I am [somewhat] of a Type A personality. I say "somewhat" because I only have so much motivation to work as hard as Type A's like to work. I like organization and control. I have good intentions in getting things completed, but the motivation sometimes is lacking. But… I do love a good list. One of my favorite things is a blank piece of paper and a pen. Lists of groceries, to-dos, projects, packing lists. You name it, I'll make it into a list.
Lately I feel like God has some lists for me. A list of things He'd like to me study in His Word. Books I have laying on my shelf that He knows I would benefit from spiritually. Fruits of the Spirit that He knows I need to work on (like patience!). A list of heavy prayer requests, people to lift up, health and healing to pray for. Characteristics He knows I need to better myself on in marriage, like respect, service, and holding my tongue. As a family, we're also looking for a new church home. Which means starting new friendships, and hopefully long lasting ones that will benefit our spiritual lives. But where do I begin? Which list do I start?
When I feel like God is about to make big changes in my life or challenge me spiritually and deepen my growth… that's when I start reacting more emotionally (good and bad) in my every day life. I become more impatient with my almost 2 year old son, losing my temper and yelling. I am quicker to interrupt my husband with my ideas and opinions instead of patiently and quiet listening to the important things he has to say. Worry and doubt sneak their little sly thoughts into my head, and eventually I start to dwell on them more. This is when I stop and realize that God is about to do something awesome. Our Enemy is using, and will use, every war tactic he possibly can so that no growth in Christ can happen. Our minds are battlefields between the Holy Spirit and Satan. I have to press forward with the Truth of the Word of God in my mind, apply it to my life, and let it sink into the depths of my heart.
I don't always know what part of my life God wants to work on, but I do know that some of the main things on His to-do list for me include pressing forward and persevering in Him. If I am consistently studying His Word, then those truths will become more and more a part of my thought life and belief system. If I am not in His Word and not in prayer, then how will I ever hear from Him or feel His leading in my life?! It starts with the Word of God, the Bread of Life. When we start to apply that knowledge into our everyday lives, we'll begin to see how God can work on us. Just today I was very angry at my son at lunch time for throwing his food. I took him upstairs for an early nap, which he was not happy about… but I needed time away from him. He had a hard time falling asleep so I laid down in his bed with him, only a few minutes later to find ourselves full out laughing at each other. I prayed for patience when he was throwing his food, and God relieved my anger through that laughter with my son. The Bible teaches me to be patient and kind. The Bible also teaches me to pray and ask for help when I need it. Because I have taken the time to study the Bible, this knowledge is in my mind. So I applied it to my specific situation, asking Jesus to intervene in my emotions. Jesus not only relieved my anger, but reminded me about how good laughter can be. And how when I ask for something I need, He will give it in His time, and in His way.
You may feel like God has a lot of things to work on in your life. You may even feel overwhelmed because you don't know where to start. Understand that by prayer and petition, we are to present our requests to God - and to do it with thanksgiving in our heart. Think about what may be on God's to-do list for you - dig into the Word and find how God will speak to you on how He wants you to grow. Then apply that to you everyday life - the knowledge and love of Christ, deep in your heart, transforming your life for Him.