Distractions are sneaky and creep in slowly. If not dealt with they can make lasting impressions. I became distracted with being “Lazy Busy.” A phrase I heard in church. Lazy busy is when you fill your day with things to do to become “busy” but you’re not doing the things you should be doing. I have found that I have been filling my day with sleeping, writing, reading, watching loads of TV and chatting with my son or the gentleman I’m dating. I’m not saying all these things are bad. However, I have filled up my time to the point where I only find myself praying during corporate prayer or for a second here or there throughout my day.
My Pastor recently sent out an E-Book to the congregation at the beginning of February, and in reading the first chapter, it touched on prayerlessness. I began to become convicted. During the month of January I felt it was a challenge for me to go into prayer longer than a few seconds. I had at times felt the Holy Spirit tug on spending more time in prayer, but I continued to do whatever task I was doing at the time and added in a quick prayer. I wasn’t stopping to focus my mind on the Lord with going into intimate prayer. I didn’t feel like it. It’s wasn’t as if I didn’t have the time. In being unemployed majority of my time was spent in the house. I didn’t even have to worry about interruptions; as my son was in school for most of the day. There is no excuse. Yet, I was allowing how I “felt” to overrule what I knew I should do.
As I became convicted during reading the first chapter of the book I began to reflect on what may have triggered me to stop praying like before? Yeah, I was busy, but I was personally creating my busyness. Even in working on my blog it wasn’t as if I had created set hours on when I would and wouldn’t write. So what bound my urge and lips from going into my secret place to fellowship with the Lord? As I searched myself, I realized I was upset. I was upset about my current unemployment situation. I was upset that although I know I was obedient in leaving my job I had not seen employment results in the time I wanted to see them. I was upset that even in writing my blog I didn’t know if anyone would take out time to read it and I didn’t have a clear idea of how to make money in blogging. I focused on everything I was unhappy about and in turn, was unhappy with myself and God’s plan.
When I’m upset with a person I tend to shut down in speaking to them. I disconnect until I’m ready to talk to them again. If ever; at all. I did the exact thing with God. Although I was praying here and there, reading inspirational books, doing devotionals and even talking about the goodness of the Lord, day by day, I was upset at Him. Once I realized it, I confessed it to a friend and repented (James 5:16). The first thing I did the following morning (although I didn’t feel like it) was began to pray, praise and worship the King of kings and the Lord of lords. I cried out about my attitude and my behavior and confessed how upset and hurt I was. I asked for forgiveness and for the Lord to stand on His promise that I would have peace that surpasses all my understanding (Philippians 4:7). I neither had peace or clarity at that time. It was as if I had a cloud over me and I didn’t have the strength to move from under it.
The following day in church the message was relevant to my life. The series my Pastor spoke on was called Reset, and it pulled from the Book of Nehemiah. During service, my Pastor spoke on knowing what we need. As I reflected on the WORD going forth, I thought about what I needed? If I were practical, I needed a job to support my family! However, if I wanted a job to support my family, I should have stayed with the company I had been with for the last 12 years. So, what do I need? What do I need in writing my blog? In obtaining employment, what do I need? In building my relationships, what do I need? The list can go on but what I realized is no matter what I “think” I need, my heart’s desire is to obtain what God has for me. I have spent too many years leaning on my own understanding (Proverbs 3:5). I have spent too many years doing things my own way. I have spent too many years confused, abused, taken advantage of and lost. Too many years riding on a temporary high of an accomplishment only to come down and feel unfulfilled.
When I first rededicated myself to the Lord, I started my journey on fire. I sought the Lord in everything I did. I became confident in Him and realized I didn’t know as much as I thought I did. As He continues to refine me into the woman He called me to be.
During this time of distraction I became confident in myself; thinking I knew best (I got this God…you can take a break). He had to show me that time & time again my confidence needs to remain in Him. Things seemed easy at first. If you want to know how to stay away from sin & be obedient read the bible because God gives us commands upfront through the WORD. It’s important to remember that everything you need isn’t going to be handed to you on a silver platter. As treats and delicacies begin to disappear on the platter you get a clearer picture of who you are. You are then looking into an empty plate seeing your reflection. Being brought to this realization for me wasn’t comfortable. I thought I had certain things all figured out. Now I was being faced with asking specific questions such as “Lord what is your will for this circumstance?” “What am I supposed to learn?” “Lord, who am I supposed to help?”
I knew that I needed to get back to spending time with the Lord through prayer. Setting aside intimate time to be with Him one on one. I knew He hadn’t left me as Galatians 13:5 says, “He will never leave you nor forsake you.” The thing is, I’ve seen God operate in so many areas of my life it’s silly to think that by now His plan is not the ultimate one by default to follow. Being patient in this time is essential. Yet, my flesh wars with my spirit (Galatians 5:17). Telling me, I need to be confident in who I am, to follow my own way and to pursue my own desires. Regardless of how I feel, I cannot neglect how God has operated in my life nor can I ignore how He continues to do so. As I heard in church recently, “Waiting on God in prayer is not wasted time; it’s invested time (Arthur Breland, 2019).” This is just one more thing I need to realize. Whether I could have admitted it a week ago, I can’t say for sure because in #DyingDaily I am faced with new clarity and insight into who I am in Christ every single day. Some are easy to face and others not so much. The good news is I know it all refines me into the daughter He has called me to be in bringing Glory to the Kingdom of God. That I delight in and I’m grateful to be a part of.