This week I started reading a book called Set-Apart Femininity by Leslie Ludy which has been such a blessing. Ladies, if you haven't read it, I encourage you to put it on your to-do list. The message that really stood out to my heart this week that I hope will encourage you has been "dying to the pleasures of this world." When will I stop listening and buying into what the world says is pleasurable and harmless? Precious time with the Savior is missed when we spend our time engrossed in social media. I believe the challenge here is breaking our habits. What have we told ourselves is okay to do and what has been our excuse?
The first thing that I felt convicted of was listening to the radio while driving. I tell myself that not every secular song is bad, but what really is the point in the grand scheme of things if that alone time in the car could have been spent in prayer instead? What if we spent our 'down time' praying and committing our day to Him? Would our perspective of that day change? Would we feel more prepared to face that day's challenges?
The second thing I felt convicted of was the need for Len and I to begin our dates by committing our time to the Lord rather than starting off doing things other than praying together. We needed to make prayer our number one activity and everything else could fit around it. Since asking God to teach us, draw us closer to Him, and give us the strength to resist any temptation, the focus changes from ourselves to Christ, and we are stronger than ever.
I feel like it\'s so important to surrender each and every day to God; when we first start our day, when we start any activity alone or with others, and even in place of the pointless activities that we have allowed into our routine. Sometimes we believe that 'me' time or 'us' time requires something other than the Bible or prayer to give us peace, enjoyment, and relaxation. But according to the Bible, that is far from the truth...
"You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore." Psalm 16:11
When we open our heart to Christ, there is joy! There is peace!
"Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid." John 14:27
As Leslie Ludy put it: "When we lay everything at the feet of Jesus and find our deepest fulfillment, rest, peace, strength, and joy in His presence alone... we are ushered into the supernatural, superhuman existence God designed us to live."
It is a challenge to deny our pleasures and delights that seem so harmless. It's what our friends are doing, it's fun, and maybe it's not even sinful. But how much time of our day are we spending serving the Lord? How many extra-curricular activities have we sacrificed for the cause of Christ? Aren't we supposed to be of another world and not of this one? A set-apart life is supposed to stand out - not fit in. "No matter where you have been or where you are at, Christ is ready to transform you with His stunning beauty... Spend alone time with Christ and lay your life before Him. Allow Him to gently reveal to you the selfish patterns of your life and ask Him to forgive you in each of those areas.” We need to ask for the heart to want to change, as this is not a halfhearted commitment. Lord, help me to see things differently and not fall into the trap of selfish pleasure. Help me so that I may desire to honor you with my time above all other distractions.
"Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night." - Psalm 1:1-2
What is something that our culture says is normal and okay that you have been listening to lately? Would you join me in asking God to show us what may be interfering with our relationship with Him? Let us ask Him to give us the strength to get rid of it and replace it with quality time spent with Him so that we may experience true peace and joy of a life set-apart for Him.
About the Author: Hi there! My name is Bethany and I love to journal. I created a blog so that I could record my thoughts and feelings, share the lessons in life God has been teaching me, and encourage those who read it. I hope I can interact with other Christian bloggers so that we can encourage one another. I think blogs are a great tool to connect with people who share the same passion for blogging, learning, and growing in their faith. I like to write about my relationship with my fiance and our journey towards marriage, what God has been teaching me, my adventures to china and other milestones in my life, and people/books/stories that inspire me. Please stop by, leave a comment and share your blog with me too! I would love to read your stories! http://lenandbethany.blogspot.com/