I'm presently taking a creative Sabbath to get my direction aligned with what God has for me. Since I got laid off from my full time position back in June of this year, I've been a bit lax in reading my Bible. There always seems to be time later for Bible study. I've put it off for weeks on end and I really am feeling the void. My intention is to create art that will glorify the LORD. How can I do this if I am not in touch with Him on a daily basis? In Donald S. Whitney's book,"Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life", he writes,
"Although God will grant Christlikeness to us when Jesus returns, until then He intends for us to grow towards that Christlikeness. We aren't merely to wait for holiness, we're to pursue it....Which leads us to ask what every Christian should ask,"How then shall we persue holiness? ...We find a clear answer in 1 Timothy 4:7:"Discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness"(NASB).
Discipline! Making yourself do something on a regular basis until it becomes a habit. (my definition) I have a tendency to procrastinate. I will put things off, I'm chronically late, and I easily get side-tracked by the silliest things. The television is my worst enemy.
So what can I do about it?
1) SHUT OFF THE TV - This may seem like a no-brainer to some, but the first thing I usually do is flip the TV on to catch up on the news. This is a real effort for me, I hate to admit, but a necessary step for me to succeed.
2)OPEN YOUR BIBLE - Another no-brainer for some, but there are days I do not open my Bible. I talk to God all throughout the day; I will pray for and with people at a moment's notice, but opening my Bible and studying a passage or reading a chapter is not something I was doing on a regular basis. Then I would feel guilty about this and really get down on myself - then the cycle would continue. This brings me to my next thing to do -
3)RECOGNIZE THE ENEMY'S ATTACKS - This one took me quite a while to learn. The enemy, satan, will use false guilt to create depression, dismay, restlessness, and even a self-esteem shattering blow with one fell swoop. The attacks are not easy to recognize; remember the enemy of our souls is the father of lies - he has been at this deception game for a very long time.
4)SURROUND YOUR SELF WITH PRAY-ERS - I have found this to be of vital importance. If I did not have fellow prayer warriors surrounding me after the conference last year, I would have given up the whole thought of writing, even though I had CLEAR direction from the LORD that I was to do it!
There are nine words I hold onto from John 4:50B - "...the man took Jesus at His word and departed." I need to do the same.