Devotional: This Changes Everything
What would you say is your life purpose? Or the true meaning of your life? If you’d ask me that a year ago I would have given you a completely different answer than I would today. Actually, I probably wouldn’t have really known what my life purpose was beyond things like be a good mother, live an honest life, do the right things, etc. But now, after walking through a spiritual battle for the first half of this year–filled with feelings of anxiety, depression, discouragement and fear, I would say my #1 goal in life is to walk daily with God in the kind of relationship that changes everything. I want to experience a close, intimate relationship with Him–one that fills my mind with peace, joy, and confidence. The purpose of my life is to love Him with every cell of my body.
I’ve realized this year that I have lived the majority of my adult life with only a fraction of the power available to me through Jesus Christ. I talked about this in a devotional a few weeks ago, but I can’t stop thinking about it. And as much as I hate to admit this, I have not lived with a mindset that reflects the power of God’s truth. Sure, I’ve tried my best. But looking back I can see that I’ve been easily discouraged. Easily worried. Easily bothered by trivial things like the weather. I’ve been quick to assume the worst or look at things with a negative perspective. And I’ve let fear tell me all kinds of lies. I’d be willing to guess that many of you might do this too. But here’s the thing–we are missing out on a whole different way of living. And the enemy doesn’t want you to realize that–he doesn’t want us to see or understand that we are actually punishing ourselves by living that way.
“The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give life in all its fullness.” John 10:10
Jesus gives life in the best way. One where you wake up each day full of light and hope. Trusting that His power is in you, which means you can handle whatever the day holds. I don’t know about you, but I really want that. I want peace of mind that surpasses all understanding (Philippians 4:7). I want to be immune to those old ways of thinking. I don’t want to complain about trivial things or be negative. I want to let every fear, discouragement, or lie from the enemy pass right on by like a leaf in the wind.
I don’t know why it’s taken me so long to really get it, but I feel like the fog has slowly been lifted and I’m finally starting to figure out how to truly walk through each day with Christ’s power in me. I’m still learning and I have SO much to learn, but I am fascinated by Jesus and all He offers us. I’m fascinated by the Bible And now when I feel myself getting discouraged or thinking a negative thought, I’m getting better and better about replacing that thought with God’s truth. It takes time and effort, but all I want is to get closer to Him each day.
Three things have really helped me in my spiritual journey this year:
1: prayer–diligently seeking time with the Lord in prayer has been life changing for me. I’m talking sprawled out on the floor in my bedroom, with no distractions and just pouring my heart out to God. It’s not rushed. It’s intentional. And I’m telling you, nothing in this world compares to that time with just Him and I. It’s truly the best part of my day. Afterwards I always feel lighter, happier, and empowered.
2: memorizing scripture and creating power statements
This simple practice has also been huge for me. If I find a verse or passage in the Bible that really speaks to me, I will write it on a notecard and carry it around with it so I can memorize it. I’ll also write my own power statements based on passages from Psalms and repeat those to myself out loud many times throughout the day–especially right before falling asleep. I’ve found that doing this helps those truths to take root in my mind and heart. Here’s a power statement I wrote based on Psalm 18:
The Lord brings light to my life. He is my shield, my fortress and my strength. God is renewing my mind and spirit every day. A new horizon is here and great things are coming. God’s love surrounds me and consumes me. The Lord hears my prayers and I am full of power with Him by my side. He holds my hand, guiding me along each day, teaching me, and strengthening me to face any challenge.
3: reading the Bible
In the past I’ve spent a lot of time watching sermons, reading faith-based books, listening to podcasts on faith, etc. And while all that can be really helpful, I realized that I was reaching for those things more than I was reading my Bible. I was looking to other things to teach me about God instead of actually experiencing God on my own. And now I can’t imagine going one day without reading the word of God. It’s best way to charge my batteries for the day ahead. (if you need a good Bible I highly recommend this one. I’ve had it since I was in high school and I love the translation).
With Him, we are changed on the inside. We are empowered to deal with challenges and struggles from His perspective and not our own. We walk in His strength and not our own. When we realize that fact, it truly changes everything.
“I am leaving you with a gift–peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give isn’t like the peace the world gives. So don’t be troubled or afraid.” John 15:1
“Don’t worry about anything, instead pray about everything. Tell God what you need and thank Him for all He has done. If you do this, you will experience God’s peace, which is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and mind as you live in Christ Jesus.”