While I was trying to make a plan of what to read each day for my very own #30daysforGod challenge, I wanted to just open my bible each day and read what the Holy Spirit led me to.
I have at least five printed Bibles in my home (all different versions). My favorite way to engage though, is using the app on my phone. It is the Youversion Bible App. What I like about it is that while I usually read the New Living Translation, there are times when it helps to have other interpretations to clarify a point. When I am not sure if I am understanding a passage, I can go from King James to Common English to Amplified. If I still have questions, I text my Pastor Matty.
The app also has reading plans available to choose from. I didn’t want to necessarily go through a reading plan as they are not always inspiring enough or deep enough for me.
It didn’t take long for me to realize this morning as I sat with my coffee at my side and opened the app to begin that I’m on the right path. When you first open the app there is home page which has a daily verse, a suggested (usually a recently introduced) reading plan, and what your connected friends have been up to on their faith journey with the app. I only have a couple of connections but it is encouraging to see them working through their struggles faithfully as well.
Today’s suggested reading plan is titled Seek God in His Word. It is a 10 day devotional. What a perfect start to my 30 days. Today’s devotional content was The Three Mental Barriers to Hearing God’s Voice; pride, fear, and bitterness.
Well, if that did not sum up my yesterday in a nutshell…
I struggled so much yesterday with sticking to my guns with the decisions I had already made. That was pride and fear. I want to be able to make the decisions in my life and have them all work out how I want them to work out.
It’s a constant battle to remind myself over and over again that God’s plan is perfect. He called me to complete this 30 days, I needed to follow through in every aspect for it to make the most impact for my life.
When I want to send that text and tell myself, “It’s just one text, no big deal.” I have to remember than the more I remove myself from the plan, the more correcting God will have to do. I’ve seen His loving correction…I think I’ll skip sending the text.
This is where the tears come in; and I have to let them. I have to let myself grieve. I have to feel the pain of the situation; change is hard work. Just as physical growth is painful, spiritual and emotional growth is no different.
Each time I reach for my phone I have to physically put it down with intention. I have to remind myself that this is all part of God’s perfect plan.
Just as I wrote recently about The Ultimate Lie I am reminded that God will provide a way for me to turn from temptation. That is the easy part. The difficult part is when I have to use what God has provided and make the choice and effort to not give in to temptation.
Yesterday, God used Mary S. This woman’s faith is so encouraging. Her compassion is so real. Instead of texting and calling who I wanted to text, I texted her and she prayed me through it. That’s a friend right there.
When I posted yesterday’s post, one of the first messages I received was from another friend just letting me know she was lifting me up in prayer and that whatever it was that I am seeking becomes overwhelmingly obvious.
Such great encouragement.
I thank You for the opportunity to grow closer to You. I am thankful that Your mercies are endless.
As I stumble, I ask for strength and endurance to endure. Please Lord, bring Your faithful to surround me. While they encourage me, I also hope they challenge me.
Lord, as I alone am accountable for my own actions, I pray Matthew 6 : 13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, and the power and the glory, forever. Amen (KJ)
My heart is still heavy Lord, my resolve strong. Allow me to show people how great You are.
The suggested reading for today that went along with the devotional:
James 1 :21 So get rid of all of the filth and evil in your lives, and humbly accept the word God has planted in your hearts, for it has the power to save souls. (NLT)
My full intention this month is to listen to God as He speaks to me, as He uses people around me to challenge and support me. I will humbly accept His word because I know the power it holds.
Reading through the full chapter, a letter James wrote to the twelve tribes scattered abroad, it talks about seeing trouble in a different light.
James 1 : 2 – 4 2 Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. 3 For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. 4 So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.
Isn’t this EXACTLY what I want out of this 30 days? Well, then my job is to suck up the hard days. The minutes when all I can do is cry because the pain in my heart becomes a physical ache. I will endure this pain as I am called to.
Help me to continue hearing you in my everyday world. I am trying so hard to follow you and to listen to your loving guidance. There is nothing easy about this and I am grateful for the friends you have given me over the last three years to hold my hand down this very difficult path.
Lord, bring me peace in understanding that You are in complete control and that although this may not be easy, it is worth it; I am worth it.
Help me to remain strong while you rebuild me into the woman I am supposed to be.