"What has God been teaching me? How am I doing in my prayer/devotional life? What ways can I encourage you?"
To be perfectly honest, during this last semester my prayer and devotional life suffered a lot. I mean, I was reading the Bible for class and in class a lot of the time, and I needed to read it for homework sometimes. But I was horrible about making time every day for personal reading, prayer and meditation.
This weekend Joshua and I decided that needed to change. With our new summer schedule, we don't have homework and we're not away from home as much as we are during the school year. We're going to bed earlier and getting up earlier (9:30-10:00 is our ideal bedtime and we're up at about 5:45 in the morning). Last night we started having devotions and praying together before bed. We have a morning schedule on the fridge that includes about 15 minutes for reading from "Portals of Prayer," reading the Bible passages assigned to the devotion for the day, and praying together.
I had forgotten how delightful, encouraging, and refreshing this habit is. Not only does it strengthen our relationship with God but it brings us closer together as a couple as well. I told Joshua this morning that I want to become "addicted" to this daily time in the Word and prayer together.
I also spent some time reflecting on the Psalm we read for today after Joshua left for work. A friend and I decided to try to be accountability partners when it comes to Bible reading, at the very least for this summer. My dear friends either have gone home for the summer or are moving away soon, so perhaps keeping tabs on each other about our personal devotion times will be one way to keep in touch.
A couple verses from today's reading from the Psalms actually sum up very well what God has been teaching me spiritually. We read Psalm 143.
Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul. ...Teach me to do your will, for you are my God.That's verse 8 and 10a. God has been teaching me to:
This is my constant, never-failing, forever-learning lesson. I perpetually try to control my own life and forget that God can handle it much better than I. He constantly proves himself faithful to take care of my every need.
I want my life to be always glorifying to God. I want to obey him in everything. To do this, I need to really be in the Word and in prayer...and I'm working on that. God's way really is, always, the best way!
-lift up my soul to Him
...in prayer. I know he loves when I talk to him. He wants a relationship with me, and for that to happen there must be communication! God delights to hear my voice...and what an incredible privilege it is to go to the Creator of the universe in prayer.
-do His will.
This goes with following in his way. Sometimes I get frustrated because I don't know what God's will for me is. But then, sometimes it is not for me to know. I simply have to trust him...obey his word...and keep in constant communication with him through prayer...and he will move me to do what he wants me to do.
I know this sounds like a lot of law. Do this. Think that. But really, when you think about it, it's all HIS doing, not mine:
-The God who created the entire world, the One who sent his Son to take the sacrifice for my sins, is in control of my life and the life of every person on the planet. He wants the absolute best for me. I can therefore trust him completely.
-God has laid out his desires for my life in his Word. No, the Bible doesn't explicitly say, "Jaimie, this is what you should do today, May 8, 2012." But the Scriptures have principles for my life. It's right there--God's literal words to me!
-God wants, desires, asks me to talk to him. I have a personal, one-on-one relationship with the God who made me, died for me, rose for me, and loves me more than I can fathom. I get to talk to him. Personally. Whenever I want. How cool is that?!?
-God has a plan for my life. A plan to prosper me, not to harm me. A plan to give me hope, and a future (Jeremiah 29:11). He has a will for my life. And because his Spirit is in me, I can follow that will and live in its grace and peace.
What God has been teaching me is that he does it all. The only think required of me is to live in faith--to live in his light.