Ready, Set, Go
In the last post, we ended by asking you to take inventory of the areas of your spiritual life that had been allowed to become overgrown. If you haven’t read that post yet you can do so here.
If you did so, then I would like to try and provide some direction for how you can begin to reclaim those areas.
I am not an expert, but I have had some experience in this area. For more than a decade, I have been helping people to reclaim overgrown areas in their lives. I have seen some things that work, and learned some reasons for failure. So let’s get started.
Assess Your Tools
In order to reclaim an overgrown field, it requires having certain tools. The better the tools, the easier the task will be. I suppose you could reclaim an overgrown field with a butter knife and a fork, but who really wants to do that?
A tractor, a rake, a shovel, and a stick of dynamite can make the job easier. (Okay, so maybe you shouldn’t use a stick of dynamite.)
When it comes to our spiritual lives, there are several tools that are an absolute must. Not only will the job be much harder without them; it will be impossible.
These tools are:
- Honesty – So many times we lie to ourselves about our spiritual lives. We absolutely must take a solid, honest look at our lives, and be open about what we see. Are you saying things like these?
- “I’ll get to it later.”
- “It is really not that bad.”
- “It is not as important as I used to believe.”
- Humility – The Bible says that God resists the proud. We must humble ourselves before God and confess that not only are we to blame for the overgrown fields of our lives, but that we are unable in our own strength to do anything about it. “Lord, I confess that I am to blame for the condition of my prayer life. It has become overgrown with weeds, and has been horribly neglected. I cannot fix this on my own. I need your help. Please strengthen me to do the work of pulling the weeds. Help me to reclaim this area of my life
- Commitment – Pulling the first weed takes a level of determination. “Okay, this needs to be done. I can do this. Here we go.” Great right? Well, pulling the first weed is a good step. Finishing the job, and actually reclaiming the ground is another thing all together. I have been working in the back part of our yard since I moved here in March. We are making progress. We are getting some additional use out of it. Still, the work is not done. Every Friday I spend many hours continuing to reclaim it. Some days I just cut down brush and burn it. Some days I am mowing and weed-whacking the parts I have previously gone over. I want to quit. I want to keep going. It’s a struggle.
- Accountability – Let someone know what you are doing. Talk about the work God is doing in the overgrown areas of your life. If we keep it a secret it will be much easier to quit. Telling others of our labor keeps us accountable. We can keep ourselves accountable many ways. Some of those ways are:
- Ask for prayer in your prayer group or church prayer meeting.
- Give a testimony of what God is doing in the area you are trying to reclaim.
- Ask a friend to hold you accountable by checking with you and encouraging you on a regular basis.
- Set regular check ups with a friend or spiritual advisor.
Start the Work
I know a man with a shop full of wood working tools, but who never turns out any woodworking projects. He bought the tools because he wanted to do woodworking, but somehow he never seems to get around to it. Here is a hard truth. There will always be something else that calls for your attention, that will seek to distract you from the work you have determined to do.
Have you recognized that your devotional time with the Lord has become overgrown? Have you determined to reclaim that area? If so, and I hope you have, you can expect something else to try and distract you from you purpose.
Have you decided to start reading your Bible on a daily basis. Watch how many things will try to interfere.
Have you decided to resume regular church attendance? Watch how many “emergencies” will come up only on Sunday morning at 9:30!
Reclaiming ground in our spiritual lives is a spiritual work, and we must remember that there are two sides to the spiritual realm. We should expect that the Devil will not sit quietly by as we begin to put our spiritual fields in order.
Understanding the job that is in front of us, let us then be up and doing! Start today. Don’t wait until tomorrow. The work is hard, but it is worth the doing.
Can I help you in any way? I would love the chance to encourage you along your journey. If you have any questions or comments, please leave them in the comment section beneath this post, or write me an email by going to the contacts page of our website. I am praying for those who will read this post. May God help you to recognize and reclaim ground in your spiritual life today!