The below devotional email really had the Lord speaking to me on different levels this morning. That and it was the second one related to spending/finances that I read this morning, which is one thing that Tyler and I have really been praying about since my 'retirement' ;)...all funnies aside, I felt that I should share this! It's from Proverbs 31 Ministries - 'Encouragement for today'...you can subscribe to their emails here: http://www.proverbs31.org/. Enjoy :)
July 27, 2010
"Imagine a person who lives well, treating others fairly, keeping good relationships...doesn't live by impulse and greed, doesn't treat one person better than another, but lives by my statutes and faithfully honors and obeys my laws."
Ezekiel 18:5 (MSG)
Have you ever run out to purchase a new outfit simply because you felt you had nothing to wear? Or better yet, you're shopping with a friend and see a blouse that is oh-so-fabulous, only to get home and decide it doesn't go with anything else you own; as a result it hangs in your closet with the tags on.
Our class reunion, a wedding, a special party or even our best friend's cook-out begs us to run to the nearest store to buy something new. We often end up purchasing an outfit that is just so-so on us because we're in a hurry to find something and we end up wearing it only that once. Oh, the life of an impulsive shopper! Oh, the money wasted!
I wonder if God thinks we've become a nation of impulsive Christians too. We quickly toss up a prayer pleading for help regarding an illness or impending bills. Or, we quickly scan through a book that promises spiritual health in three easy steps. In the end, the quick scan of the book and the one-time prayer doesn't afford us all we really need - but we hardly notice since we've moved on to our next impulse.
Again and again we put our relationship with God in a corner, then pull it out when crisis comes, then stick it back in the corner as normalcy returns. And we become confused as to why things are turning out the way they are. We struggle with reaching out to God, only doing so when we need Him to fix something for us. Then we get angry when He feels distant; kind of like how we feel unfulfilled when that new dress or pair of capris doesn't really solve our wardrobe issues.
Impulsive shopping and impulsive Christian living have much in common. Both cause confusion and frustration. Both require intention and a plan to overcome.
Just like a well-equipped closet doesn't happen overnight, well-equipped faith doesn't either. Haphazardly bought pieces of clothing aren't effective in creating a solid, workable wardrobe. In the same way, haphazardly spending time with the Lord isn't going to be effective in building a solid, knowledgeable relationship with Him. As a Christian fashion consultant, I can tell you it takes time to grow your relationship with God, just as it takes time to assemble an efficient wardrobe.
Let's take time today and examine the areas in our lives that need some work. Go into your prayer closet today and ask yourself: How can I get more intentional about my walk with God?
Dear God, thank You for desiring more of me than just quick, impulsive prayers. I want to grow more like You every single day and seek You with purpose, not impulse. Please show me how You want me to do that. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
Visit Shari's blog to win a signed copy of her newly released book Good Girls Don't Have to Dress Bad. It is a full-color, complete style guide for women and is a long awaited resource for the Christian community. She will select 3 winners!
You may also download a free Wardrobe Plan Sheet to help you get organized with your clothes, too!
10 Minutes a Day with Jesus: Growing in Your Love for the Savior by Jim Reapsome
Do you set aside time each day to spend with God in prayer? You can start today. Begin with 10 minutes and before you know it, the time you spend with God will fly by, just like when you talk with a good friend!
Think twice before acting on impulse. I have rarely regretted the times I have paused and prayed before making a decision.
What situations tend to bring out impulsive reactions in you? If nothing comes to mind, ask God to impress upon you where you get tripped up. Pray about how to change the process.
There is only one be-all, fix-all in life, and it's not a dress, a pair of shoes, or a 10-day guide to happiness. It is Him, the One who made us. If I begin my search in a conversation with God, I will find the answers I am looking for. (Don't confuse this with always getting the answer you are hoping for, sometimes God's answer is not what we want to hear!)
2 Corinthians 10:5-6, "We use our powerful God-tools for smashing warped philosophies, tearing down barriers erected against the truth of God, fitting every loose thought and emotion and impulse into the structure of life shaped by Christ. Our tools are ready at hand for clearing the ground of every obstruction and building lives of obedience into maturity." (MSG)
Romans 8:26, "The spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express." (NIV)
James 1:5, "If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him." (NIV)