Goodness, gracious. All I hear is how everyone is "over" 2020. How they just want to see this year end. Looking at the social climate, I would have to agree. We're in the last quarter, the home-stretch and the end is in sight! One of the things that I battle with every single day is mindset. I battle with the negativity the media (social or mainstream) spins out of control, striving to keep us in. Do you feel run down by it all as much as I do?
Most of us are struggling. Over the last 30 years of ministry, I have never seen anything like it. Even my dearest friends in the faith that I consider strong in their walk with Christ seem tired.
We say the end is near, but is it?
Let's take a mental health check.
Do you find yourself:
Feeling stuck in your spiritual journey with Christ;
Living vicariously through other people’s faith;
Exhausted and lonely;
Allowing frenetic busyness to replace important tasks
Thinking everything is crashing in on you
“If things are tough, remember that every flower that ever bloomed had to go through a whole lot of dirt to get there.” ~ Barbara Johnson
It's hard everywhere. Kids homeschooled. Parents juggling work/home life. Pressures abound. Let me describe your typical day: You wake up only to be bombarded by negativity in your social media feeds. The radio is blasting it on the way to the kid’s school drop-off line. You’re waiting at the grocery store checkout or doctor’s office and it’s all over the TV. You simply cannot escape it.
Except, I’m here to tell you, you can. My daily affirmation has been, “I shall not be moved.” Here’s how I’m using it in my own life:
I’ve begun something called the “Daily Office”. It’s the practice of fixed-hour prayer time described by Peter Scazzero in his 40-Day, "Emotionally Healthy Spirituality Day By Day”. Think of it like this: you have an actual office, you sit at your desk and take time to be still. I’m devoting three moments in my day; First thing in the morning, afternoon and bedtime to just being still and listen.
I’m easily distracted by my wandering mind so I choose some ambient noise on YouTube like a crackling fire and thunderstorm sounds to keep me focused on listening.
After a bit of silence and stillness, I’ll listen in on a prayer call with some amazing women prayer-warriors. Then, I’ll spend a little bit of time in scripture and devotional reading, writing anything down that comes to mind.
I’ll follow these steps during my afternoon and bedtime Daily Office times as well. Developing a habit where you center yourself around God and learn how to "pray without ceasing" can be tough but once it’s solidified in your day, you will see what an impact it will have on your mood and mindset. Think of it like eating your three meals. If you go all day without nourishment, you will feel off. Your Daily Office time doesn’t have to be a lengthy period. Do whatever you feel is necessary to focus on what’s important. Then schedule it in and commit to keeping your appointments with God.
“When we face an impossible situation, all self-reliance and self-confidence must melt away; we must become totally dependent on Him for the resources.” ~ Anne Graham Lotz
A fellow blogger friend recently posted some great ideas that I have taken to heart. I am committing to not opening up my social media first thing after opening my eyes. But boy, is it hard.
I am choosing to wait in the silence and listen.
I am spending the first hour with God. Then taking the time in the afternoon to reflect. My bedtime is an important part of my routine where I will choose to not fall asleep consuming garbage. I choose to be consumed by the All-consuming Fire.
I realize that everything I write flows out of my faith in Jesus Christ. Without staying in communion with the Father through these types of habits, I’m afraid we won’t last the onslaught for our attention.
Some scriptures that I have been meditating on to help me stay steadfast are:
Psalms 16:8 - ”I have set the Lord always before me; Because He is at my right hand I shall not be moved.”
Acts 2:25, ”For David says concerning Him: ‘I foresaw the Lord always before my face, For He is at my right hand, that I may not be shaken.”
Psalms 112:6-7, ”Surely he shall not be moved for ever: the righteous shall be in everlasting remembrance. He shall not be afraid of evil tidings: his heart is fixed, trusting in the Lord.”
Psalms 15, ”Who may worship in your sanctuary, Lord? Who may enter your presence on your holy hill? Those who lead blameless lives and do what is right, speaking the truth from sincere hearts. Those who refuse to gossip or harm their neighbors or speak evil of their friends. Those who despise flagrant sinners, and honor the faithful followers of the Lord, and keep their promises even when it hurts. Those who lend money without charging interest, and who cannot be bribed to lie about the innocent. Such people will never be moved.”
Psalms 62:6-7, ”He only is my rock and my salvation; He is my defense; I shall not be moved. In God is my salvation and my glory; The rock of my strength, And my refuge, is in God.”
So, will you join me in making small changes to resist the negativity that surrounds us? Will you choose to not be moved during these very turbulent times?
A prayer for you friend,
“Dear Lord, even when I am discouraged, even when my heart is heavy, I will earnestly seek You. You know the very intentions of my thoughts and heart. I will not be moved.”