Being Busy but Wanting to Go Deeper with God- How I Do It.

going deeperI’ve been on a journey of getting more serious in my time with God. I needed to increase my personal relationship with Christ. I’ve been very successful in my journey and my life has been blessed in my growth. My life has improved in every area thanks to God’s blessing and guidance.

My journey started off with finding the little times in my busy day to stop and focus on God. It didn’t matter if it was 5 minutes or 30, the most important thing was getting some prayer and listening in. It was a great start. But eventually I wanted more. More prayer. More listening. More scripture. More connection.

Sadly, I can’t spend hours in God’s presence like I would like to. God has blessed me with responsibilities, so it’s hard to see how I can find more time for God without being a good steward of God’s gifts. So I sat down and asked myself: What do I want more of? It came down to these three things:

With this in mind, I made a simple system of my day to help me get more of these three things.

More connection: 

First, I wanted to be more personal. I didn’t want to just read devotionals, I wanted to give God time to work in me. So I decided that while I would keep doing one inspirational devotional a day, I would also do part of my own personal bible study a day. This is me working chapter by chapter through a book of the Bible. I also would do a separate topical study a day too (for example: patience, prayer, joy, etc).

This may sound like a lot, but here’s the thing: I don’t have to set a specific amount of time to do this. I like to not set up so many rules that, when I break, would discourage me. Instead, I give more attention to what I feel I need that day. As long as I get some of it in, I’ve done what is important.

More prayer: 

Every time I start a devotional, I pray before hand. But this was becoming just a step to get over. So instead, I set certain times of the day to pray. First, I pray first thing in the morning and right before I go to bed. Then, I added time after lunch to address prayer requests for my friends and I. I also try to have a “prayer and listening” time where I stop and listen for God’s voice.

More dependence:

Doing all these things at different times of my day helps me focus on God through out my day and helps me depend on him to get through the tough times. And that is what all of this is about- learning to be more like Christ and depend on him every single day.

How do you grow in your devotional life? Tell me what you do in the comments!

God bless!

Lillian ❤

Similar Posts:

  1. Meditating on His Word
  2. A Secret Place
  3. Learning to Listen
  4. Identity, Struggle, and Potential
  5. Identity in Christ

Anxiety (My Struggle and Freedom)

IMG_0077 - Copy copyI can’t. I can’t. I can’t. 

What if…? What if…? What if…?

Am I wrong? Am I wrong? Am I wrong? 

One of these three things would repeat in my head over and over as I held my head, alone in my room, barley breathing. Sometimes I would cry. Other times I would throw up. I was having a anxiety attack.

Anything would set me off. An upcoming test. An argument with my fiance. Failure at making friends in school. Lack of money. Drama from home. It was getting close to every other day when I realized (a little late) that anxiety was controlling my life. One day I came across a verse which says not to let the devil have a foothold in your life (Ephesians 4:27). It was then I felt God reveal to me that I was being oppressed by the spirit of anxiety.

Now please, do not hear what I am not saying. I fully believe anxiety can be a medical condition that we need to treat until God will heal. But I also believe that the devil or demons can bring anxiety on us to keep us from God’s calling on our lives. The later was my case, and I know plenty of girls who have the prior. However, I know it was not a medical condition for me because I never had a problem with anxiety in the slightest before I came to Bible college.

So after God revealed it to me that the enemy was gaining a foothold, I started to pray for freedom. I needed to cast all my anxiety on Him (1 Peter 5:7), so much so that He takes my spirit of worry and fear completely off me. I knew I had the power to free myself from the enemy’s schemes because of Christ, but I also knew like any healing, its a process. So after a few days of prayer, fasting a few meals here and there, I came to the alter in chapel after a sermon about worry. A fellow student prayed over me, one who had not known my struggle, and casting the enemy off of me, and I felt that I was free!

It has been confirmed to me that I am free several times. I’ve gone through situations (including finals) very calmly that would have sent me into an attack before. I’ve been told that I walk differently now. I praise God for this freedom and I don’t blog this to brag, but to extend an invite for freedom if you suffer like I suffered.

If you have anxiety or anything not of God that is controlling you (addiction, anger, forgiveness, etc), pray to God and seek freedom in Him (I recommend the Bondage Breaker by Neil T. Anderson). If you do not receive freedom after a season of prayer, do not be afraid to seek medical help, but always after seeking the Lord’s healing first.

This is my testimony. God has set me free! And He will set you free too! Amen.

Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.

~2 Corinthians 3:17

For the Days You Feel Overwhelmed

overwhelmedFeeling overwhelmed is a pretty common thing for us young adults. Trying to learn how to live out new “adult” lives, being swamped with college work, money being low, anxiety being high, living away from home for the first time- sometimes we just feel surrounded by worry or even failure.

But Christ doesn’t want us to live like that. God gave us the power to live above worry and troubles; to be in the world but not of it (Col. 3:2). Jesus came and provided a better life for us, one free from the bondage of being overwhelmed.

Now, please do not hear what I am not saying. I am not saying as Christians we should be unrealistically happy all hours of the day. I am not saying that if you feel overwhelmed you are not “Christian” enough. I am not saying nothing should bother you. What I am saying is that we don’t have to let things rule us. We may still feel overwhelmed, but we don’t have to be overwhelmed (read more on that here). Life is still the same but we are not. Through Christ we are free.

Now that we know that we don’t have to live like this, let us learn how we can live differently. The secret to rising above the overwhelming feelings we experience is summed up in three words: Focus on God. 

How did Peter walk on the water? He focused on God. The Bible says Peter walked on the water easily until “he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!” (Matt. 14:30). When believers in Israel were being forced to chose between Judaism and Christ, the writer of Hebrews told them, “We must focus our eyes on Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith.” (Heb. 12:2). We have to take our eyes off of things of this world, and set our vision on God. (For more on this, see Colossians 3).

Start off with simply diving into your time with God. Pray, read the Bible, and spend time listening to God. Go to a secret place with Him, where there is no distractions. As you focus on Him, He will help you when you feel overwhelmed. He will give you a state of peace beyond what you can understand (Phil 4:7). He will help you prioritize, guiding you to what you can let go of and what you can pursue (Psalms 25:4-5). Put God first in all you do, and the rest will fall into place. (Matt 6:33)

Learning to Listen (Elijah~ 1 Kings 19:9b-13)

listening_eOne of the things I often forget is to just sit still and listen to God. As humans, we often forget that God, who can feel so mysterious and distant, speaks back to us. It’s important that we stop and listen to God when we pray. If you were talking to a friend and never stopped talking to listen to them, do you think they would feel like you even care? Just like we listen to friends, we should listen to God.

A lot of things can get in the way of us listening to God. One I am guilty of constantly, as you dear readers know, is being too busy. In this western world where time is everything, we often have schedules that are filled to the brim. My generation especially is the culprit of busyness. From early on, we were encouraged to do everything we can to create the best application for college- doing school work, sports, extracurriculars, family duties, community service, etc… the list goes on and on. We can all be guilty of not leaving any room for God. Even if we do schedule in time with God, our brains can be so wired and scattered that God’s voice isn’t heard. Elijah heard a still small voice on the mount in Horeb, after all commotion ceased:

And the word of the LORD came to him: “What are you doing here, Elijah?”

10 He replied, “I have been very zealous for the LORD God Almighty. The Israelites have rejected your covenant, torn down your altars, and put your prophets to death with the sword. I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me too.”

11 The LORD said, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the LORD, for the LORD is about to pass by.”

Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake. 12 After the earthquake came a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. 13 When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave.

Then a voice said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”    ~1 Kings 19:9b-13 NIV

Elijah was feeling the stress of ministry and persecution, and needed some encouragement. So God told him to enter His presence. When we hit hard times, we need to go into His presence and know that He will reveal Himself to us just like He did for Elijah. I love having chapel everyday here at Bible college. I might be having the worst morning, but I rarely go through worship without feeling refreshed and encouraged by His presence.

Next we see God is approaching the mountain. There was a giant commotion with wind, an earthquake, and a great fire. But God wasn’t in the commotion. He came afterward. Sometimes we are surrounded by hardships, but we can know that God’s on His way. God is our deliverer, and He promises that He will come through. We need to have faith that there is a light at the end of the tunnel, even if we can’t see it yet.

If that wasn’t hard enough, we also have to step back and separate ourselves from the commotion to hear God. Sometimes I wish I could shut off my brain so I no longer have to hear it worry so much. But even when the world is falling around us, we need to stop and give the worry to God, who will take care of it for us. From there, we can breathe, stop worrying, and hear God speak to us. 

I will be posting more thoughts soon. What are some of your thoughts on listening to God? Leave ’em in the comments and let’s chat!

Till next time,

Lillian ❤