The covenant.

Am I growing in holiness?
How am I seeking to make myself pure?
Does my life honor Jesus?
Am I looking in the Word to find out how I am supposed to live?
Do I hate the world?

The plan of attack:
1.) No facebook for a week.
2.) No tv, movies, radio or magazine’s for a week.
3.) I will wake up and be in the Word before work.
4.) I will be in the Word for the 2 hours that Enzo naps in the afternoon.
5.) I will be in the Word for at least an hour before bed.
6.) I will be slow to speak, no slander, no gossip.
7.) I will not laugh, joke or talk about anything that isn’t glorifying to God.

And I will do these tasks with a pure heart and not brag, but because I want God to move in my life. I want to root myself so deeply in Him that I grow to hate sin as He does. I will not find entertainment in the very things he despises. I will glorify Him with my words. I will strive for humility. I will take every thought captive for the Lord.

Oh God, I ask for wisdom in Your Word and strength to complete these tasks in Your Name.

“Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” Romans 12:2

Day 1.

I failed.

I thought this would be hard, but I also thought I’d last longer than a day. Though, I won’t be discouraged, instead take from this a lesson. I can do all things through Christ and absolutely nothing without him. I am weak and designed to mess up. I will not make it through this week without asking God daily/hourly/every second for obedience and strength.

I listened to worship music as I got ready for church and I prayed in the car on the way there. I sat next to and introduced myself to a girl sitting alone before service. I felt a real presence from God during worship, just me and Him… it was beautiful and how it should be. Shortly after I almost leaked word of my secret covenant, only stopping myself after I had spilled the beans on rule #1.

I did however remember to glorify God with my mouth, except at Wendy’s when I laughed about ‘who’s the baby’s daddy?’ episodes on Maury. But, I did hold back on some things. I really made an effort to be slow to speak.

Then I went to a Bible study for ulterior reasons, left the study and went to Katie’s to watch a movie–not remembering until several minutes in that I had now broken rule #2.

And then I realized… it’s not that I sin, but more that I do nothing but sin. I deserve nothing but death, however because I now believe in a literal death and resurrection I know my sins were bought with a price. I can’t complete this covenant without first dying to myself.

Father forgive me for I have sinned against you. I ask for wisdom in Your Word and strength to complete these tasks in Your Name. I want you to move in my life.

Day 2.

I felt a calling/burden on my heart for a possible missions trip. Confirmation came today as I began the study of Mark. Mark depicts Jesus as a servant. It is the shortest Gospel, yet contains the most miracles, the most works. It’s centered around Mark 10:45…

“For even the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve and to give His life as ransom for many.”

And then I looked across the page at the last paragraph of Matthew, The Great Commission…
“…go and make disciples of all nations.”

Now I don’t know what that looks like, if I’m to go? where I’m to go? when I’m to go there? But I know that God will show up. I do know that I am over what seems to be American Christianity and how we take our faith for granted. I want to experience an area that has genuine believers–not practicers of a vain faith–but people who call themselves Christians and mean it because they could die for it. It scares me that God might be leading me there. But, as much as I am praying for a movement and for wisdom, I also pray for obedience to do whatever it is He asks of me.

“…hear the word, accept it, and produce a crop.” Mark 4:20b

I did make mention of my covenant today– I may have failed myself in that way, but my hope was to encourage and also seek prayer from others. However, praise God I upheld rules 1-7.

Day 3.

Check, check and check. Though I was in constant prayer with God all day, I felt a little distant. Maybe I need to reevaluate my motives. I am gaining knowledge, but I must remember humility. I was able to use scriptural examples when trying to counsel a friend tonight. That was exciting to not offer up my advice but instead say, here is what God says about it.

I finished up the book of Mark tonight. Now, for Luke.

Oh God, give me the heart of a humble servant. I ask for wisdom in Your Word, and the strength to obey it–while maintaining a pure heart and a gentle spirit.

My mind will chase the Lord.

Day 4.

Happy ‘the fog was lifted’ anniversary! This time last month, I tossed my partial Christianity into the garbage can and embraced a very real Jesus-loving-Bible-reading-Christian lifestyle.

I like Luke.. so far the sweetest to the ears. I like Jesus, the Perfect Man-the curious, but wise 12 year old–a very real savior. I also like John the Baptist.

I maintained the covenant today, though I most definitely struggle with motive. I want desperately to see God move through this and I wanted not only to experience Him, but also gain wisdom. Whether this is conviction or persecution of some sort, I find that to share my excitement in my growth may very well come off as an ‘everyone-come-look-at-me-and-how-good-I’m-doing’ attitude. There is definitely a battle for my heart.

I also received a phone call from my friend, the prophet. He offered encouragement/warning for the truth I have stumbled across. One month in the truth brings me excitement, but two years for him has brought suffering and persecution. I am thankful for people like him.

Today I ask for obedience to Your Will above ALL ELSE–the scariest concept I’ve ever stumbled across.

“…but first seek His kingdom.” Matthew 6:33 (not a husband, not a career… His will.)

Day 6.

I didn’t journal Day 5 and I almost neglected Day 6.. Why?

No movement.

I upheld the covenant, that was not the issue. I breezed through Luke in a day and a half and started my study of John tonight. He might be my favorite, though it’s too soon to tell.

But here’s the deal… I demanded, willed, wished, expected God to “move” this week. In the beginning I felt a “calling” to missions, which I pushed away as quickly as it came. Then a day or two later, I wondered where “my voice” was. I heard from my friend, the mercy, that God is a jealous God and loves all the attention I’m giving Him. So, He’s withholding to sort of ride this boat aka, me seeking/spending time with Him, for as long as He can. I liked that answer.

But, tonight as I turned off the lights it hit me. How dare I expect God to jump through my hoops because I was doing x, y and z… ESPECIALLY WHEN X, Y AND Z ARE THINGS I SHOULD BE DOING ANYWAY!!! And maybe I’d hear Him more if I spent as much time in genuine undistracted prayer as I did bragging about my covenant. (Matthew 6:18b)

So, tonight my prayer is for forgiveness, humility and a constant heart to seek God even when He’s not speaking, moving, etc.

Day 7.

Today I spent time with God because I love Him.

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