This has been an interesting year for me; I have grown so much over this last year and it is because I have become more intentional about certain things I am doing. When I began writing this blog a few years ago, I started spending more time in the Bible on my own rather than just relying on whatever Bible study my small group was working on. There is nothing wrong with using Bible studies written by other people, in fact, we need to hear from other authors that have studied a topic more thoroughly. I also believe that God gives us those teachers and uses their voices to challenge our thoughts. However, we also need to spend our own time in the Bible to learn to hear what God is telling us personally.
This year, I became much more intentional to learn more Bible study methods so I could learn to dig even deeper in my personal Bible study. I am still learning, but discovering BlueLetterBible.com has greatly increased what I am able study. I cannot even express in words how much I have learned and grown this year as a result of more intentional study during my personal time in the Bible. I have always had a desire to see other people in the Bible more, but that desire has grown greater throughout this year. Along with spending time in the Bible, I became intentional about memorizing verses thanks to Beth Moore's blog. I was challenged with accountability to memorize two verses each month and that exercise alone has been life-changing. There were times when I would have a verse picked out only to find a few weeks later that I needed that verse in my heart for the circumstance I found myself in.
Another area where I found myself becoming intentional in was my time in prayer. In all honesty, prior to this spring my prayer life was seriously lacking. When I would think of it, I would spend time in prayer - the problem was that I didn't think about it enough. Sure, I prayed every day before writing my blog; however, I wasn't spending "quality time" with my Creator. Since January, I had felt the Holy Spirit telling me to get up early to spend time with God; however, I couldn't seem to get motivated. Now I look back and think of how ridiculous it was that I couldn't find the motivation to spend with my loving Father. In the spring, God used another person to speak to me about getting up early and spending time with Him. Since then, I have been getting up early and I haven't regretted it! It is such precious time with my beautiful Savior, and it is time to give Him my concerns and worries and time for me to listen.
All year God has challenged me to see that when I don't live intentionally, I will not have any focus in life. I will unintentionally not do the things I should because to live the way God wants us to live requires focus and intentional steps to get there. With that said, I am going to participate in a challenge to focus and live intentionally this year as part of an overall life-style change that God has been doing in me. I am using the Internet Cafe Devotions to provide accountability with this. I would encourage you to visit the page they have on this topic because there are links to wonderful tools to help with finding focus and purpose. I will be creating a page that will mark what steps I am taking to live with greater purpose this year. I pray that you seek God to show you where you could live with greater focus.
Linking up with LiFT at Internet Cafe Devotions.