Wednesday, May 7, 2014

40 Day Challenge - Draw Closer to God & Your Hubby (Day 10: Your Innermost Desires)

Day 9 asked a simple question: What is your purpose? If your purpose in life does not include serving Jesus Christ first and foremost, rethink it and then rewrite it. Finally, display it in your home where you are reminded to live it daily. Here's a question that helped me write mine: What is the reason God made me? Well, He made all of us for His glory. So my purpose in life is to live in such a way that glorifies the name of Jesus Christ. Here's what I wrote: "My purpose in life is to treasure Jesus Christ and His Word above all else, glorifying His name in all that I say and do, making Him my central focus, living by His example of servanthood, and resting in His almighty sovereignty; knowing that He is faithful and His Word is the only source of truth in this life." This produces in me an extreme state of thankfulness and reason to rejoice! 

Day 10
Now that you have a purpose, rethink your innermost desires. What is your passion? What (or who) do you love most in this life? What consumes most of your day? If it doesn't point back to Christ you have more thinking to do.

As if those questions weren't though provoking enough, read Arthur Bennett's prayer titled Desires found on page 106 of his book The Valley of Vision, 

O Thou that hearest prayer,
Teach me to pray. 
I confess that in religious exercises
the language of my lips and the feelings of my heart
have not always agreed,
that I have frequently taken carelessly upon my tongue
a name never pronounced above
without reverence and humility,
that I have often desired things which would have injured me,
that I have depreciated some of my chief mercies,
that I have erred both on the side of my hopes
and also of my fears,
that I am unfit to choose for myself,
for it is not in me to direct my steps.
Let thy Spirit help my infirmities, 
for I know not what to pray for as I ought.
Let him produce in me wise desires by which I may ask right things, 
then I shall know thou hearest me.
May I never be importunate for temporal blessings,
but always refer them to thy fatherly goodness,
for thou knowest what I need before I ask; 
May I never think I prosper unless my soul prospers,
or that I am rich unless rich toward thee,
or that I am wise unless wise unto salvation.
May I seek first thy kingdom and its righteousness. 
May I value things in relation to eternity.
May my spiritual welfare be my chief solicitude.
May I be poor, afflicted, despised and have thy blessing,
rather than be successful in enterprise,
or have more than my heart can wish,
or be admired by my fellow-men,
if thereby these things make me forget thee.
May I regard the world as dreams, lies, vanities, vexation of spirit,
and desire to depart from it.
And may I seek my happiness in thy favor, image, presence, service.

That last line is my favorite. My happiness must be a direct result of God's favor, seeking the image of HIM, craving HIS company, and serving in HIS Name. What I love about this prayer is that Bennett makes it absolutely clear that God hears our prayer, and the Holy Spirit helps us because we are incapable of praying like we should, or directing our life in a direction that glorifies God (we seek our own good above all else). There is no happiness apart from God, if we are rich beyond comprehension but lose Him, we have nothing. If we are poor, but have God, we have everything. Is it possible to have both? Riches and God? It's not impossible, but Jesus taught that it's easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than it is for a rich man to enter heaven. Why? Because they start trusting their money to sustain them, rather than recognizing God's sovereignty and that He gives and takes away (remember Job?). The point of all this is: what is your innermost desire? Is it loving Jesus Christ above all else? 

Think about your day. What are your thoughts while cooking, cleaning, taking care of your children? If it isn't about serving Christ in the midst of your daily to-do list, what is it? Your busy schedule? Your disobedient children? The last argument you had with your husband? If those things crowd your mind, is there room for Him? If these things are heavy on your heart, give them to God, let Him work in you using your busy schedule, your disobedient children, and even through the last argument you had with your husband. 

Today come up with a to-do list that you can refer to throughout your day; on this list should be things helping you to redirect your thoughts toward Jesus Christ.

  • Preach yourself the gospel (Day 1).
  • Quote Proverbs 3:5-6. 
  • Listen to Aaron Keyes Sovereign Over Us and/or a playlist redirecting your thoughts to GOD's greatness.
  • Read what God says about himself starting in Job 38.
  • Thankful Journal
  • Pray.pray.pray.
Sound familiar? ;)

If you just joined us, and I'm so glad you did, start with (there is an order to the madness)...
  • Day 1 - The Gospel
  • Day 2 - Stop & Consider the Wondrous Works of God
  • Day 3 - Trust in God's Sovereignty
  • Day 4 - Using Music to Focus Our Hearts & Minds on God
  • Day 5 - Sanctify Me
  • Day 6 - Memorize Proverbs 3:5-6
  • Day 7 - Deny Self
  • Day 8 - Pray
  • Day 9 - What is Your Purpose? 

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