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Today’s Truth

You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.

Jeremiah 29:13

Friend to Friend

I am a systems girl.

Give me a new system, whether it’s in my house, on my computer, or for my calendar and I’m in my happy place. I feel deeply that if I have a good system, along with enough Post It Notes, I could rule the world.

So, when I signed up for the course on developing a devotional system, I thought to myself, “This is it! This is the secret sauce I’ve been missing all these years. If I just had a devotional system that really worked, my quiet time will be so much deeper.”

I got my system all organized (my inner Office Supply Geek was leaping for joy). There was a place for my Bible notes, my sermon notes, my prayer requests, Bible memorization and more. I loved all the tabs, lists and fill-ins. Loved each and every page of that devotional.

And then I sat down to use it.

Oh, it was fun to flip through all the pages and tabs, but after a little bit, I realized that this new system was not making me go deeper with God. It was a great tool, but the system wasn’t what I was missing.

Systems are great to help us establish routines to get us into the practice of quiet times, but when it comes down to it, what I need are exactly two things:

  1. My Bible
  2. A chunk of time

For some reason, I thought that the system would get me where I wanted to go, spiritually, more quickly. But God is not interested in our speed.

I realized I was trying for an instant connection, instead of giving myself, and God, time to truly linger with each other.

What I’ve come to understand is that my way of practicing the presence of God needs to be less about systems and more about sitting.

Sitting and anticipating the slow, faithful hand of God.

Sitting and waiting on his voice, even if I can’t hear it right away.

Sitting quietly and expectantly.

While systems are great, and can give me a false sense of presence. I need to take steps to go beyond the system, so that I can truly meet with God. Here are a few things to consider if you are struggling:

  1. Pray for desire and grace.

If you know you should be having a quiet time, but it feels like a struggle each and every time, ask God for the desire to meet with him, and then ask him for the grace when it comes out less than perfectly.

  1. Put your phone in another room.

When things feel dry in my quiet time, I want an instant hit of connection – and that’s what social media offers. Instant connection. Put the phone out of reach so that you wait on your connection with God.

God is not hiding from you. Persistently linger in His presence. He will meet you there.

Let’s Pray

Dear God, Thank You for always being present, even when I can’t feel Your presence. Lord, I need more of You, each and every day. Teach me to be patient and never stop seeking Your face, for as long as I may live. May knowing You more deeply be my greatest desire.

In Jesus’ Name,

Amen.

Now It’s Your Turn

Sometimes we resist quiet time with God because of our struggle to hear from Him. What is your biggest fear about waiting on God?

More from the Girlfriends

Missed making a New Year’s resolution (or maybe you’re just looking at it in the rear view mirror?) How about creating a Personal Manifesto that will carry you through the rest of your life? Sign up for great ideas and resources about how to get out from Overwhelmed and you will receive “How to Write Your Personal Manifesto” as our gift to you. Get off the overwhelming cycle of making and breaking resolutions and create a gentle plan for lasting life change.

12 Responses to “Systems Versus Sitting”

  1. Rachel says:

    This is SO me! Thank you for your insight…going deeper!

  2. Linda Lovland says:

    How do I sign up for “how to write your personal manifesto

  3. Gwen says:

    How do you find the outline on “how do you write your personal manifesto”?

  4. Dorothy Barnhart says:

    Funny how I should read this today of all days. I have had a battle all my life, with self pity, doubt and I guess pride. As soon as I wake up it starts, the condemnation. I spend time with my God almost everyday, but today was different, I actually cried out to God to take this from me, I don’t want to live like this anymore. He brought me to my knees. He made me lay it all down and told me to keep my eyes on Him not the junk the enemy has been feeding me all my life. When He talks to me, it’s not my imagination, it is Him, so listen. I know that I probably will still struggle from time to time, but He gave me a precious gift today that I will never forget. I am not perfect, but He loves me and will never stop speaking to me.

  5. Susan says:

    Thank you Kathy…i’ve always known this to be true in my heart…i’m thankful for hearing from someone else that it could be this easy if only I would let it.

  6. Christine says:

    I love this, Kathi! SO true. We have to fight daily to quiet our souls to just BE in His presence, and there’s no system that can make that happen for me.
    Blessings,
    Christine

  7. Kathi Lipp says:

    Hey Christine – Yes- it is THE struggle for me. So glad that God is full of grace.

  8. Christine says:

    Blessings galore!

  9. Emily Barkman says:

    Just what I needed to hear!
    Thanks Kathi and God bless!

  10. Betty says:

    Want this to go from my head to my heart.

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"We loved you so much that we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well…" 1 Thessalonians 2:8