Take a Little Time
At my age, time just seems to scream by. I mean, it seems like it was just 2019! Here we are in 2022, the year ahead of us with amazing possibilities. As I watch January already gone (what!!!), I am reminded to slow myself in the midst of this rapid fire world. I just need to take a little time.
The things which I need to take time in are my devotional life and my devotions, my declarations, my connections and my studying.
Like you, there are days in which I am pulled in many different directions, most of which are unexpected. The phone call I wasn't anticipating, in addition to the dozens of texts, direct messages, and hundreds of emails each day, all stack up to pull me into places I never anticipated and many in which I was never intended to go.
That doesn't mean that all interruptions are bad. The other day a spiritual son called out of the blue and just needed the outside counsel of someone who wasn't in his world. That call only took 20 minutes or so, but it changed my friend's life that day. So, I call that a win in the kingdom column!
But how do you sort through the priorities of the day and beyond to make sure that what is needed is done? The key is making sure you do what is highest and most important. For me, it is the list I made above.
Now, mind you, I am not perfect, not even close. I am still stinging from an error I made in forgetting to follow up with someone who needed counsel, and I, well, I forgot. (Not writing it down had a lot to do with that one. The palest ink is greater than the mightiest memory.) I do try to plan each day with those things in mind. Some days the demands on my time swell and I am with people, or working on administrative projects more than I am with the Lord in study and prayer. That is my sin and I am working to eliminate as much of that as possible.
You see, I cannot live a life free of things beyond my study and prayer closet. No one, not even Jesus, wanted or have tried to do that with the exception of the desert fathers with decidedly mixed results.
Here is what I do, and I am not saying you should do this, I am just giving you a window into my process.
Devotional Life and Devotions
My devotional life and devotions usually take place before 6am. I try to lean into them at the early beginning of each day. I read from the schedule in the Life Journal reading system (you can check out other posts on this blog related to that). After I read and have noted things the Holy Spirit is saying to me, I may look up certain words and phrases in the original languages, or consult different translations. I spend time talking with God about it. I move from my devotions into my devotional life. I do this through worship and prayer. I try to never hang up the "phone" when I am talking to God. I always try to remember to lean into His presence. Sometimes, I remind myself, by saying "He or You are here." Immediately, I will feel the wash of His presence over me. That centers me, grounds me. It makes me aware that I am not alone, not ever and that He is with me in my day. It is from here that I pray for people and situations, but I never end the conversation, I simply continue as thoughts come to mind and situations arise.
I also set my day with declarations. This slips when I am tired and wore out from heavy schedules, so again, I have to be intentional about it. I have declarations in my Evernote account, my Bible, and sometimes hanging on my study. The truth of those declarations fight the drift of my mind that wants to slip back to its old default, in an un-renewed fashion. Declarations fight the drift and establish anchors in my spirit and mind.
My connections are with God, with others and with my purpose. I have already spoken a little bit about God, but one of the things I do is not just say to someone, "I will pray for you", but, I will pray for them, right then and now. This helps me stay connected to Papa throughout the day.
With others, I am still learning to lean into connections with others. I am by nature an introverted extrovert. I can be around people, but I get my energy replenished by being alone. What has changed for me is I am responding to prompts, when I am hearing correctly, from the Holy Spirit. A text, and encouraging email, a quick call and more come from these moments and they help me connect with others. Why is this significant? Because by nature, I tend to get extremely task oriented. As I grew up as a young minister, I was never used to encouragement, because I worked in environments where that wasn't done. You did your job and that was that. So learning to be encouraging has been a growing habit in my adult life. I can still get extremely task focused, but I am much better in encouraging others than when I was younger.
Finally, I have to connect with my purpose. Because we are at a stage in our church where I have to wear many hats, I must remind myself what my ultimate purpose is, to proclaim and demonstrate the kingdom of God. Like you, at times I wonder how I can do that when I am negotiating price drops (as I was this morning), or compiling statistics for an oversight meetings. The truth is, everything I do is supernatural! IN inviting the Lord into the day, and into a task, I ask for wisdom to accomplish it. I then look for the prompts; for thoughts I haven't had before, and then I act on them. It helps me connect to purpose. I do this when I pray for the sick (which I love) and when I am entering reports (which I don't love so much).
In this year, keep connecting to our unique family purpose and mission. I will list it again below so that you can review it. Finally, don't engage in the sprint. We are running a marathon. Keep moving forward! Be encouraged for the day and the road!
First, and foremost: We gather as lovers of God and His presence We minister to God first. It is why we were created. The worship and engagement in intimacy of God is our present and eternal passion and priority. There is nothing greater than to worship Him. We seek new ways of expression and seeking, singing and demonstration of our worship. We love risking and being laid down at His feet to choose the better part.
Second, to raise up and release reformational revivalists as powerful disciples of Jesus We minister to one another in love and care, and encourage each other to become disciples of Jesus, doing what He did and what He commanded us to do, (Matthew 28:18-20). The making of a disciple is basically the unveiling of a reformational revivalist. Reformational, in that they change and shape every arena they enter into, affecting the very governmental order of systems, dreaming with God out of His goodness. (Colossians 1) Revivalists, in that every person is a carrier of the original flame of the Holy Spirit and His mission to reveal Jesus and see the Spirit poured out on all flesh to come into a vital relationship with Jesus. (Acts 2)
Third, we have been commissioned by Jesus to demonstrate & proclaim the kingdom of God We minister, in Jesus' name to a world that He paid for! This was Jesus’ first word and His last (Mark 1:15 and Acts 1:3,4). The kingdom is why the Church exists. It is the domain of the Godhead and our starting and ending place. The kingdom is all that God has come to do through Jesus (Isaiah 61 and Luke 4) and our message as well. We are royally commissioned ambassadors - 2 Corinthians 5!
So, what is our Vision as Fusion?
We are creating an environment in which the newly redeemed and reformational revivalists gather together to worship, are equipped (training and mending) to do kingdom works, celebrate one another in real life and are released to a life of kingdom connectedness and purpose, dreaming with God. Our goal is to see people come to Christ and His kingdom, and thereby crime rates to drop, business and commerce flourish, families to become solid, stable and vibrant, justice and life flowing from government, life and goodness coming from the arts, media and education, and where science and technology reflect the discovery, wonder and transmittal of the secrets of the kingdom hidden for us. We exist to see churches planted, peoples and countries reached and more worshippers added to the song of Jesus!