isn’t looking down from heaven saying, “I know her baby woke her up twice last night, and that her toddler woke at 7, but she should’ve set aside some alone time with me sitting in her easy chair sipping her coffee with her Bible wide open.” That’s ludicrous on so many levels, and we know it! But sadly, sometimes moms put this type of condemnation on themselves. The reality of the situation according to God looks much different, the reality He gives us is this:

Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. -Hebrews 4:14-16

The Gospel Changes the Way We View Our Time with the Lord

How is it that we can be with God in His presence when we fail in so many ways? We fail to live up to not just our own human standards of a schedule or a time to wake up ,but we fail His perfect holy standards, big time, more than we will ever know. The reason this invitation is open to us is because of what Jesus has done and is doing. It’s not because of something you accomplish or bring about on your own. Don’t be deceived, if you think waking up early every day to read and study the Bible and pray is going to earn you the right to be in the presence of God, you are dead wrong! Can He meet you in that time, will He meet you in that time, Yes, but it isn’t because of you, it’s because of Him! The only thing that gives us the right to come boldly to His throne of grace is the great high priest, Jesus who was tempted in every way, He knows our struggles all too well, and yet He was perfect and blameless! He came to this earth with one purpose, to fulfill the Father’s will by redeeming a people for Himself and bringing them near to Him. What had to be done for that to happen? This perfect man who was also fully God had to die and bear the wrath that was meant for our sins, and then He overcame sin and death, rose from the grave! He now sits on the the throne praying for us! Do you think He did and does all that so we could only meet with Him in a silent house before our children wake? Absolutely not!!!! He did that so we could abide in Him moment by moment, forever!

But, but, but, but….

Some will say, But what about disciplining yourself for life and godliness (1 Timothy 4:7)? And I submit, what I’m saying to do here takes much greater discipline than sitting in a silent house and sipping coffee and reading your Bible. I love what Paul Washer says:

“You are struggling to DO … you need to struggle to BE.”

I am talking about something much more authentic than setting a schedule and having your “quiet time” and giving yourself a little Pharisaical pat on the back.

No, I am talking about abiding in Him moment by moment! Abiding when the kids are screaming, abiding when the dishes and laundry are over flowing, abiding when you are teaching phonics to a young child, abiding when you have morning sickness for weeks on end, abiding at play dates, abiding at the zoo, abiding when the stomach bug strikes your home, abiding in the late night nursing hours, abiding… always and continually abiding.

God is near, He is here. He is in the silence and the chaos. Will you abide in Him right now…… or do you think He’s still waiting for you back at that easy chair?

Sister, I hope this set you free in some way and encouraged you to discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness….. in order to BE not to DO!

Tomorrow’s post is going to get much more practical. What does it look like to enjoy the Lord and abide in Him in our moments of chaos and homemaking and not-so-silent houses? I hope you will join me again tomorrow.

Be blessed.

Read part 3 of this series here.