Monday, January 4, 2010

Most Responded To Post of 2009//Out of Order

I didn't post this devo here on Selah, but I sent it to my website edevo recipients and posted it on the Internet Cafe. The Lord's conviction in and through me struck a chord with many, and I'm so glad He did. May we all keep things in In His Order this 2010:

Out of Order

Recently, I began to feel pretty flat spiritually. Okay, really flat. With little inspiration to write, to read or even to pray, it was all I could do to keep from sinking into depression. When the Lord led me to search my soul about it, an unsuspecting thought surfaced.

No, THAT is not the problem. Next thought, Lord.

No matter how much I tried to deny it, the Holy Spirit kept bringing the same subject up in my heart and mind--through devotions I would read, sermons I would hear, songs that left a thick lump in my throat, and through conversations with my friends and family.

You haven’t been putting Me first.

That’s the thought that kept coming. I asked Him to show me what I was doing out of order, and He began the process of revealing it to me. I feel led to share one moment in particular with you.

That morning I was sitting in “my chair” (the one I sit in to read my Bible). I had just checked my email and commented on a few blogs, when I got up to get my second cup of coffee. As I looked over at the side table, the image I saw froze in my mind:

It was my laptop sitting on top of my open Bible. You see, when I first sat down that morning, I had opened my Bible up to the Psalms, which is how I’d jumpstarted my morning for several years. Then I thought I would take juuuuust a second to check my email before the kids got up. After all, I’d rather them see my face in the Bible instead of my computer first thing in the morning, I concluded.

While my rationale seemed justifiable at the time, the Holy Spirit put a check in my heart, pointing out that I’d been doing this more and more lately….the end result being less and less time with the Lord. I was getting into a habit of coming before Him distracted and half-heartedly.

I hadn’t been putting Him first. (Gulp)

Embarrassingly, I had become more excited about checking my email and my blog in the mornings than I had about checking what He had to say to me through His Word. No wonder I was to the point of depleted. I was pouring myself out to things that couldn’t fill me back up.

It wasn’t that I had been intentionally walking in a life of sin or anything, but I hadn’t been intentionally guarding my time with Him either.


His Word reminds me:
Romans 12:11 (NIV)
“Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord.”


I like the parallel that can be drawn from this OT passage:

Deuteronomy 11:16-17 (The Message)
“But be vigilant, lest you be seduced away and end up serving and worshiping other gods and God erupts in anger and shuts down Heaven so there's no rain and nothing grows in the fields, and in no time at all you're starved out—not a trace of you left on the good land that God is giving you.”

Friends, this applies to all of us. When we let the “things,” good, bad or in-between, woo us away from our One and Only, then our spiritual growth stops. He’s a jealous God, and He simply won’t stand for it. If we don’t stop and repent, turning our face to Jesus, we’ll waste away to nothingness spiritually speaking, bearing little fruit to offer anyone.

Is there something sitting on top of your Bible? Is there anything sapping the life right out of you? Are you being honest with yourself about this issue?

The reason I ask that last question about being honest with yourself is because I wasn’t. My husband asked me several weeks ago if I was becoming overly dependent on my laptop, and I gave him the most defensive “NO” I’ve given him in a very long time. That should’ve been the first clue.
Psalm 119:58-60 (NIV)
“I have sought Your face with all my heart; be gracious to me according to Your promise. I have considered my ways and have turned my steps to Your statutes. I will hasten and not delay to obey Your commands.”

So sisters, in Spirit and in Truth, let’s repent and turn, moving forward in His order and seeking His face more than any other. It is only with Him in full view that we can experience His life in full measure.


Lord, I’m so sorry for putting You out of order. You have made the choice so simple for me, yet so often I seek other pleasures to give me abundant life. Thank You for Your forgiveness and mercy and for putting me face forward in the right direction again. Help keep my wandering heart focused solely on You, Father. I pray for my sisters in Christ who also struggle with getting their priorities out of whack, and help them to seek You, accepting Your perfect correction and direction for their paths in the meantime. You are so good, Lord, and I thank You for being a God of perfect order. Help me to follow Your example, I pray, in Jesus’ name, Amen.


In the Key of HE,


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10 friends shared a comment:

The Real Me! said...

I remember this devotion and how much it spoke to me! Thanks for posting it once again!
Big hugs to you my friend.
Kim

Lisa said...

i was honestly "hanging" on every word of this.. so spoke to me and what I've been feeling. Thank you so so much!

Sherri Ward said...

I can see why this drew so many comments the first time you posted it. I'm glad He's a jealous God and won't stand for our distractions away from Him - just proves all the more His love!

RobertsonAt604 said...

I actually wrote out a big long paragraph but upon reading it... i wasn't satisfied. God is Good. thank you for sharing your wisdom, i've taken it as encouragement, because after i've started to get back to realizing how important a relationship with the Lord is i've run into more and more distractions, people keep giving me things with a great generous heart, but unfortunately they have been keeping me away from diving into the Word.

Blessings sista. thanks for taking the time.

Carrie Cooper said...

Carrie @ comfortedbyGod.blogspot.com

Very insightful and amazingly honest. Thanks for being vulnerable and not afraid to share the weak side. As bloggers it's tempting to write about the great or funny things we do, but what really gets people's attention is when we're faithful to being ourselves. This is my favorite blog I've read all night.

LauraLee Shaw said...

Thanks, Kim, Lisa & Sherri. You encouraged me with your comments!

LauraLee Shaw said...

RobertsonAt604,
I understand what you are saying. Each time I recommit my attention to the Lord, all kinds of distractions, good & bad & inbetween, start flying! That's why we'll continue to encourage, challenge & exhort one another with His order of things. Thank you so much for relating to my struggle.

LauraLee Shaw said...

Hi Carrie,

Wow, what an encouragement you are! You know, it's difficult to be totally authentic and open in any public forum, but I hope by sharing what I can, the Lord will use it for His good in others.

Blessings, sister!

lisalyn said...

THANK YOU for sharing! I've been feeling the same thing. And sometimes I wonder what the deal is, I mean, for goodness sakes, do we realize WHO we are putting in 2nd or 3rd place??? So happy that He is always ready for us to re-connect with Him.
A guilty one,
Lisa

LauraLee Shaw said...

Lisalyn,
Yes, what a great way to put it. GREAT question. "Do we realize WHO we are putting in 2nd or 3rd place???"

I'm so thankful His grace is sufficient for us, and through it all, we always have another chance.

Thanks for your input,
LauraLee