Yesterday was Day 3 of the challenge for me.
I was able to have about an hour and 15 minutes of quiet time with the Lord in the morning, and logged about 19 minutes on my Facebook app on my phone yesterday.
However, as I was looking through the other stats tracked by the Screen Time app on my iPhone, I noticed that I spent an hour and 50 minutes on Safari (the web browser), 1 hour 15 minutes texting/reading texts, 50 minutes in my Fitbit app, and 43 minutes in my email. That’s a total of 4 hours looking at my phone – and that doesn’t take into account other things I spent a shorter amount of time on.
I don’t want to obsess over these numbers, but I have to be aware of how much my phone is still in front of my face.
I’m avoiding Facebook as I set out to do at the start of this challenge, so I’m not stressing out over coronavirus or other world events, but I’m obviously continuing to crowd my mind with a lot of other “stuff.” That “stuff” is still consuming more of my time than I am giving to God each day.
I was processing that information during my quiet time this morning while I prayed and read my Bible – the book of Ezra, chapter 7.
In this chapter, the Persian king Artaxerxes commissioned a Jewish scribe named Ezra to go back to Jerusalem and take a group of exiles. Ezra was charged with teaching God’s law to the exiles that had returned and begun to rebuild the city. To assist Ezra, the king sent money and supplies from the royal treasury and proclaimed that Ezra should have any other resources from anywhere in the province that he needed for the temple or the carry out his job as he saw fit.
Go back and reread that paragraph. I’ll wait for you…
Can you imagine? A great king of a pagan nation (one of the greatest powers at the time) doing all this to advance the work of a God he doesn’t even believe in?!
That is the power and might of God. He controls the hearts of even the most powerful kings and rulers! God’s administration is mightier than any other on earth that ever has been or ever will be.
I realized when I read this: God will make a way!
Through a pandemic. A financial crisis. Job loss. Death. Destruction. Unrest. Uncertainty. Whatever else may happen personally or globally.
God will make a way!
Say that to yourself right now.
If it didn’t make you exhale that breath you’ve been holding for a while, say it again with emphasis:
I’m not saying it will be easy. We know there will be suffering, and some of it will be our own.
But, God will make a way.
We may screw up.
Maybe you were consumed by news stories yesterday. At the end of the day, you realized you focused more on what was happening in our world than you did on God.
Don’t throw up your hand and say, “I quit. I failed. I can’t do this challenge.”
NO! Acknowledge that you didn’t do so well, ask God to forgive you, ask Him to strengthen and help you today, and move on.
God will make a way.
Maybe you’re doing ok staying away from the specific thing you were trying to avoid (for instance I challenged myself to decrease my time on Facebook), but now you realize you’re filling the time with other things – you’re not focused on God like you should be.
Start again. It’s a new day, and God gives us new grace every day.
God will make a way.
If God can move the heart of a pagan king and use that king and his kingdom to do God’s will (and we have examples of God doing that many times throughout the Bible, not just with Artaxerxes in the book of Ezra), then God can take care of you and me.
God will make a way.
How was Day 3 for you? Are you able to spend more time with God that you do on news or social media?
Do you see a difference in your mood or attitude?
How is God speaking to you during this time?
Please share updates with us.
***To help you get an idea of what a quiet time could be like, I asked a variety of people to share what they do to spend time with God. Here’s what Deborah Ross of Deborah Ross Ministries had to say:
My Quiet Time With God:
- Generally, I love to spend my mornings eating a slow breakfast and drinking hot coffee while inquiring of the Holy Spirit to reveal to me God’s heart in light of current events of the day.
- I try to walk my neighborhood most days while listening to my Bible App and/or praying.
- When I am curious about something in God’s Word (perhaps I don’t fully understand the meaning or I have more questions about history or I want a deeper knowledge of that topic) I love to use my Strong’s Bible Online Concordance https://www.biblestudytools.com/concordances/strongs-exhaustive-concordance/ to study. I also use Webster’s Dictionary some. The Holy Spirit will usually prompt me to look up other passages of scripture that give more insight on that topic. I love going deep with God!
- Many times while putting on my makeup and doing my hair, I listen to my Bible App.
- Every Tuesday morning I host a prayer call for ladies in my ministry leadership group.
- I love waking up early on Sunday mornings and spending 1-2 hours digging into God’s Word before heading out to church to teach my Women’s Life Group.
- My most frequent prayer times are: laying in bed at night; driving my car; walking; doing house chores
- My most powerful prayer times are: while fasting
- My most desperate prayer times are: on my knees beside of my bed
- My most intimate prayer times are: during praise and worship (either corporately or individually – singing, dancing and listening)
- My most sacred prayer times are: when I pray in the Spirit (my prayer language)
- I try to keep my conversations clear of gossip and all about God as much as possible. Always looking for ways to bring faith, love, hope and God’s Word into the conversation.
- When I have a crisis, I run to God first.
- When I have a health issue, I run to God first.
- When I have a financial issue, I run to God first.
- When I have a relationship issue, I run to God first.
- I only seek advice from my husband and strong women of God whom I know are gut-wrenchingly honest overcomers. I want my faith built up for my personal pathway to victory; therefore, I avoid getting advice from people who would lead me down a path of fear, defeat or self-pity.
- Before I get out of bed each day, I purpose myself to be blessed and to expect God’s favor. No matter what trial I am going through, every day is a special day in the Lord.
Deborah G Ross
Occupation: Christian Evangelist – Speaker / Author / Media Professional / TV Host
Official Brand: Deborah Ross Ministries
Works from Home with Travel for Special Events both Nationally and Internationally
Born August 1962 (currently 57 – I’ll be 58 this August)
Married since 1984
2 Adult Sons
Official Ministry Website: http://www.deborahrossministries.com
Professional Website: https://deborahross.tv/
Branch Ministry Website / Marriage: https://saveitmarriageministry.org/
Branch Ministry Website / Women: https://thewoman2womanministry.org/