Saturday, April 24, 2010

Get Connected - Stay Protected

I recently had a security system installed at the house. I learned how to arm and disarm it easy enough what's taken the most getting used to is hearing the warning beeps every time I open a door. The warning beeps can be a little disconcerting and even annoying. I thought about turning the warning beeps off, but somehow that seems to negate the purpose of having a security system. Those warning beeps are reminders of what to listen for so if there is a time it goes off and I know it's not due to me or the family, it quickens my mind to pay attention and be aware. It helps give me a sense of security in normal daily situations not just security in knowing it's armed when I am asleep or away from home.

I think as Christians we have a built in security system as well. Have you ever been in a situation where you just knew you needed to leave or be wary? That's a spirit of discernment that comes from God via the Holy Spirit. But if you turned the discernment volume down or even off you could be in a messy or dangerous situation quickly.

Most of us wouldn't purposely turn the volume down or off. But how do we keep it to where we can hear it? We have to stay connected to God. But then the question becomes how to stay connected to God. If you ask a variety of people they will probably all offer different advice. One might say to get up at 5 am and spend an hour in prayer and bible study. Another might say to listen to praise and worship music all day and yet another might say something entirely different.
The reality is it’s not a 1-2-3 step process. Being the anal person that I am, I would prefer it. If I do this, this and this - then this will naturally happen right? Nope – not with relationships. They simply do not work that way. I've learned the hard way that you have to cultivate and nurture all relationships, especially one with God.

So as loosey goosey as it sounds you have to figure out what's good for you. If you're not a morning person getting up at 5 am will probably not work for you past 1 or 2 mornings. But getting up 10-15 minutes before the kids might be doable.
But regardless of what you do, make it structured and stick to it. Just as you might set a regular date night with your spouse, a lunch date with girlfriends or go to the gym, it’s just as important to schedule your time with God. You will know when to do it - rather than trying to fit it in. If you have just 15 minutes, start there and work your way up to more and more time. If you look at your day realistically there is time. I ration my time on other things until I know I've done what I need to do. I have even been known to set a timer to account for how much time I spend online If I don't I could easily spend an hour or two at the computer. So set a reminder and if need be a timer – and spend some time with God.

If you're a go with the flow type of person this might be hard for you. I am SO not a go with the flow type of girl but if I were, I might think of a 1000 other things or just rest and relax and not realize I hadn't made time for it.

So start with 15 minutes. Pray - talk to God. Find a devotional book that speaks to you. Most are less than 5 minutes. Read it, meditate on it, pray about it and then include God in the rest of your day. I talk to God while I shower or drive or clean. I listen to a lot of Christian music because it puts me in the mood to commune with God. I have to prep myself physically and mentally because I tend to make things harder than they are. So if I can do this – being the queen of procrastination and excuses that I am - I promise you can too. Like anything, practice makes perfect. The more connected to God that you are the more you’ll hear his voice and feel his discernment and the more guided you’ll be.

Get connected - stay protected.

Today's Reflection: As I develop my relationship with you I am fully aware of the power of the Holy Spirit in my life. I feel his presence guiding and directing me and definitely protecting me. I cannot fathom living this life without him. Thank you Lord for the gift of the holy spirit and for developing a heart within me to hear his voice and lean towards his words fully with understanding.

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