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Week 2 – Your Spiritual Life {Are You Too Busy for God?}

Intentionally Focused Week 2 Banner

Today I want to get serious about our walk with God.

Over at my blog we’ve been talking for the past two week’s about our daily quiet times, how the voice of social media gets in the way of listening to God’s voice, and how important it is to have community and accountability in our walk with God – but here – I want to go just one step deeper.

chapter 1 quote 3

What is it that we are focusing on?  What is our driving force?

“It is in the secret discipline of private prayer and meditation on God’s word that our roots grow deep into the rich soil of holiness.

But the reality is…holiness has never been the driving force of the majority.

We live in a culture where prayerless tweets and status updates fly through our fingers without a thought toward holiness.  The lines between principle and impulse have been blurred as information rapidly swirls like wind about us, moving us one direction and then the next.

All the information of every library in the world, we carry in our purses in the form of iPhones.  But most of the food for our minds found there is emptiness; emptiness served on a platter for our starved souls to feed on…If our roots are not deep into the rich soil of God’s Word, we will be swayed by the empty soul food we feed on. If holiness is not our driving force, we will be blown to and fro by the ways of the world and the emotions of our hearts.  Remember, holiness has never been the driving force of the majority.”
~excerpt from the book, Women Living Well

I’ve been told by many women over the years, the reason they miss their quiet times is because they are simply “too busy”...

I believe it goes a bit deeper than that.  Watch my video below to see what I think is the real problem.

(if you can’t see this video – click here to play it)

Week 2 Challenge:

Open to Revelation Chapter 1 and read what John saw when he saw Jesus in all his glory.  When you close your eyes to pray – pause and imagine what John saw.  Then begin praying.  I believe it will change the power of your quiet times this week.

Week 2: Reading Plan

Week 2

Week 2: Memory Verse

MemoryVerse-02

Let’s Talk:  What is it that draws you to God?  How have you made Him a priority in your life?

Walk with the King,

Courtney, WomenLivingWell.org

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Comments

  1. This post came at a very fitting time. I am not back in a routine yet (in South Africa university starts mid-February) and I have been having so much trouble spending time with God every day this whole holiday. This week I really want to try and get back into that habit and not compromise about my time with God. Thanks!

  2. My husband and I have had this problem recently. It is very hard when you are constantly at the church helping out with the teens or singing on the praise team or helping with the nursery (among other things in your life) to carve out the time that is so vitally important. Being a Christian, I feel it should be something I crave but sometimes we don’t, and so for those times, we have to force our selves to do it and be intentionally laying our lives down in order to become closer to him. I hope that this study makes me crave Him so much more and doesn’t become a chore but my breakfast!

    • Hi Tiffany!

      When we were engaged my husband and I found we had a very similar problem–we were so distracted by serving at the church that we were finding ourselves forgetting to get quiet with God. We both have recently felt the conviction of that and recognizing that our priority there wasn’t right. We came to the conclusion that if we are spending so much time serving at the church that we weren’t taking time to be with the great Founder of the church and the reason for the existence of church, we weren’t serving the church well. We cut back on volunteer time (I actually took a break from it altogether for a time because I felt so distant from God I knew I couldn’t effectively lead people to him through my service) and used the time we took away from church as time to get refocused on God. Now, serving feels so much different. It doesn’t feel like something I have to do or something that is just filling my schedule and I can’t keep up. Now I really feel like I can serve because of where my focus is.

      This is just what worked for us. I don’t think we should ever quit ministering to others but I think it is important to recognize when our spiritual health, our own personal relationship with God, isn’t where it needs to be, and when we recognize that our service has become more important than our relationship with God, it’s time to address those priorities and see how we can change it. I’m definitely NOT perfect at this and it is very easy to get out of balance here but I know now that recognizing the unbalance and refocusing my attention on God only makes me a better servant for Him, and being a servant for Him is why we spend time in ministry whether it’s at church or work or friendships.

  3. Wow! You have no idea how much I thank God for you GMGirls!!!! God has used you to bring me back to studying His Word in the mornings like I used to. Last weekend, I read Galatians 2:20 and His awesome love captured my heart again. Then, all last week I was encouraged and moved to continue pressing on focusing on Christ. Last week, on Friday afternoon, our family received an invitation from church to visit!!! I’m praying about joining the women’s Bible Studygroup. Today’s scripture in Revelation 1 helped me to fall deeper in love with my Savior, King of kings, and Lord of lords, Jesus Christ!
    Thank you for all you do from the bottom of my heart.
    Abiding in Him, Gabriela

  4. Glynis Booe says:

    Making time with God a priority is very rewarding… I crave it and look forward to each and every morning! My day is not complete without it!

