Tuesday, December 31, 2013

A Challenge of Change: Are You Thirsty?



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It had been six months since we talked but she is the friend whom time has no boundary.  We picked up right where we left off talking about the highs and lows of motherhood.  But as in many of our conversations, the focus veered toward the topic of devotions. 

I asked if she was studying anything or using any certain book to guide her quiet time.  She explained that she was reading through I Peter and for the first time she was "really falling in love with the Scriptures."  She had developed a thirst for God's Word. 

A thirst.  For the Bible.

Even a short time ago I would have been happy for her and smiled desperate to understand.  But for the first time in my life, I get it.  In the last couple of months the Scriptures have come alive and personal for me as well.  And it is precious. 

Now when I am struggling through a day, I desire peace from God's promises instead of running to a friend for validation.  When I blow it, I desire comfort from God's love written on the pages instead of filling it with my mommy "drug" of choice

This has all happened because God's Word has become real to me through my devotional time.

I don't say this pridefully or nonchalantly.   If I could talk face to face with you about this change, you would realize that this is not about me.  Nothing in me has made this change.  This is 100% God and I give Him the praise and glory for opening my eyes to how precious His Word is. 

In November, I found a new website called GoodMorningGirls.  The writers of the site encourage the reader to dive deep into the Word using a four-step process.  Using the ideas they share and others that I have learned along my journey combined with my visual learning style, I developed a system that has transformed my quiet time and awaken the Word in a personal way. 

I call it "Drawing Deep." Here are the four steps.
Today, we will cover the first one. 

Step 1:  Dive in
After inviting the Holy Spirit to guide my time, I read a chosen passage of Scripture.  Typically this is four to six verses long.  Then I pick a key verse to focus on.

For December I used the verses from the Advent Devotional the GoodMorningGirls developed.  These ladies have several other devotions which you could use to guide your time.  The free YouVersion app has several choices.  Another option would be a Proverb or Psalm each day.  If you would like to read through the Bible this year, read several chapters from the The Daily Walk Bible NLT.  I also enjoy doing word searches where I focus on verses pertaining to a certain topic.  I am praying about where God wants me to focus for January.  Right now I am leaning toward one of Paul's epistles but I will be sharing on the SISTERS Facebook group what I decide. I encourage you to pray where God wants you to focus your time.

During this step, focus on each word in the selected verses and read for meaning.  Sometimes reading it out loud is helpful.  Over emphasize punctuation including commas and semi-colons.  Also look for transition words like therefore, because, and if/then. 

For me, the key to step one is to slow down and dive deep into the significance of the words to understand the full meaning the author is conveying. 

Here's the "Dive In" concept from a different angle.

Let's imagine that I join the local diving team.  Before my first swim meet I would adorn the correct attire to prepare to dive my best.  I would lather on sunscreen (I am very pale!), grab my proper gear, and head for the diving board.  After climbing on, I would mentally prepare for my chosen dismount.  Taking a deep breath, I jump landing into the cool water below. 

Did you see the similarities?

Before I begin my devo time, I must prepare my heart and ask the Holy Spirit to guide my time.  Then I choose the Scripture of choice looking for the key verse to focus on.  Finally, I dive into the depths to see what God has to teach me.

Friends, the Scripture is the only thing that will quench your thirst.  Are you ready to dive in with me?  

To prelude the Challenge of Change, please share on the SISTERS group in Facebook or by leaving a comment below what Scripture or topic you are going to be studying.  

Tomorrow:  Step 2 - Drawing  to Discover


1 comment :

  1. The prayer path outlined above has been at the heart of Christian worship since the Gospels were written down. It has a name...."LECTIO DIVINA". Sadly, like so much of the integral parts of Christian life, it was left at the doorstep of the Reformation. 500 years later and Protest-ants are just beginning to rediscover what was there all along. Makes you wonder what other integral and beautiful pieces of the puzzle are waiting back home.

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The Our Out-of-Sync Life blog focuses on encouraging women to deepen their spiritual life, simplify daily tasks, and impress Jesus on the children around them.