Monday, November 4, 2013

Checking the Boxes

Sunday's sermon hit home with me.  We have special fall meetings next week, and our Pastor was preaching a message on preparing our hearts for revival.  He was going through several questions that we should ask ourselves, and challenged us to make changes as necessary.

The area of prayer and studying God's word was what I needed to hear.  I think I've tried to read the Bible in a year annually for the past four or five years.  I always give up part way through though.  This year is the longest I've made it--we're into November now and I'm still on track. The plan I'm using has me read through the Old Testament once, and the New Testament and Psalms twice.

So how is that a problem?  I just admitted that for the first time in years, I'm actually on track to read the whole Bible in a year.  That's not a problem...that's progress! 

But...I've really just been reading to check the box so to speak.  I'm reading on my phone this year using an app.  It's been very useful at helping me remember where I am in my plan.

I read my four chapters a day, and hit the done icon.  A beautiful green check mark appears, and I move on with my day.  Done.  Most of the time I don't actually remember what it was that I read. 

This quick style reading is doing nothing to help me grow spiritually.  Reading the Bible has become a chore to check off instead of a quiet time reflecting on God's word.  I was convicted of that yesterday, and felt lead to change my path.

I'm going to stop with my reading plan app and go back to some old school study.  Four chapters a day is too much at this point in my life to study, so I'll be cutting back. That means I will not be finishing the Bible in a year in 2013.  And I'm okay with that. 

 Actually, I don't even want to set a number.  I want to study as much as I can, and actually remember what I read.  I want to spend the rest of the day reflecting quietly on the truths I've gained.

I'll be digging out our Strong's Concordance and a real Bible (not an app).  That will help me to take notes more easily without having to switch screens.  I'm excited to feel excited about God's word again.  I don't want to just be checking boxes.  I want to grow.

I also was  convicted of the need to spend more time in prayer.  The kids and I pray during our Bible times, and before meals.  But it feels like it's also become a chore--we do it because we know we's not necessarily something we enjoy.

We have the power to go directly to the throne of God through the work Jesus did on the cross. We are called to bring our burdens and praises to the Lord.  And He answers!!! Why is this not something I've been rejoicing about?  How did God become a daily chore?  

My attitude has not just been wrong.  This is a major area of sin in my life.  I needed to confess it, and now I'm asking God to help me change.  I want to enjoy learning more about God.  I want my children to develop a healthy attitude towards God so they can be lead closer to the Savior who they need.  I want to change!I don't want to be a lazy learner any more.

If you know of any good resources that go through good old fashioned study, or have your own routine that works, I'd love for you to share.  I don't know that I've ever really taken the time to really dig.  I'm looking forward to all the nuggets I'm sure the Lord will help me uncover!

Linking to: Raising Arrows

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