I dismissed my alignment page, again, annoyed that it keeps coming up ever since I changed the ink cartridge. I hate to waste the ink. I know its okay, so why does it keep reminding me? Shortcuts are not always “short.” So until I print the silly thing, it is going to cause me to change screens to dismiss the prompt. “Just do it,” has a new meaning.
Shortcuts can have consequences. Especially on a spiritual journey with God. Basically, there are none. Rushing requires restitution. Speeding can cost you more than a speeding ticket, sorry to confess I’ve experienced a few of these. Shortcutting my time with God always has cost me more than I wanted to pay.
Align your day. Think of your daily time with God as an alignment time. And the pages of His Word, the alignment pages of your day. I need time with Him at the very start of my day. Maybe you are not a morning person, maybe your best quiet time is in the evening, or before bed you find a time to sit with God and His Word and align yourself to His plan, His will for your days. Maybe it’s in the afternoon when the little ones are napping. Somewhere, in the 24 hours that is our day, we need an alignment time. It’s an example from Jesus. Luke 5:16 says, “He Himself often withdrew into the wilderness and prayed.” He aligned His days with His Father’s plan.
Align your mind. Take your thoughts captive by Philippians 4:8 “Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy – meditate on these things.” Make your plans but remember God is the One in control. Choose to think differently about things that are beyond your control.
Align your soul. There’s a peace when things go so differently than you planned, when you give the Lord your day. Interruptions become opportunities. When you feel like standing with a stomp and yelling “What are you doing?” This was not part of the plan. Your well-fed soul will remind you of Romans 8:28, “For we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.”
Align your heart. Ann Voscamp writes such true words, “You only love as much as you are willing to be inconvenienced.” As followers of Christ we are to “put on love,” wear it, everyday, everywhere. Align yourself with that truth, and you will handle inconveniences differently. Remember, especially during this time of year, but really all year, how willing Jesus was to be inconvenienced for us. He gave His life.
“But above all things put on love, which is the bond of perfection.”
Above all things, means above all things. Above our plans and motives, our schedules and personal goals. People and relationships are always more important than our to-do lists.
Align yourself with scripture. Memorizing verses that provide the truth, when your heart wants to doubt, is so very important. I’ve neglected this in the past so whenever something happened that interrupted or inconvenienced me, I would get so discouraged, I would just give up. All that time the gift of His Word was available to me if I had only taken the time to really know it. How relevant, how powerful is His Word?
“For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”
This is how I get aligned. I’d like to say that once I’ve done it, everything flows just so beautifully. But I can’t truthfully make that statement. There are many realignments throughout the day because there is an enemy out there. And he tries to get me to believe his lies by putting in my path accusations that he will never be able to substantiate because of the grace of God. However, because of the alignment and realignment, I can answer him with God’s powerful Word.
There are no shortcuts to spiritual maturity. No work-around for time spent with God and His Word. So let’s get lined up, and realign as necessary, even if we have to slow down a bit. It will be worth it all in the long run.