Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Growing DEEP Roots!



For several years one of my New Years Resolutions was to have a stronger walk with the Lord.  I had come to a place where I was no longer feeling fully fed from simply going to church, listening to speakers on CD, attending women's retreats.



Don't get me wrong I still enjoyed all those things, and they still played an important role in my life, but there was a deep yearning in my heart for more.




The Lord brought Debbie Friley into my life at about that time.   This beautiful woman of God taught me that what I was hungering for was the "how-to" read God's word.  I was not consistent with my own quiet time because I was over-complicating it.  I had this picture in my head of sitting for long periods each morning as I lingered.  (I had four children, two in diapers at the time)  This picture of perfection kept from the Lord more than anything else ever did. Because I could never live up to it!   



Instead, I had created the habit of sporatic quiet times that were exactly what the picture in my head looked like.  They would be big and beautiful but not lasting.  In order to fill in the gaps I became dependent on others to fill me spiritually.  Though they blessed my heart beyond measure, it could never completely fill me.  I wanted MORE!



I had to learn how to become a SELF-FEEDING Christian.  The first thing Debbie showed me was that the reason I struggled with consistency in my quiet times is because I was making them too difficult.  Our relationship with Jesus should be simple.  He loves us and wants us to spend time with Him.  I learned that little bites done consistently grow me closer to the Lord than big spurts of grandeur.



What does consistent small bites look like?



Pick a book of the bible and work on reading less but being present more.




I found it's better to read one paragraph, stop, ask the Lord how that applies to your life personally, and begin a conversation with Him.  Sometimes it turns into praise, other times I'm led to repent as He reveals a sinful heart motive, other times He is simply affirming me with His deep love.



But here's the KEY INGREDIENT!



Chew On it all day long!



Make yourself go back and think about what you read while you do dishes, drive the kids places, make dinner, clean out the tub!  Talk about it with others.  If your friend calls tell her how God spoke to you.  It helps you to stay consistently connected.



The truth is it's so easy to get busy, do your quiet time, move on with your day, and completely forget about the conversation you had with God over coffee.  Making yourself chew on it helps it to grow deep roots!




The seeds that fell among the thorns represent those who hear the message, but all too quickly the message is crowded out by the cares and riches and pleasures of this life. And so they never grow into maturity. ~ Luke 8:14




This is what happens when we read, close our bibles and get busy!



And the seeds that fell on the good soil represent honest, good-hearted people who hear God’s word, CLING TO IT, and patiently produce a huge harvest. ~ Luke 8:15



Lord Jesus, let the soil of our hearts be fertile.  Let your Word find a resting place where it can grow roots that go deep and keep us firmly planted in you no matter what this world throws at us.


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