Ephesians 5:15-16 “See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil.”
Welcome to 2013! It’s January and time to begin fresh, again! Redeeming is my Word for 2013. It’s been ruminating in me for a while now and I know it’s the season I’m in at this very moment. Redeeming the areas in my life that I’ve either been lazy in or the enemy has stolen from me…like my health. January is also the “Daniel” fasting season, so for the last several years it’s been my time to re-evaluate where I’m at and reign in where I’m out there – messing up.
I can’t believe it, but it’s been almost *4* years since I started my weightloss journey, but I’m still redeeming my life back. This post isn’t necessarily about weightloss; it’s just that both the spiritual and the physical go hand in hand with me. That’s the way I’m wired; the way God created me to be. I’ve wasted a lot of time by either sitting, procrastinating, choosing to do something else instead of… In all honesty, since I seem to bear my soul in these posts, it’s mostly laziness, ya…just plan ol’ laziness. I can “see” myself doing things I “know” to do, but don’t.
From Barnes Notes of the Bible redeeming means “to purchase; to buy up from the possession or power of anyone; and then to redeem, to set free – as from service or bondage; to rescue or recover our time from waste; to improve it for great and important purposes.”
From Clarke’s Commentary of the Bible this is what it says: “Let time be your chief commodity; deal in that alone; buy it all up, and use every portion of it yourselves.”
Interesting to think of time being a chief commodity; it IS valuable, however, and once gone, it’s gone. Isn’t that what Christ did for me though? By His time spent on the cross, He paid the price for my salvation.
So what’s my plan? To rescue my time from waste and improve it for great and important purposes. Only God knows what all those “great and important purposes” are, but my future is in His hands anyway. And if you think I’m a bit legalistic about this, you’re wrong… I for one am well aware of how merciful and understanding God is with my weaknesses. I have years of experience in that. I’m a cracked pot after all, just one that’s filled with the power and Glory of God and He fills all the holes quite nicely.
Ephesians 5:10 MSG
“You groped your way through that murk once, but NO longer. You’re out in the open now. The bright light of Christ makes your way plain. So no more stumbling around. Get on with it! The good, the right, the true—these are the actions appropriate for daylight hours. Figure out what will please Christ, and then do it.”
Redeeming the Dawn
I was raised with a mom who EVERY morning was up early – usually at 5 am – praying and reading the Word. This was something I never questioned. If I was up that early (actually I was never up that early…) but if I had been, I knew I could find her in the quietness of the early morning hours out on the couch in that place where she kept her bibles and writing materials, with coffee in hand and meditating or praying. I must confess…this area has been a struggle for me. Due to my own human laziness I’ve let slide A LOT. At times I’ve conquered and had long times of getting up at the crack of dawn, especially in the last 12 years since my spiritual journey really ignited, but in general, my body doesn’t rise early on purpose. Does anyone’s?
This area is one area I’m consecrating, yet again. “Buying back” this wasted time to spend with Him. I can tell ya it’s SO AWESOME (…well it’s awesome once I’m up and cuddled in a multitude of blankets — it’s January after all) it is to meet the Lord early in the morning, WITH COFFEE in hand, mind you. Oh and since I’m currently doing the Daniel Fast…it’s all warm and creamy with bit of coconut milk for creamer vs. my traditional and yummy Coffee-mate Pumpkin Spice. Don’t freak for those who are giving up coffee for the fast…it’s not on my list right now. But I digress, back to consecration… I am taking back this time with the Lord…and He’s just there waiting to download his nuggets like He never left.
I just watched the BEST example of a “how to spend time with God” by who else but Joyce Meyer. She is such practical teacher. If you’re so inclined, click the link and check it out for yourself. Her entire message is great, but if you want to “see” what I’m talking about, skip up to 12:30 minutes into the message. “Joyce Meyer, Spending Time with God“
Okay…this is the BIGGEST area of laziness, thus my NEXT step in the journey. The big bad word called EXERCISE! I have been walking and even took a few bike rides in the past, yes, but it’s not been a high priority with me EVER. It’s been the eating part I’ve worked on most. Now…I’m making it more of a priority. Enter my newest purchase…and for this I must thank my dear daddy for helping. I asked God for one, in fact I’ve been asking for a while. When God answers prayers out of the blue, it shouldn’t amaze me, but it does. I just picked up my treadmill thanks to my son and his truck (picture below)! Isn’t she pretty? I’m staring at it right now as I write this. *smile*
So…off I go into the wild blue yonder of “treading” … and maybe even a bit of “joggling!” No, that’s not a typo; it’s what stopped me before… If I jogged, my body parts would “joggle” so much. Twas not a pretty sight. Can anyone relate? There’s a lot less of me now to joggle so who knows?! Maybe I’ll even RUN! I can fly, so why not run?
