Monday, July 10, 2006

Life Priorities

This weekend, I was reading Disciplines of a Beautiful Woman by Anne Ortlund. I have read this book before, but I thought that a more thorough reading was required this time. Right off the bat, I came to some really good wisdom about priorities.
Here is how I have, over the last few years, attempted to classify my priorities:

I still think that this is a good arranging of my priorities, but I find that maybe this isn't exactly how things play out in my daily life....I think that sometimes it goes #3, #2, #4 and then sad is that??? So maybe that is why I decided to reread this book :) Here are some ways that Mrs. Ortlund suggests that I can make God the first priority in my life.
1. Practice his presence. Jesus did this (John 14:10). In my life, I must always be looking forward to God and his will and wishes for my life....everything that I do must be done acknowledging the presence of God.

2. Jealously guard a daily quiet time spent alone with God. This is the hard part for me. I worry about the million other things that could be done with that time....or I spend the time with my thoughts only half focused on God. I also need to be more discriminating about what I am using to supplement this quiet time.....prayer journal and Bible only. Other books, good books, like this one, can be read at different times. I need to hear from God...straight from God!

3. Seek the Lord in occasional longer hunks of time. I don't know exactly how this might play out in my life. I just don't know how I will fit this in, but I know that I should, so that will be a priority.

4. Be diligent in my attendance of public worship. I failed miserably this week. Norman is on vacation and we had company almost all weekend, and by Sunday morning I needed some me I went to Walmart to run errands alone. I was finding my peace in something other than God (but that is a whole 'nother topic). Worshiping with other believers should give me the boost that I need to get through the week, support and encouragement. God wants this corporate praise and worship every week.....If I am putting Him first in my life, why would I deny Him this pleasure??? So obviously I need to work on that.

Next, Mrs. Ortlund lists priority #2 as to the body of Christ. I have to agree that these people, other believers are my spiritual family. I find it hard, though, to place them and time spent with them above time spent with my earthly family. Maybe it is easier if your earthly family is also your spiritual family, I don't know. I guess that this is something that I will need to pray about.

Priority #3 is the needy people of this world, those that don't know God and his wonderful abundant blessings. This is probably more where my family comes in. I tend to get anxious and fearful when called upon to witness to someone. I am afraid of botching it up and making things worse. I am afraid of mocking and ridicule. God says that he will be there for me. I need to spend more time with God so that I know what he wants me to do and say when an opportunity appears to spread the good news about Him. If #1 and #2 are there, then #3 will fall into place.

So now, I stand before God asking him to work ever more in my life. I want him to work and mold and shape me to be what he has in mind for me. Anyone else want to see the best of what God has to offer them??? Join me in my journey to stand in God's presence!

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