As I find myself studying the startling realities of burnout, I have committed to do what is necessary in my life to stay strong and win the race God has set before me. In order to remind myself to burn bright and not burn out, my theme this year is “FUEL”. We all need fuel to burn bright and stay in our race. In my last blog, we discussed the fuel of solitude. Today we will discuss the fuel of time with God. Whether you call it quiet time, devotions, morning reflections or evening reading, we all need to be fueled by time with God.
Psalm 42:1-2 says – As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, my God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God?
I would be lying to you if I said I bounded out of bed each morning with my soul panting for God. However, part of making sure I am fueled by this special time each day requires 4 things that I share below:
1. DISCIPLINE – Just like any habit I want to begin or begin again, I need to boss myself around to make it happen. I need to boss my calendar around by carving out early morning time. I need to boss my body around by kicking it out of bed at “0 dark 30” each morning. I need to boss my heart around to allow it to open up to God each day. Oh, and coffee or strong tea doesn’t hurt either 🙂
2. DIRECTION – I can’t tell you how many times I flounder away my early morning quiet time by flipping through my Bible, reading a page or two from a few books or even fool myself into believing that reading “spiritual” Facebook posts by my friends will be my fuel for the day. Without direction in my early morning time, I just waste my time. When I arrive at the chair in the photo above, I need to have a plan. It could be a reading plan (you can get several online) for going through the Bible, or it can be a chapter in a book I’m studying or going through a topic search of God’s word reading scriptures on a specific subject he’s laid on my heart. However, you do it, don’t arrive in your time without direction. No direction = guaranteed distraction.
3. DO IT – Some mornings I get such deep and rich insights and intimacy with God that I hate to leave my chair to shower. These mornings are what cause me to just DO IT over and over again. These mornings are my reminder to keep showing up each day and more than cover the days that I just don’t get a lot out of my morning time. Maybe I’m the only one who shows up some mornings and leave uninspired and as sleepy as I arrived. But just like that ONE amazing golf shot that keeps a golfer hacking away, I continue to DO IT by showing up each day and trusting God will fill me in His way and in His time.
4. DESIRE – In my humanness, I will not be capable of having a desire of time with God each day. But in God’s grace, he overrides my selfish tendencies and honors my sloppy attempts to be fueled by Him each day with or without a genuine desire in my heart. I can tell you that there are times throughout my day that my desire to go back into that chair with Him is so strong, that I truly identify with the psalmist in the verse above when he says “when can I go and meet with God.” But I’ve learned that desire comes and goes, but #1, DISCIPLINE, will keep me going in the midst of fading desires.
How can I learn from you? Put your insights about the FUEL of time with God in the comments below….and remember, JUST DO IT.