Tuesday, June 23, 2015

A Personal Worship Process

For My Breakaway Friends!
I was privileged to spend a week with nearly 300 young adults from across the North Carolina Conference at their spiritual formation event, Summer Breakaway. As part of that week I challenged them to incorporate a daily devotion into their lives. Here are the key components of a daily time with God.

Find some space in your life. 
Reclaim the power of silence, reflection and meditation. You will be tempted to try to speed through the process, do all twenty-eight days at once. Don’t do it. Part of the process is to dedicate some focused attention over time to discovering your divine calling. Discernment is slow cooked, not microwaved. If at all possible set aside the same time every day. There is power in consistency. This kind of consistency is called a “spiritual discipline.” Like all “discipline” it’s more easily taught than practiced. If you are reading this you probably have always wanted to read the scripture every day and spend focused time in prayer and then, well, life happens. You set your alarm a few minutes early, and then hit the snooze alarm or forget to turn it on. You decide you are going to dedicate you lunch hour to personal growth and then the boss gives you an unrealistic deadline forcing you to work through lunch. You decide right before bed is your time, and then you fall asleep while praying (I do this all the time, I just say “amen” when I wake up). Discovering your divine calling is one of the keys to really living the life that God has designed for you to live. So find some space, even if it’s just fifteen to thirty minutes a day, and guard it carefully.

Find some friends to share it with.
I often use this book for my daily time with God. 
Share your journey to help stay on the path. Find the kind of friends who will actually ask how it’s going and mean it. The ones who will be excited to hear what God is doing in your life. Find those friends and let them know what you are going to be doing for the next 28 days. The best way to discover your divine calling is to do it within the context of a community of people also seeking to gain a better understanding of God’s will for their lives. While this resource could be used as a “small group study,” it is best utilized as a focused resource for two or three people who trust and respect each other enough to tell each other the truth. Sometimes we have dreams that do not align with our natural giftedness; your good friends will tell you. Even if you decide to go it alone, make sure you share with at least one other person that you are on the journey to discover your divine calling and talk to them about it weekly for the next few weeks to help you process what you are hearing from God.

Find some courage to dare to listen to God. 
I believe that many people decide not to listen to God because they are afraid God will ask something really big from them. The good news, where God calls you, God carries you. The bad news, God is going to ask something really big from you. Would you really want it any other way? Do you really want to settle for average when God has eternal in mind for you?

May God bless your daily time with God. I remain:

Consumed by the Call,
Marty

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