Monday, September 17, 2012

24/7

I once assumed all the Christian women I knew (especially those that went to a Bible Study or spoke at a retreat or were married to a minister) listened to Christian music, spent daily quiet time with God, read their Bible every day, prayed every day, and heard from God every day. These were things I felt I should be doing. If I didn’t do these things, I wouldn’t want anyone to know; because most every other woman did them, or so I thought.
I was amazed the first time I mentioned a popular Christian song in a women’s group as a comparison to something we were studying and received a lot of blank stares communicating they had no idea what I was talking about. They were evidently not familiar with the song. Granted, not everyone is musically inclined or enjoys the same type of music I enjoy. I am not condoning legalism in someone’s musical taste.
Another occasion also brought surprise. I admired a certain woman for her faithfulness to study the Bible. I mentioned to her that I was writing a book on prayer and how to get started when you don’t know how to pray. She shared how she felt like this many times and would sometimes write out her prayers to get started. What? Surely with her faithfulness to Bible study, she must be a prayer warrior. Surely she had to make no effort in her prayer life.
We are not alone in our walk of faith. It was good for me to realize that none of us does it perfectly. We should not condemn ourselves for a less than perfect walk with God. God doesn’t condemn us; however, he does sometimes convict us. Conviction comes from the Holy Spirit. He may use what our pastor says or what someone else says or something we read to pierce our heart, but it will be conviction--not condemnation. It will reveal to us an area where we need to make changes for the better. It won’t cause us to suffer with guilt.
I have recently been convicted about what I would call 24/7 with God. Whatever that may mean to you, I’m trying to figure it out for me. I know it involves walking with Him 24/7. It’s not just spending time with God in the morning or at the end of the day. It’s minute by minute as life happens. It’s not waiting until my scheduled prayer time to talk to God about a need or someone’s prayer request. It’s every minute, every hour, every day. Do you think that too extreme?
The benefits of 24/7 will mean I am much more likely to make the right decisions, shine with His light to others, experience joy, as well as love, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control--all the fruit of the Spirit. It means my spiritual jewelry box will be full to overflowing. I’m committing to strive for 24/7. Will you make this commitment with me? If not, ask yourself why not? It’s not about being perfect. It’s about spending your life 24/7 with the one who is.

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