As published on Christian Today Australia, 6th August 2019 https://christiantoday.com.au/news/becoming-deliberate.html
Who knows how quickly a week can pass and you haven’t stopped for a breath? ‘Oh look, it’s Thursday already!’ I often hear myself say, and it only feels like a couple of days since I said it a week earlier. If we’re not careful, weeks turn into months and years, and we hardly notice.
When my teenagers return to school following holidays, I miss them. I miss having them around, going on bushwalks and picnics together and planning family activities that we don’t make the deliberate effort to do quite so often during the school term.
I find that during the first couple of weeks into the school term, I am deliberate in my interactions with my children outside of school/work hours: I will spend deliberate time chatting with them after school; I will spend deliberate time saying goodnight to them at bedtime; and I will spend deliberate time being interested in organising purposeful weekend activities.
Fast forward three or four weeks and I find myself back in the rat-race of regular activities, the motion of repetition, the familiar and thoughtless rut of routine, and before I know it, I have to snap myself out of it and remind myself to be deliberate again. Anyone relate?
Work it into your day
To help combat this run-ragged routine, my eldest daughter and I realised we needed to exercise to keep our minds and bodies fresh and alert. We knew the only way we could commit ourselves to exercising regularly, was to work it into our day. It would need to be somewhere easily accessible; at the same time; and not overwhelming so as to put us off or seem too difficult. We would need to be deliberate.
By exercising together, we kept each other on task, and before we knew it, we had kept this daily event for four consecutive months! We have now developed a habit, and what felt like something we had just begun, we now realise those days turned into weeks which turned into months and will hopefully turn into years.
How deliberate are we when it comes to God?
Though I find myself chatting with God often throughout the day, being deliberate in prayer time can sometimes be an area vulnerable to distraction.
I was recently reading in Exodus about the Tent of Meeting. This is where Moses would meet to enquire of the Lord. This was a very deliberate place for Moses to meet with God, so much so, that whenever Moses entered the tent, ‘a pillar of cloud would come down and stay at the entrance while the Lord spoke with Moses. Whenever the people saw the pillar of cloud standing at the entrance to the tent, they all stood and worshiped, each at the entrance of their tent. The Lord would speak to Moses face to face, as one speaks to a friend’ (Exodus chapter 33 verses 10-11).
Moses would talk with God and God would answer him. They would have conversations ‘face to face, as one speaks to a friend’. How awesome is that!
Sometimes we forget that, because of Jesus’ sacrifice to banish the divide between God and his children, we have the same access where we can speak to God as a friend—the holiest of holy friends!
What does your Tent of Meeting look like?
Thinking on these things, I have begun writing a prayer journal again. For me, this has become my Tent of Meeting. This is where I write to God and he answers me, sometimes while I am still writing, other times a bit later. We have conversations which go beyond the paper, but the act of writing causes me to be deliberate in my thoughts and words. Because I like writing, this works well for me and I can return to previous prayers and see how they have been answered.
What does your Tent of Meeting look like, or what could it look like? You may prefer to incorporate your prayer in a deliberate daily prayer walk as a few of my close friends like to do. It may look different again to that, but whatever your chosen Tent of Meeting looks like, make it deliberate, make it regular and meet ‘face to face, as one speaks to a friend’ with the Creator God who longs to talk withyou and be involved with your daily life.
At first it may need scheduling to help make it a routine, but whether you put it in your diary or on an alarm on your phone, turn it into a habit and before you know it, those days will have become weeks, months and years and you will have amazing answered prayers to celebrate all the way through; prayers that will change the course of your future and the future of others.
‘Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.’ (Mark chapter 11 verse 24)
Rebecca and her husband have four children and live on the Sunshine Coast, Australia. Rebecca writes for various publications including print, online and commercial. She is the author of two books: ‘First to Forty’ and ‘Pizza and Choir’. For more information you can find Rebecca at: Facebook: Rebecca Moore – Author, Instagram: instagram.com/rebeccamoore_author
©Rebecca Moore 2019