Thursday, October 18, 2007

confession #10: i'm not consistent with my devotions

Don't shun me. Try not to judge me.
I know you want to after reading my confession title.
I asked Jesus into my heart when I was 5,
which means I have had roughly 31 years of inconsistent,
on again/off again, ever so erratic, times set aside
for prayer and Bible reading on a daily basis.
There it has been said. Pull yourself up off of the floor.
I know I have shattered your image of me.
I am a pastor's wife after all.
I know you THOUGHT I spent 2.3 hours praying fervently
each morning before I woke the children and another hour
committing a chapter of scripture to memory in my
evening quiet time just after I tucked the children in bed.
Let's just lay it all out here....I don't play the piano either.
If this all too much for you to take in,
step away from the screen, and throw up a quick prayer on my behalf.
Because I have one more confession for you.
I have grown up thinking that devotions is something
I need to check off of my to do list.
Like groceries, check. Bills, check. Devotions, check.
Now I can move on with my day.
And what I am realizing is that Jesus didn't have devotions.
He had a devotional life. He was in God's presence ALL DAY.
He didn't set aside 20 minutes a day to connect with God
He was connected to God whether he was at a party
or at the synagogue or eating fish for lunch.
And maybe some days he didn't step away from the crowds
to pray by himself but then other times he took, oh, say
40 days to pray by himself. There was no formula to it.
Which is disheartening, tsgs, because I love a good formula.
Jesus was ALWAYS listening for his Father's voice and his direction.
So all of that to say, our church has been using the LIFE Journal.
Where you read scripture, observe it, apply it, pray about it.
And write it down. This can be done alone or with a group of friends.
It is changing how I look at God's word
and how I view the time I set aside for connecting with God.
I'm trying to break free from the thought
that devotions have to look like what I've thought they should look like.
I would like my relationship with Jesus to be more
than a glance at the scriptures and a hurried prayer.
Maybe I can have a devotional life, too.
So I am using this Life Journal as my starting place.
Because I have a history of poor devotion times,
I am just plain stinky at figuring out a "time-with-God" formula,
I am trying something new.
I'm asking God to help me hear him
not for 20 minutes in the morning or the hour before bed.
I would like to learn how to be open to God speaking to me ALL DAY.
Just think, maybe it's like Brother Lawrence said,
you can be in God's presence while you are doing the dishes.
I don't know about you but I have a lot of dishes.
This could get interesting.


scott aughtmon said...

Good post, Sue. I love the way you think! :)

That Bro. Lawrence book changed the way I saw/thought of prayer!

People can read it FREE online (or download it) here:
(It's in the public domain that's why it's free.)

Beth said...

Thanks for being so real! I did NOT have to pick myself up off the floor, since I have become so consistent on being inconsistent. I don't think God is wanting for us to mindlessly "do" what's "right", but more than that, for us to "know" where our heart is in all that we do. Your insight is an encouragement to me and what I see in you is character...not "an image". Love you, Beth

Anissa said...

As always thanks for being so real. It is really refreshing.