"God's sacred intent for us goes far beyond just saving sex until marriage, wearing one-piece swimsuits instead of skimpy string bininis, or idolizing Christian bands instead of secular ones. It is not just making sure we tack on some Christian morality to our self-indulgent lives. His sacred intent for you and for me is nothing short of absolute abandonment to Jesus Christ, entire separation from the pollution of the world, and ardent worship of our King with every breath we take." ~ Set Apart Feminity, p. 28
My bus-reading this week was Set Apart Femininity, by Leslie Ludy. I arrived to work each morning feeling that my heart was about to burst with love for Jesus, and couldn't understand why people didn't mention the glow on my face. Maybe they think I'm pregnant. ;) Needless to say, I highly recommend this book. I have shared its impact on my life with pretty much everyone I've talked to this week for more than 10 minutes.
Leslie uses God's Word, her own story, and stories of faithful Christian women of the past to unveil God's beautiful, incredible plan for femininity. She challenges the status-quo of Christianity, convicting me on each page that Jesus wants more of me.
I was especially convicted on how I spend my time. It's so tempting after a long and stressful workday, making dinner, doing dishes, playing with the little man, and putting him to bed, to just turn the TV on and veg. And in our society, it's perfectly acceptable and normal to do so. But think about this:
"One of the ways that you can tell something is an "idol" or "other lover" in your life is that you are unwilling to let it go; you can't picture living without it....Most of us verbally declare that Jesus Christ is more important to us than our fetishes for music or movies. But what do our lives say? Where do we spend the best hours of our days? What do we turn to for enjoyment and comfort?" p. 79, 81 (bold mine)
That last sentence hit me hard. Do I turn to Jesus for enjoyment and comfort? More likely, I turn to reading a blog or Facebook, or watching TV, or reading a book. And yet the enjoyment I get from spending an entire day doing those things is nothing compared to spending a few minutes in focused prayer, a few minutes studying God's Word.
I will confess, I have rarely set aside a consistent time in my day just for God. After rising early for Bible study and prayer for the past two weeks, God has transformed my heart, renewing my passion for Him. While I once considered "quiet time" a chore that I rarely "had time for", now I can't imagine not making time for Him, and desire to spend every possible moment knowing Him more. I am so amazed by the great love He has for me, that He would lay down His life for me; how can I not love him with every ounce of my being, every minute of my day? I can't wait to see what He will do with this life, now that it is completely His. Please pray with me that God would continue to reveal His will to Kyle and I, that we would know how we can be most effective in our service to Him.
If you've been in a dry season in your walk with God, I urge you to take 30 minutes each morning to read the Bible. (Really, what's the difference between 6 or 6:30? Or in my case, 5 or 5:30.) Proverbs and 1 John have been my books of choice lately. I would also highly recommend the Precept Upon Precept Bible studies, if you benefit from a more structured study. Then spend some time talking with God, letting him know what you're feeling, what you're thankful for, what you want Him to do in your life. Ask Him to show you who He wants you to be, because I assure you that His plans for you are probably more wonderful that you can even imagine. Delight in who He is, in His great love for you!
Oh, and pick up a copy of Set Apart Femininity. :) For the guys, her husband also wrote a couple of books that are more geared towards men - "God's Gift to Women" and "The Bravehearted Gospel".