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How’s it Going??

As December closed, I challenged you to start preparing for 2013 by seeking God about an area of spiritual growth to focus on for the year:

Do you have a spiritual discipline you’re focusing on this year, or an aspect of God, a fruit of the Spirit, or a book of the Bible?

I’d love to hear from you and know what you’re studying and what God is teaching you. 

A few of you shared your plan of action with me. Some of you are studying certain books, I know a few of you are studying Genesis (Me, too!), some are in Colossians, and a few of you have started your regular jaunt through the Bible in a year.

Some of you are focusing on prayer, so I’m planning to insert a few posts on prayer this month. As I told you in December, I’m studying the role and person of the Holy Spirit this year, and I’m already learning a lot; in fact, this could become a life-long study, there is no end to the depths of this! I hope to share more thoughts on the blog as I go along.

But today, I want to open up the discussion and ask you—

HOW IS IT GOING?? 

How are you doing now that we’re three weeks into 2013?

This is typically about the time that New Year’s Resolutions wear thin, and good intentions wear out. I want to encourage you to keep pressing in!

“Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary.” (Galatians 6:9)

Thrown in the towel?

If you’ve already thrown in the towel, let me encourage you that today is a new day. Set aside just 15 minutes . . . FIFTEEN . . . that is not a huge commitment. But fifteen minutes of focused devotion is of eternal value.

For those of you who think you don’t have enough time to commit to being in the Word daily, please take a second to read this, this and this. Find a friend who wants to see measurable growth in her life, send this post to her, and ask if you can hold one another accountable and encourage one another in reaching some spiritual goals this year.

And I’d still like to hear from you today . . . leave a comment and let us know . . .

HOW IS IT GOING??

6 Comments

  • Debbie S

    I just started “studying” Jeremiah. Our pastor wrote his doctoral dissertation on Jeremiah and I was able to find it in our library system so I reserved a copy. I have been woefully ignorant about Bible history so it’s been good to put Jeremiah in context. So far my only resource has been reading the ESV study bible notes, but I plan to look online for other commentaries.

    I’m also being convicted about how weak my prayer life is, but the Lord has been prompting me to desire more time with Him and developing a great love for others in my life. I really appreciated a recent post about praying. That was very helpful.

  • Kimberly Wagner

    Hello Debbie ~

    Wow, Jeremiah is a powerful book. I remember God using it in a very convicting way in my life several years ago. These verses in particular get to me:

    Thus says the LORD,
    “I remember concerning you the devotion of your youth,
    The love of your betrothals,
    Your following after Me in the wilderness,
    Through a land not sown.” (Jer. 2:2)

    God sounds as though He’s lamenting an unfaithful bride here, one who has lost interest in her first love.

    And then, this verse always breaks my heart:

    Thus says the LORD,
    “What injustice did your fathers find in Me,
    That they went far from Me
    And walked after emptiness and became empty?” (v. 5)

    Wow. What a question . . . why would we ever turn from our faithful Father to go after things that only provide emptiness? Unbelievable. But we do it.

    He reiterates that in 2:13 ~

    “For My people have committed two evils:
    They have forsaken Me,
    The fountain of living waters,
    To hew for themselves cisterns,
    Broken cisterns
    That can hold no water.”

    Turning from God to empty substitutes. Amazing, yet it happens with such regularity.

    This link provides some good resource suggestions for Jeremiah Commentaries: http://www.ligonier.org/blog/top-5-commentaries-on-the-book-of-jeremiah/

    I’m looking forward to hearing what He teaches you through this study, Debbie, thanks so much for sharing! 🙂

  • Vivian Etherington

    Complete in Christ– that’s the theme of Colossians! I am so thankful for the truth packed in that one phrase! So far I have done an overview of the book and am now camped out in chapter 1. Last week we studied in depth Paul’s prayer in verses 9-11; A powerful prayer to pray for myself and others! I did several word studies from that passage and it really brings out meaning you just can’t get by a casual read of the passage! The Lord really got my attention with the word steadfastness because I am really struggling with that about now just in my responsibilities as a homeschool mom( I know that surprises you, Kim ;). ” Remaining under some discipline; subjecting one’s self to something which demands acquiescence of the will to something against which one would naturally rebel. It carries with it the idea of a forward look, beyond the current pressures.” Something else that stuck out to me from studying Paul’s prayer is that when we pray that someone will be “filled with the knowledge of His will In all spiritual wisdom and understanding”, we are asking for the Holy Spirit’s involvement– it is only through Him that we gain SPIRITUAL wisdom and understanding.
    The Lord is working in my heart about my prayer life too! I already mentioned that on your blog last week! I desire to be more fervent and disciplined!

  • Tambra Lucas

    Kim,
    As you know God has been dealing with my heart about my prayer life and how I needed to go to another level with Him in that area, It was becoming somewhat lethargic and flat. For months He has spoken to me several times softly, the Psalms Tambra, go back to the Psalms. I used to sing/pray the Psalms quite often, but gradually dropped the singing part, and was just praying.
    The books of your suggestion have been a tremendous help.
    “Wrestling Prayer” By Eric Ludy and “A Praying Life” By Paul Miller.
    They gave me a fresh wind and fire , in not trying so hard to pray but asking God what to pray, asking God how He wants me to pray. And here’s what happened!!
    January 1,2013 I started reading, studying, and meditating on the Psalms, that’s where He led my heart to go for several months.
    I am going through the Psalms, and Habakkuk and correlating other scriptures like Judges 4:13-25, Exodus Ch. 15, 2 Samuel 23:1-7, and Revelation 15:3,4. He used the Psalms to lead me to the others.

    As I am digging in I am loving it!! The more I come to understand the way the prophets, kings and leaders of God prayed and worshiped the more I and understanding how their faith became so strong and unwavering. They had no doubt that God would have the victory!!
    And they have been in battle like we will never know or experience.

    For instance In Psalm 7, David is sing/praying about the enemy charging him!! And his emotions are high, it is intense!! It’s a prayer-fighting song! He is fighting the enemy with singing prayer.
    You may be like, “What?” Singing away the enemy?? David did it, and it worked.
    I just told my husband that very thing this morning as I talked with him on the phone, as he was being attached by the enemy, I told him
    sing/pray honey , sing/pray the enemy away!!

    In Habakkuk 3:1 The prophet is sing/praying for God’s divine intervention/ He’s singing for heavenly pleas, this is thematic!
    It’s a prayer-song of mercy and grace, boy do we need those!!

    And so on… with Moses in Exodus, Deborah is judges, they prayed God would give them victory in the battles, and victory He gave them!
    And they praised Him in song, stanza, after stanza, after stanza!

    In 2 Samuel Ch. 23 David is in complete submission to God’s divine sovereignty. Even though David failed , he knew God would never fail!!
    These prayers and songs were “battle Cry’s” of the saints to the Almighty! And He heard them!
    We so need to pray with passion, and with the expectation that God will have the Victory as the old testament courageous, and faithful ones. We should reflect back on these desperate prayers and victory songs more often, there’s nothing lethargic or flat about them, no they are Heavy weight, combat fighting, battle crying to God, kind of prayers and songs.
    And I cannot leave out my favorite- Rev.15:3,4 The Song of the Lamb, I sing/pray this one so much that I even wrote my own prayer/song to the Lord , “All Nations Will Come”.
    Singing and praying are intertwined and it is powerful to bring them together!!
    “I call to remembrance my song in the night; I meditate within my heart, and my spirit makes diligent search.” Psalm 77:6

  • Tambra Lucas

    Vivian, I love your heart!! We need to being praying for each other in the area of obedience to prayer! Love you girl!