Today is day 22 of 40 minutes for 40 days of meeting with God. Today marks over half-way for 40 in 40. I won’t say it’s been easy, some mornings it’s all I can do to pull myself out of bed but once I sit down-with my coffee, of course- it is worth it. It is transforming my days. Changing my outlook, my parenting, my marriage, but most importantly my relationship with God.
Last week I missed a day, and more than a few times I haven’t made my whole 40 minutes but that’s not the point, the point is that I’m doing it, or at least trying to. Last week I discussed that God desires our presence and progress more than he desires our perfection. I made a printable because I need this reminder daily, you can get it here.
During my 40 minutes, I use the acronym SLOW to help guide my time. I break it down into four different words that represent a section of time. The words that represent each section are: Still, Listen, Obey and Wait/Watch. So far I’ve elaborated on Still, and Listen. Today I am talking more about, Obey. Next week I’ll go into more detail about the fourth and final process: Wait and Watch.
While last week’s section listen, can be hard and take time, this third section, is rather easy. Obey. That seems contradictory, right?
Just go with me. Many times while I listen for, and to, the Holy Spirit, he prompts me to take action. Lots of times, as I mentioned earlier, he brings to mind something I need to confess and turn away from. Maybe it was something I said, a behavior I didn’t notice, something he is calling me to give up and surrender, an attitude I need to change. Many times it is something he prompts me to write.
It has taken me many years to get to this point( and I still don’t always get it right) but I have learned (the hard way) that obedience is a blessing. So I welcome it. I don’t put it off. I do it right then and there or I make a note in my journal if it is something I need to do later.
I also want to mention, obedience isn’t always some big, huge, repentance of sin. It can be. But it also can be very small. In fact, most of the things I obey in are little things; the way I raised my voice and the apology that needs given, the friend I didn’t text when brought to mind, my bad attitude about making dinner. By confessing those small, seemingly insignificant sins, I am surrendering my selfish, sinful ways to his perfect ways.
1 Samuel 12:14-15 MSG says, “If you fear God, worship and obey him, and don’t rebel against what he tells you.”
Obedience is small action steps which lead to a richer, deeper, more meaningful relationship with God.
I have found that when I rebel against what God is telling me to do our relationship stalls. His voice grows quiet. He seems distance. The more I surrender to him, the more I follow his commands, the better I can hear him and the easier it gets to say yes, to conform to his ways again. Small steps. Little yeses. That is the easy way to obey, to simply do it.
Have you been struggling to hear God? Does he feel distant? I would challenge you to ask whether or not you have been obedient in those little things he has asked you to do.
If you would like to join me for 40 in 40: Forty minutes for Forty days, it is not too late. You can start today. Simply commit to seeing with the Lord for the next 18 days, for 40 minutes (or whatever you can commit to) each day.