Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Are you in IT?! Because you should be.

Oh, sometimes I am so stubborn and prideful. Or perhaps just ignorant and lazy. Either case is dangerous and sinful. {sigh}

The Lord has been chipping away at my heart for the last few months {years...?}and it seems the more frazzled and out of whack I get, the more He draws me in. This weekend many things in my personal life and heart as well as things in the world all just seemed to come to a head for me - and there was a moment of genuine "BING" where the light bulb just went off. My heart was broken and tender as I evaluated my life and saw a huge, gaping, hole. And just like that I realized why so many other things in life have seemed off kilter. Because you see, even when knee deep in ministry and life and raising children and loving Jesus... you HAVE to be in His word consistently. You have to be digging in and digesting - and for far too long now I just haven't known HOW. Oh I can read through a bible study book and I can tackle a proverb a day like a champ - but my soul has felt starved! I always want more and I just never knew the "perfect" way to get it. Spoiler: there is NO perfect way, so...just do it! 

I attended a 4 year Bible college and have been a believer since I was 13 years old. I grew up in the church since I was 5 and have attended every VBS, youth group, club, etc. known to kid-kind. I had AMAZING youth leaders and a fantastic youth pastor {and wife!} in middle school that have left deep impact on my life. :) The Lord has showered me with amazing relationships that have helped me grow and develop into a woman of God. I married a godly and Christ-seeking man. Thank.You.Jesus! But even through all of that - I've never heard such a clear and impactful way of bible study as I did this weekend at our ladies conference. I was signed up to be in another breakout session, but I felt the Lord impress on my heart to attend the "Choosing Joy Daily in God's Word" session. Because truth is - I don't always have joy in God's word and often times my day feels like a big chaotic WHAT AM I DOING!? kind of thing. So, I went and I sat in the very front row. :)  It was like a banquet table to this hungry heart! 

"Maintaining the Christian life apart from a steady diet of His word is impossible."

"There isn't anything on your schedule that could possibly be more valuable than time 
spent with your Father."
-Charles Stanley, In-touch magazine

For those of us who feel like we are floundering or lost or just not sure of where to start and HOW to study God's word - let me share what I've learned and fan the flame for you. Because we MUST be in God's word! Choose your passage or book of the bible or wherever you are reading, grab a notebook and pen,  and then... 

SPECS. Not a real word, but, in acronym form we get this:

S- Sins. What sins are in the passage read? Do I have something I need to repent of and change?
P- Promises. What promises are their to claim? Write them down.
E- Examples to follow. What are they? Good or bad.
C- Commands to obey. List them. Know them. Take them seriously.
S- Scripture to memorize. Tuck it into your brain and KNOW it. 

This method blew me away. I actually teared up and cried right there in the workshop in the front row. It resonated with me and the Lord just gently pushed on my heart and convicted me that I NEED to be in His word and THIS is a good and helpful way! It had never been presented so clearly and passionately. I was SO thankful to have been in that workshop. 

And a few starting point ideas for those of us who never know where to open up to:
  1. Psalm 119 study. Read 8 verses a day and then ask yourself these questions:
  • What does the word DO?
  • What is it?
  • What is my responsibility? 
2. Life of Christ/ Gospels study
  • Read through the Gospels {Matt, Mark, Luke, John}
  • What did Christ do? List every action. Know Jesus and how He lived. {WOW!}
3. Epistles Study
  • How did believers grow and change?
  • How seriously FAITH matters
4. Chronological reading of the bible from start to finish. Get the full picture! 

Wow, I am so so thankful for the ladies {Julie & Danielle} who shared such great wisdom and leadership. My heart is brimming to full and I'm eager and excited to jump in on these things! In my quiet time today I was reminded again of just how important it is to keep growing and being in God's word. 

"For this reason we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; 10 that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God;" Col. 1:9-10

This is commandment, friends... GROW! 

John MacArthur comments on the knowledge of God like this:

"Spiritual growth cannot occur apart from this knowledge. The evidences of spiritual growth include a deeper love for God's word, a more perfect obedience, a strong doctrinal foundation, an expanding faith, and a greater love for others." 
-MacArthur study bible, Colossians 1:10 

Are you in IT? Because... You should be. 


Alicia Lenoir said...

Thank you for the acronym Specs I will use it makes it so practical for using when reading God's word. I wished I could of been in all of the workshops but God had me in the right one.

Lindsay said...

Thank you for sharing that method and for sharing your heart!

The Sneaky Mommy said...

I love this, Mandi! SO true, so convicting, and so encouraging! I struggle so much with being in God's Word consistently--even when I KNOW it's what I should do and want to do! Love it when God gives us a renewed passion for His Word!