I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you. -Psalm 119:11
"I have set the Lord continually before me." (Psalm 16:8)
I’ve never met a person who stumbled into excellence or success. Have you?
The journey towards them always includes two major ingredients: intentionality and consistency. Likewise, I’ve never met anyone, whose walk with the Lord I admired, who does not strive intentionally and consistently for their walk. They didn't just stumble into a rooted relationship with the Lord. It’s easy to assume that maintaining a relationship with the Lord doesn’t take work. Although it is true that no amount of work can ever earn us God’s love, there must be a working awareness that intentionality and consistency are essential for our relationship with God to thrive. We can each look around us to see the evidences of this principle in the relationships we treasure (or don’t) and how we invest time, talent and treasure with and for our friends and family, but how often do we think of our relationship with the Lord in the same terms?
Some think growing in our relationship with God naturally occurs when we receive Christ and confess Him as Lord over our lives. It’s as if we just grow as the years go by. Perhaps we think because we go to church every Sunday, it will grow. Or because we attend every conference we come across or every worship event we find, we think surely that will help us grow. While all those things can be good for our walk, they cannot sustain our growth in God.
My sisters, please be aware of the reality of the spiritual battle that we are up against to know God rightly (2 Corinthians 10:4). The God who delights in being known and loved versus the devil who does and will do anything to keep us from that honor and privilege. The enemy hates our soul and wants us to have nothing to do with God. Every day, he plots to distract us. Every hour, he plots to detour us. Every minute, he plots to destroy our faith.
If we are going to grow and mature in knowing God, loving God and obeying God for the purpose of living out an authentic faith, then we are going to have to be intentional and consistent.
We see this intentionality and consistency displayed in God’s Word. The Psalmists in both Psalm 16 and Psalm 119 share this truth with us:
“I have set the Lord continually before me.” (Psalm 16:8)
“I have chosen the way of faithfulness; I have set my heart on your laws.” (Psalm 119:30)
These Psalmists remind us that growing in a relationship with God doesn’t happen without a consistent choosing to set our hearts and minds on Him - His ways. His Word. His plans.
To choose and to set are words of intentionality. Intentionality says that I have understood the importance and urgency of what I am going after and my heart reveals where my priorities lie. My intentionality shows to God that I choose Him above all else. So, when I choose to set my heart to read and study His Word, I am saying that I value this treasure He’s given us to know Him rightly (Psalm 119:162-163). I value the way His Word transforms me (John 17;17) and guides me (Psalm 119:105). When I choose to set my heart to pray, I am saying that I value communion with Him. I value the intimacy that is cultivated when I pray and petition and praise Him. When I choose to set my heart and mind to be a part of the local church, I am saying that I value His body. I value the Bride whom He died for (Ephesians 5:25). I value the role of the church in my life and my role in the life of the church.
More so, choosing to set our hearts and minds is more effective when we are consistent. As the Psalmist said, “I have set the Lord continually before me.” (Psalm 16:8) Continually means consistently. Growth is every day. Renewal happens every day. It’s pushing through the mundane and finding the joy of pressing into the things of God. Intentionality and consistency say that while feelings matter, they don’t rule.
Sisters, it is a daily battle to be intentional and consistent. There are days we will wrestle with God- days where the questions seem louder than the answers; days where our weaknesses feel more overwhelming than His strength. But the beautiful thing about a relationship with the Lord is we get to ask for His help, and He helps us. He draws us. He enables us to see Him as He is meant to be seen. And from there, the intentionality and the consistency will come. Be patient.
The weekly devotionals seek to encourage you to dig deeper into Scripture as you take the time to daily read, meditate, and internalize the verses in the devotional along with the passages provided below to give greater context. Take the time to read them throughout the week (repetition is important) and ask the Holy Spirit to help you grasp what God is showing you about Himself, about you, and how to live in light of these truths.
Passages to read/meditate/memorize:
Psalm 119 (take the time to real the whole chapter this week)
Questions to reflect on: