Family Photo 2015

Family Photo 2015

Saturday, July 31, 2010

31 days of prayer and praise: The Beginning

I have found that in blogging you can create a world of unique transparency. This journey has been a great one for me. I hope those of you that are reading have had a good laugh and maybe been inspired along the way. The next few weeks, my postings are going to take a little bit of a detour. I hope that you will consider going on this journey with me. Let me try to explain.

As Christians, we know that our relationship and our walk with Christ is any thing but dull. I believe that life comes to us in 3 forms; mountains, valleys, and plains. The mountaintop moments in our lives are of course when we have some great moment...whether that be with a job, personal relationship, or spiritual revelation. It is those mountaintop experiences that we want to hold on too, because we like the way we were feeling in those moments. These are the moments that we find it most easy to praise God, because His hand in our life is obvious. The valleys are those low moments that we do not want to talk about. These are the moments that we wish we could sweep under the rug and be back at the mountain. We find it difficult to praise God because we can't always see past the situation to know that He is in fact moving. The valley is usually a place that we knocked into, or placed there by some unforeseen circumstance or situation. The valley is the complete opposite of the mountain. And yet we know that the valley is a place that we can move from. It is a place that, though we don't want to be there, we can find a way out. Then there is the plain. For some people the plain of our life is more uncomfortable then the valley. For many, myself included, there are moments that I do not feel like I am living unless something is it good, or bad (mountain or valley). The reality is, the plain is the perfect place to be for deeper encounter with God.
The other day I was thinking about what I wanted for my birthday. How was this birthday going to be different from last year? After all, I am going to be this birthday has to start off big! The truth is, the more I sat and thought about it, the more I heard God's voice telling me to be still. How can you truly be still and know that He is God? Yes, I understand in our world that, stillness and a quiet attitude are rare. But think back to those moments where you were intentional about your quiet time, and focused on His word despite the screaming children in the background. Remember how you felt in that week or two weeks where you were pouring yourself into His word and He was pouring His spirit over you. Time alone with God, however you do it, is essential to our spiritual growth and maturity. Which brings me to these 31 days.
I will be honest with you and say, my quiet time is sparse at best. It has become easy for me to say that my schedule is so busy doing stuff for the Kingdom, that it has trumped my personal time with Him. But it wasn't just my job. I can say that my social time has become a factor in this as well. Especially when you consider Facebook, Twitter, texting, etc. As I was examining the things in my life, I realized that my passion to serve God and live in His will for my life is greater then any of this stuff in my life. And I had to be real with myself and say, "You know, It has been a while since I really heard from the Lord."
All the while, I have been having this feeling that something big is about to happen! Do you ever get that feeling? You can't plan it. You can't force it into being. As I was praying one night about these feelings, I heard God say to me "Ryan, its time to go deeper." For me that means, I am letting go of certain things that would distract me from His voice. For me, that means I need to learn to live in the plain of my life and be comfortable. So for the next 31 days I am giving up the following things:
-Facebook and twitter
-fasting one meal a day
-All TV except for news(it is hurricane season...I need to watch the weather)

What I need for people to understand is that I am not doing this fast as a way to get God to give me what I want or what I think I need. This is me, finding ways to live in the plains of my life and be attentive to his voice.
I appreciate your prayers as I walk this journey. I am praying that God's will would be done and that His voice rings loud and clear in my hear.


1 comment:

  1. Your blog is truly touching. You are indeed a minister. I appreciate that you are so real with your imperfections as we all have them. I agree with you about the 3 phases. Since I am currently in a valley, I have to say that it is a wonderful place to be. He becomes your every need because there is nothing else. I pray for the strength to attempt what you are doing. You are an inspiration. Love, Tracy