This has been a hard season for all and its no mistake that we all have something to say about it. I would like to use this time( like anyone should when they post something) to bring encouragement and wisdom to the free time we are having. I have not used my time wisely in my hard season of dealing with depression. I have drifted away from putting the Scripture in front of me and ever since the quarantine started I have been diving back into the word and it has been making a world of difference. Having time on my hands has been a great test of where I put my focus. I want that perfect peace that comes from focus on Jesus( Isa.26:3).
I am not the first to suggest that we take this time seriously before the Lord and place our hearts in focus on Him. Here are some ways to keep ourselves burning in this time.
I have used the word BURN and broken this into 4 ways to keep that fire going in God.
BURDENS Often we come to God with a heavy heart and we should but do we take that heaviness and submit our concerns to Him. 1 Peter 5:7 tells us to cast our cares for He cares for us. And Galatians 6:2 tells us to bear each other’s burdens. We are called, as individuals, to submit our cares to God and also called to help each other in prayer, love and support with their burdens. When we can take this heaviness and give it to God we find space for His presence to work in and through us.
UNITY Staying connected to each other has been forced in this season but unity is a supernatural power that comes from Jesus. ( 1 Cor. 1:10; Eph.4:13; Col. 3:14). Often times the thing that keeps us from unity is unforgiveness and bitterness. I have started in the book of Mathew and I plan to study the Gospels in this season but I like the Sermon on the Mount where is says in Mathew 5:23-24 ” Therefore if you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.”
Usually we are not unified with Christ because we are in need of reconciliation with our brothers or sisters in Christ, or anyone else. What keeps us from burning for God and staying fresh in His presence is this need we have for peace with each other. Take care of your offenses and God will take care of giving us His presence.
RENEW I remember in my years living in Kansas City Mike Bickle used to talk( all the time) about reading 10 chapters a day and pray-reading the word of God. Not just reading it but praying through it. Taking Scriptures and praying and asking for transformation while we read. I am committing to getting back to this Romans 12:2 lifestyle of renewing my mind daily. Our foundation is the word of God. It is the only way we grow and change and especially in this time of crisis we need to stand on His promises.
NEW LIFE. We are a new creation( 2 Cor. 5) and we live now according to our new way of life( Romans 6:4). Often times our struggle is with old ways of thinking and old ways of living. It is also a matter of who we are friends with. Do we have true fellowship with those that are also walking in newness of life or are we still associating with friends that are not living this way? Read Romans 1-8 for more details on how we are a new creation. Take a stand against the old ways that try to tell us we have not changed. Find ways to get around those that will encourage you and challenge your faith.
I hope this helps you in this season. I have found much strength and encouragement in putting this four areas to practice. Let’s go after His word and do it together. This season is only going to make us stronger if we enter into the grace that is available to focus on Him.