Getting filled up with hope...
Because I know too much not to share!
We’ve been talking about the person of the Holy Spirit--his presence and power in our lives each day, as we choose to get to know him and walk with him.
Fact is - in the last couple weeks, I have had numerous conversations with people who are exhausted--some by their own thinking and emotions--anxiety, extreme stress, fatigue, physical pain, sorrow, worry, confusion . . . is there a cure for it? Yes.
When Jesus was asked which was the greatest commandment, he said, 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength. The second is this: 'love your neighbor as yourself'. There is no greater commandment than this.*
These commandments provide direction signals and also form guardrails to hem us in - parameters for living life every day.
So 2000 + years later when your mind is assailed, let me make it simple--narrow your focus to these God-given priorities:
#1. Love God well - honor him in thought, with your words, how you act
#2. Love those he gave you well. And for goodness sake, do not make it a practice to give them your exhausted left-overs!
#3. Be prudent with the rest of who you are . . . particularly guarding against distractions and detractors that would pull you away from your first two priorities.
Many years ago, my friend Kathy and I purposed to get up early and spend fifteen minutes alone with God before we went about our day ... and support each other in doing it. We called and asked one other about our morning time, cheering for, and also holding each other accountable for what we purposed to do. Our goal was three weeks without a missed morning with God; if a miss, the three weeks started over.
That habit radically changed my life--
not just then, but now--25 years later...
as it is how I still start each day.
It was not too long after that I began writing my prayers in a simple, lined journal so that I could stay focused. If I got distracted or pulled away, I could pick up right where I left off. What a benefit!
Here's the format I use to focus my morning prayer:
Set Apart time with God Date: ____________
Choose a verse or verses, ask God to help you understand and apply
>Adoration: Our Father who art in Heaven . . . hallowed be
>Confession: Forgive me of my sins . . . anyone you need to forgive?
>Asking: Pray for others' needs, specifically
Pray for yourself; be sure to ask God for wisdom, for favor
>Thanksgiving: I thank you, God, for ______, ________,
>Listening: Speak to me, Lord. I'm listening . . .
Give God some quiet in which to speak.
Write down what you sense he is telling you:
Focus, friend; start your day with some set apart time with God. Then you too will know too much not to share!
A song to drive it home: Thy Will, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dp4WC_YZAuw
* - Mark 12.30-31