This is a continual thing for me, but it’s a season of going deeper. Actually I’ve been going deeper since God opened the door to worship leading, but it’s challenging me to keep going, keep digging, focusing on where God wants to go and being willing to go there. Actually, just being willing is huge. In myself, I have the tendency to shrink back and play it safe. Seems like God doesn’t think that’s such a good thing for me cuz He keeps pushing me out there more and more. So I’m digging deeper.
What’s that look like? Well, for one thing I’m looking into going through the new online school with Bethel Church called WorshipU. I’m rather intimated on that one, especially with the time it may take, but if it’s to be, it will happen – in His timing.
The other is more writing, which I consider part of my worship. Using what God says to me and writing it out. Can’t tell you how much I’ve fallen in love with it even though I never know if anyone is reading my thoughts and dreams. Maybe it is just for me. Anywho, I’m working on writing about worship…it’s bubbling up in me and will come out … soon.
Well, both of these are now “out there” now, so God? I’m willing!
Redeeming my “Voice”
Ever whined to God? Me too. THAT will get us nowhere. My Pastor has said this year is a year of declaration, of “Ridiculous Prayers, Righteous Demands, Revolutionary Outcomes, Resulting in Request Granted!” I’m totally on board with that! In my last post Cracked Pot? I wrote about being a cracked clay pot standing in HIS AUTHORITY. During my prayer time, and even beyond (in the car?), I am in that place of standing and will declare what God says to those areas that need changing. This is redeeming my voice … “I believed; therefore I have spoken.…” ( Cor. 4:13)
It’s a continuing theme for me this year in particular, standing before God in the “Court of the Lord” as my husband to aptly put. Like Jabez, I want to be bold enough to stand, asking for my blessing and then making room to receive it.
1 Chronicles 4:10 NIV
Jabez cried out to the God of Israel, “Oh, that you would bless me and enlarge my territory! Let your hand be with me, and keep me from harm so that I will be free from pain.” And God granted his request.
There’s not alot of detail about Jabez, but I can tell that he did this one thing really well – in his present circumstances he prayed instead of whined. (HUGE!) AND…God granted that request!
I’m SO there! God ~ No more whinning! #makingroom (My New Season folks will get that one…)
Philippians 4:6-7 MSG Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.
Ever tune out God? I realize I do it all the time. In the car, the shower or drying your hair — this is the “space” I’m talking about; it’s the day-to-day mundane time that normally doesn’t contain or need to contain any mental thought. It passes by quickly, but for me it can, and many times does, become a place of wondering, worry, and anxiousness. I have decided I’m taking back this mental “space,” making it productive so my mind doesn’t wander to worries…stupid stuff like worrying about the day ahead when it hasn’t even happened yet! Stewing…just stewing over regrets… Thinking like this takes God completely out of the picture. How faithless is that! One recent note from my devotional “Jesus Calling” said, “The future is a phantom, seeking to spook you. Laugh at the future!”
The last area on my mind isn’t long, but has been another biggie and definitely a “work in progress.” Translation? I haven’t conquered it. It may not be what you’re thinking either. Quietness before God is very important, but this “quietness” is a bit different. I have a few of what I call my “lessons from Karen,” and this is one. My sister Karen doesn’t even realize she’s teaching me stuff – but I learn a lot by observation. Wisdom just kinda comes out of her character, like “overflow,” which is cool.
She said something to me a few years ago that hit me and I never forgot it. We were talking in mom’s kitchen…lots of conversations happen there…*sigh*…memories. [Selah] Anyway, the discussion was around a certain situation she had been dealing with and I questioned how she responded. Her answer? “I didn’t say anything. Sometimes an opinion doesn’t need to be heard, ya just need to be quiet.” There was more, but you get the drift. I took it to heart and agree. There are way too many opinions flying around. There’s a time and place for everything; knowing when to zip-it ~ priceless.
So I’m off and running, so to speak. Got my bar bells cleaned off (they were pretty dusty…), treadmill all set up, moved my “quiet place” out of the bedroom and into the family room, thanks to my hubby and boys, and as the scripture says… “No more stumbling around. Get on with it!” Redeeming… “…The good, the right, the true...”
Here I am, I stand, with arms wide open to the one, the Son,
The Everlasting God, The Everlasting God
So I shout out Your Name, From the rooftops I proclaim
That I am Yours, I am Yours
All that I am I place into your loving hands
I am Yours, I am Yours
~Rooftops (Jesus Culture)
From the Rooftops By: Lindsey Sweat, Ben Williams, and Jonathan Berlin ©2010 Jesus Culture Music