Like I said yesterday, we had a Ladies’ Retreat at church this weekend. We had an excellent speaker who spoke to us about how to become more like God, how to avoid being critical of others, and then how to encourage others. We also spent time fellowshipping, getting to know each other, singing, having devotionals around the fire, eating, crafting, and
sleeping staying up late. Not only was I blessed by what the speaker had to say, but this retreat was also a wonderful opportunity for me to get to know the other women at my church better since we just started attending there and I only knew a few people. I had a blast!
Our speaker, Evelyn Apple, was great. She had lots of great points in her lessons but there was one particular thing that she said that really stuck out to me that I wanted to share with my readers.
In our lesson about becoming more like God, one of the points was that spiritual growth takes hard work and that we have to commit to that hard work in order for growth to occur. She likened this to exercise in that at first (if you haven’t been exercising regularly) you have to force yourself to get up and get moving, and at first you may not enjoy it at all, but after awhile you get to where you enjoy exercise and are disappointed if you have to miss your normal workout for some reason.
This really hit home with me because it made me realize that, like exercise, developing the habits that aid in spiritual growth (personal Bible study, prayer, etc.) will take work just like any other habit and at first it may not be easy and I may not be 100% excited, but with time it will become an important part of my life. This helped to alleviate some of the guilt I’ve felt when I haven’t been super enthusiastic about studying my Bible – that just means I need to work harder to make it a habit.
Growing spiritually is a process and the more I work at it, the more I will learn and grow.
“Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth.” – 2 Timothy 2:15 (emphasis mine)
“But solid food is for the mature, who because of practice have their senses trained to discern good and evil” – Hebrews 5:14 (again, emphasis mine)
Three other comments she made that go along with this idea:
- The times that I don’t feel like praying or reading my Bible are the times I probably need to be praying/reading the most.
- Often as someone who is ill approaches the end of their life they will cease being hungry; likewise, if I am not feeling the hunger to feed on the word of God that is an indication that something is wrong and I am spiritually dying!
- One way to start making personal Bible study a habit is to tie it in to something you do every day (do your Bible study as you eat breakfast, pray as you shower, etc.).
I had actually just the week before retreat (Thursday and Friday) tried doing my Bible study while I ate breakfast. Although I do a Bible study every week, I am not consistent and I’ll skip a few days then have to spend a long time one day getting all caught up. I wanted to find a way to make sure I study and pray every day. Then Evelyn mentioned that same idea this weekend – what timing! So I’ve decided to make this a habit: on every weekday, breakfast will be my Bible study time. I eat breakfast every day anyway and usually just check Facebook or Pinterest while I eat, so now I’ll spend that time completing my study. I just need to make sure that on days I work I allow enough time because sometimes I have to rush through breakfast to get out the door on time. (the reason I said weekdays and not every day is because Michael and I usually eat breakfast together on Saturdays and Sundays so that time will be spent with him and I’ll find another time those days to study)
Anyway, those are just a few of my thoughts about the things I learned this weekend. I hope they are helpful to you, too.
If you have a method that helps you remember to study and pray daily, feel free to leave a comment so we can all learn from each other!