POn Women in Revival podcast, we have been looking at Luke the physician. Luke devoted his time to take in the word for himself, and then to pass it on. I believe we can all agree that there is no genuine believer who will say they have no need of growing in their sojourn with the Lord. So, till we reach eternity, we will need to keep growing in our intake of God’s word. We all have this need, though the way the need appears may differ. We live in a very demanding world, so if we are not progressing in our walk with God, this world and its demands will overwhelm us. Meanwhile, God wants to help us so that we can help others. Remember Luke the physician. I do recognise the fact that we have challenges and difficulties in our daily personal sojourn with the Lord. Many Christian women find it difficult to engage God in His word. How do we resolve some of the problems we might have encountered in our personal devotions?
1. Acknowledge them as a problem. Do not try to call them something else. Think of the martyr Perpetua, when she was told to say she was not a Christian for the sake of her young son, she said to her father, would you call a jug by any other name but a jug? Her father said no, and Perpetua said, I am a Christian, and can not go by any other name. The same with this, if the challenges of this world are a problem, call them problems.
2. Have hope you can conquer them. Do not let them discourage you, but let them make you more vulnerable to God. And I want us to know that God Himself is more eager to help us out. It is the devil that discourages or makes mockery of us. Be real with God, tell Him your weaknesses/struggles.
3. Be at peace with your fellow sisters. Do not compete with others in their Christian journey, but desire their walk with God. Covet godliness in each other.
Let us see how we may deal with some of these difficulties.
• Lack of consistency: We must ask ourselves, ‘Why am I inconsistent?’ It could be genuine reasons, or it may not. Knowing the reason behind the lack of consistency matters alot. Maybe it is body weakness, nursing a child, many younger ones to look after, less sleep, house chores, going late to bed and waking up quite early. All these are matters for us to review, someone once said that our morning time with God starts from the way we spend our night. If you know you are going to work early tomorrow, then, go to bed as early as is possible.
• When it is busyness: Cut down on things that are not that useful for you and concentrate your time and energy on building your faith, you cannot be in everything and everywhere. Put your priorities aright.
• When it is your work: We cannot divide our Christian life from our secular work, it is Christ both at home and at work. So, to sort this type of issue, trust God to help you start your day in prayer and read the Bible no matter how little, with that, you have put something in your heart to chew on as you go to work, then, you can deliberately create a me and God time while on break at work, or when you return back home.
You can listen to Bible on phone when possible, but make time during the day, be it morning, afternoon or night to study the word.
The ideal time to sit with the Lord is in the morning, our mornings must be given to the LORD, but if situations and circumstances do not permit, look for a time that suits you and the Lord as long as you are hearing Him speak to you as you quieten your spirit in His presence.
• Picking verses to study randomly: The ideal way to study the word is to go through the Bible, you may take it book by book, but even when you diversify to study a character or topic, it is always good to return to studying the word chapter by chapter. Picking a verse from a passage today and another passage tomorrow will not give you a deeper overview of the consistency of God’s word and the full picture of the scriptures. Devotionals likewise don’t give us the privilege to get familiar with the entire Scripture, so we must aim at studying through the scriptures book by book.
I usually advise that do not aim to study a whole chapter in one go, take it bit by bit. You may read many chapters, but study them in bits.
• Not diligence in journaling: Never be a Christian without a study note. In having a note, you are writing your own personal autobiography with the Lord. If you are diligent with electronic storage, that will be wonderful, keep all your study notes to refer back to. They form bedrocks for your own personal journey of faith. It is my own personal discipline to review a chapter that I just finished studying before moving to another chapter. And there are moments when some issues come to my heart, moments in which I need to get the notes where the Lord probably communicated with me on. So, get yourself a notebook to write down whatever you study.
• Quality/quantity time: I believe the matter of time for me is more of consistency or continuity.
I will usually advise that rather than focus so much on a long session of study in one go, focus on consistency, that is meeting with God continuously), as you appear before Him daily. I have also realised that the time increases without even planning to do so. To get a quality time with God, you need quantity, and to get a quantity time with God, you need quality, and this comes as you make your experience a daily thing (continuity is the key).
• Inability to study some days: There will definitely be days when all you might do is just read, and not able to sit down to study in-depth. This should only be a once in a while occurrence as much as possible. I pray the Lord help you to be His Luke at such a time as this, putting together your personal portfolio with the Lord. And who knows, what you are learning may become a great tool for another person’s growth!
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