Sunday, August 26, 2012

Developing a Passion for God's Word - Part 1

But those who wait on the Lord
shall renew their strength;
they shall mount up with wings like eagles,
they shall run and not be weary,
they shall walk and not faint.
--Isaiah 40:31

As a busy woman, your natural tendency at the sound of the alarm each morning is probably to hit the floor running (like me!).  The blare coming from your clock reminds you (once again!) that you are faced with a life full of responsibilities.

And if we look a little deeper into our hearts, we also find thoughts like these -- "I'll never get it all done...especially  if I take time out of my hectic schedule to read my Bible and pray!"

But, dear one, the exact opposite is true for you and me as God's busy women, for it was our Lord Himself who said, "Without Me you can do nothing" (John 15:5).

Like an Eagle
By contrast, the Bible teaches us that with Him we can "mount up with wings like eagles" (Isaiah 40:31).  Can you imagine...soaring through you pressured days like an eagle?!  Watching eagles first-hand can give you an understanding of Isaiah's imagery of strength  and endurance.

For instance, an eagle...
...has a wingspan of up to seven feet (how majestic!)
...flies higher than almost any other bird, up to 10, 000 feet (how awesome!)
...glides easily at up to 2400 feet altitude (oh, for the ability to rise above life's demands and difficulties!)
...moves up to 150 miles an hour (and oh, for the ability to speed through our daily work!) and
...can carry objects equal to its body weight (no task is too daunting!).

With such grandeur available to our imagination it's clear that even with our multitude of responsibilites, we must be women who wait on the Lord.  In spite of the busy-ness of life, you and I must learn to look to Him each new morning.  We must realize that life management is really spiritual life management.  So we must pay attention to a handful of daily disciplines that are sure to ignite in us a passion for the Lord and equip us for living out His plan each day...and for life!

Three Small Steps
Here's a little three-step method that helps us tend to first things matter how busy we are.

1.  Time is first on the list.  Our time is always well spent when we spend it looking to the Lord through His Word.  You and I must acknowledge this truth and accept it for life.  We must embrace the challenge to cultivate the discipline of daily time in the Bible into our daily routine.  What time?

2.  First time.  Aim at giving the first minutes of each day to the reading of God's Word.  Proverbs 3:9 instructs you and me to "Honor the Lord with your possessions, and with the first fruits of all your increase."  Then comes the promise-- "so your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats will overflow with new wine" (verse 10).  This proverb is speaking of the blessings that follow the offering of a tithe to God of the first crops from the harvest.

But the same results occur in the spiritual realm.  We are blessed in our spirit and in our practical life when we make it a point to give God the first portion of time from the harvest of each fresh new day, of each new measure of 1440 minutes.

3.  Early time.  David wrote these expressive words from the core of his heart -- "O God, You are my God; early will I seek You; my soul thirsts for You" (Psalm 63:1).  Many of the great heroes of the faith sincerely sought communion with God early and earnestly in their day.  For instance,

--Abraham rose up early in the morning and went to the place where he met with the Lord (Genesis 19:27).

--David wrote of morning worship with these utterances:  "My voice You shall hear in the morning, O Lord; in the morning I will direct it to You, and I will look up" (Psalm 5:3).  I particularly love the translation that reads, "at dawn I hold myself in readiness for you, I watch for you."

--And our Lord Jesus rose up early, while it was still night, literally a long while before daylight, to converse in solitude with His heavenly Father (Mark 1:35).

Three small steps.  And three simple steps any woman can take!  A time, the first time, and an early time.  As I'm thinking back to the eagles, I realize that it comes for a purpose -- to get food for the day.  And it comes as the first act of its day, taking care of first things first, the priority of ensuring sustenance, nutrition, and energy.  And it comes early --at the first hint of daybreak, as soon as it can see.

You and I need the spiritual food only the Word of God can provide...and that takes time.  And we need to gather that food first thing each day, before life presents its daily demands on our hours and our energy.  And we need to do it early, before the rush and clamor of the day begin. 

Life Management for Busy Women by Elizabeth George

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