Tag Archives: God’s Word

Silent Sideliner

Shortly after  the New Year and before the inauguration I pulled away from social media. 

Like many others, I found myself becoming someone I didn’t like as I saw smear and hate fill my newsfeed.  Anger and judgment flooded my soul as I saw people who say they love Jesus revealing hate as though the Gospel is only for select people groups. 

As the scripture tells us, if your arm causes you to sin, cut it off.  Facebook got cut off as well as other modes of social media.  What I learned in my time away revealed way more about me than what I pulled away from. 

Quickly, I became a silent sideliner.  In my effort to not offend or get involved in any controversial conversations I became silent. Withdrawing can have a good sweet purpose transforming the heart and transcending soul.  Jesus withdrew to the Father, but Jesus didn’t stay withdrawn.  Unlike Jesus, my withdrawing revealed some deep dark sin that needed to be called out, confessed and cleansed.

While I withdrew and became silent, I still checked Facebook periodically to check in on friends and family.  Silence was a safe space to scroll newsfeeds but not respond.  Let’s be honest that’s either a busy body or disengagement.   Out of fear of arguing, being misunderstood, or saying the wrong thing; my disengagement on Facebook began mirroring itself in my relationships.   Not only was I silenced from controversy, I was also silenced from encouraging.

It wasn’t until someone I care about was insulted and I didn’t respond that God’s conviction stirred deep to face the sin before me.  Do I believe the Truth enough to speak up?  Are my convictions deep enough to handle potential disapproval of others?  Doesn’t love stand up for those who are unable to speak for themselves?   I allowed my fear of conflict to push me onto the sidelines, spiraling into silent spectator. 

I hate conflict and I try to avoid it at all cost.  Whether through people pleasing or withdrawing, overall I’ve done a pretty good job of avoiding it.  But here’s a truth that needs to permeate deep in my soulyou can’t avoid conflict in a world stained by sin.  You can’t stay silent while people perish.

Conviction leads to clarity and then choice.  I can either learn to engage in conflict with love, truth and grace or become a silent sideliner who, just like the Priest and Levite in the story of the Good Samaritan, intentionally avoid the messy, hurting, wounded and mistreated.  While it is not God’s will for me to engage in useless arguments,  by God’s grace may I never again find myself a disengaged silent sideliner withholding truth God has graciously given to bring life. 

Maybe you can relate…

♥        How are you becoming a silent sideliner in the midst of a spiritual war that has already been won?

♥        Where do you need to ask God to strengthen you to engage in necessary conflict for the good of others?

♥         What if Jesus remained a silent sideliner?

5 Tips to Succeed in Knowing God’s Word

Knowing God’s Word is a must for believers!  We cannot know God apart from His Word.  Bible plans for the New Year start out with great intentions, but too often fall short quickly.

Here are some tips that have helped me stay diligent in God’s Word.  It does take discipline!  Life will do it’s best to distract you, so persevere my dear sister, it is worth it!

  1.  Find a spot!  A consistent place and time set aside just for you and God.  My time has most consistently been early mornings, but my place has changed over the years.  Presently, I have a spot on my living room floor.  I can spread out and for now, it works for me. At times,  I’ve had a designated chair,  I’ve made my spot at the kitchen table, dinning room table or desk.  I’ve even been on the floor of my closet.  (My favorite place is outside, weather permitting)  Wherever you decide is a sweet place for you in this season, set aside a spot.
  2. Pray!  This may be obvious, but how often do we start diving into God’s Word and forget to ask the Holy Spirit to teach us, reveal God to us and grow us to be more like Christ.  It’s easy to open God’s Word without acknowledging God’s presence.  Pray first and ask Him to be with you.
  3. Ask Questions!  The bible is not best read like a novel.  When we approach Scripture like this we get lost when trudging through books like Leviticus.  When reading God’s Word ask questions!  This year I am going through God’s Word with one question…What do I learn about God in this passage?  Questions you can ask are unlimited.  More examples are:  What do I learn about sin?  What do I learn about the character of the people in the bible?  How does God respond to His people?  What does God want to teach me today?
  4. Focus!  Distractions are an enemy to being in God’s Word.  From inward distractions, like your mind racing and reminding you of all the things you forgot or could be doing, to the outward distractions like schedules, phones, spouses and children.  Focus is why I’ve chosen one question this year as I approach God’s Word each day.  Bible reading plans help you focus.  Methods help you focus.  Although there are many,  the key to success is prayerfully picking one and sticking with it.  For those mental distractions and to do lists that quickly compile in your mind the moment you open God’s Word?  Grab a piece of paper and write it down.  It’ amazing how this will help you let go and get back to your time with Him.
  5. Expect God to reveal Himself!  God’s Word is living and active and even those passages you’ve read multiple times will reveal new things.  God may not give you big AHA moments every day so don’t be discouraged.  Sometimes God reveals Himself over the course of time or He simply reminds us of things we need to remember.  Don’t be discouraged if you are not hearing new things every day.  Being in His word may be keeping you from bad things as He reminds you of things you already know.  Trust Him.  God’s Word is a lamp unto our feet and a light onto our path.  We need it to get where He wants us to be.

Above all delight in your time with God!  If you feel it’s a burden or a chore, ask God to give you a heart that delights  in His Word.  Pray for Him to give you eyes to see and show you wonderful things!  He’s given us His Word to know Him and His ways, stay with it and trust He will do immeasurably more than you could hope or imagine!

Biblical illiteracy and spiritual poverty is a serious problem among God’s people.  Knowing God’s Word for yourself will help  protect you from deception and falling  into unbiblical philosophies that permeate our churches and culture.

No tips will help you if you sincerely don’t believe that God’s Word is  truly God’s Word.  When we really believe that Almighty God, our Creator, speaks to us through His Word, there is no place we’d rather be.

With Love and Prayers for your time with Him,