  5. This study is coinciding perfectly with another study I am doing, the sermons at church, and the pre-printed scripture in my journal; God is obviously intentionally focusing me on one message right now and I just had my eyes opened to it. It is the secret of perseverance; prevent weariness (emotional burn out) by withdrawing often to lonely places for prayer and filling up on the bread of life (word of God). Through making this a habit He will clothe me with strength and dignity as my roots go ‘deep into the rich soil of holiness’ allowing me to bear much fruit. As a reward for perseverance I am promised the right to eat from the tree of life, how sweet that will taste! Praise The Lord!

  6. Ronchelle says:

    It’s been hard trying to find a quiet time. Last week I committed to reading before I go to work. The challenge with that is, I have to be at work at 5am. It got to be a little difficult reading and soaping that early. I really need to

    • Ronchelle says:

      I hit enter by accident.
      I really need to find a time that works. I feel good when I do it before I start my day, but I’m usually so exahausted after 3 days of getting up at 3:15am

      I’m praying for God to help me with this struggle

      Thank you GMG for the wonderful Bible Study

      • Emily Dixon says:

        Doing the study at night can be a wonderful way to end your day as well. At the start of last week I studied during my son’s naps, then it was at night after he went to sleep by the end of the week. Consistency is nice, but I think just making the time at all is key. To paraphrase a line from “Steel Magnolias”, “Honey, God dosen’t care when you study, just as long as you show up!” I pray for you enough rest to get through your days, and a that you find a window of time that works for you! :)

      • Ronchelle I sm praying for YOUR quite time. Perhaps make part of bedtime routine. I am praying for ur peace with this

      • Ronchelle,
        I do my study the night before then spend quiet time with God in the mornings, reflecting and praying. {GMG Leadership Encourager}

  7. This morning in my reading I was confused by the use of the phrase “desolate place” in the verses (I use ESV, I don’t know if it’s the same for other translations) so I went to the dictionary to see if there were definitions other than the broken, lonely, void of life or joy that I always think of. What I was surprised to find was that Desolate can also mean empty, bare, uninhabited, and deserted. Basically, Jesus was going to an EMPTY and UNINHABITED place for his prayer so that he would find no interruptions or distractions. I think that’s important for us to note so that we can remember that our quiet times should be separate from other people, however we can manage that. My husband allowed me to use part of our spare bedroom/office space to create a reading nook and daybed and replaced the doorknob to one with a lock so I can be completely alone. It’s so nice because when I’m in here for my quiet time in the morning I can know that I won’t be interrupted, and that this time is special and sacred.

    I don’t know whether everyone else is able to have a space like that but I think talking to our spouses to figure out how each of us can get a time to be totally alone and uninterrupted is really key to getting the most out of quiet time. I just started doing that for this study after spending all last weekend setting the space up and it has already made such a big difference!

    • I love that idea! Wouldn’t it be great for us all to have a space? I prayed before we moved for an office like space. God provided it–in my closet no less, where I now have my old, unused for the last 3 years, prayer bench. In my closet! It’s amazing to be able to get away when we need to.

      • I know! I love having that space. It’s my absolute favorite part of our apartment now, closely followed by the kitchen :) it’s just so awesome to have a place where you know you can be alone. I’m also extremely introverted so I desperately need time alone to be healthy, and this has been wonderful!

  8. What is it that draws me to Him above all others…………it’s the way he wraps his arms around his word….and brings it alive in his very person……I see it in him,….Jesus is my visual aid……..it’s his voice…..it’s like no other I have heard……speaking with a tone I could listen to all day….he holds my attention…..he has something worth listening too above all others…….it’s the bending of his ear to my quiet, uncertain voice….when I can barely make a whisper in his presence……when I catch a glimpse of who he really is and who he represents……..my heart would want to run or curl up……but still an unseen hand holds me tight……and will not let me go……..it’s a love like I have never experienced…….that has been seeping into my very bones and marrow since I met him……drip feeding my malnourished body and spirit……..and you ask me what draws me to him………this and so much more…….time and again…….
    How have I made him a priority in my life………….His very name causes me to look up and search for his coming……..he is the one I listen for………he Is the one I carve out a space…..wherever that may be……my intentions are good….but my practice is not great……..he sits patiently waiting……..he knows the way I take……each day I intentionally have to carve out that time……..and tho I may not always understand his word……it has and is becoming a light unto my path and a lamp unto my feet………..one step today….is the priority….and tommorow I must walk to same way……..I am learning….practicing….that is my priority……….shefalie

  9. I have been doing well lately at getting up before my family and spending time with God. Although, I do feel sometimes my focus is more on just that I’m “doing” my quiet time, rather than being in true communion with the Creator. So I’m intentionally focusing on being in true communion with Him.On a side note, as an encouragement to other women, without me ever saying a word, my husband also started getting up early and spending focused time with God. He said that it was because of my example that he realized that finding a couple minutes here and there to read the Word was not truly having a relationship with God. We have a sweet time together now each morning as we sit together while we spend time with our Savior. It was a great reminder to me the influence I have on my family! They are watching us, ladies!

  10. Todays video brought tears to my eyes. Thank you for the reminder of what an awesome God we serve have the privilege of being adopted into His family. This is something I need to remember daily, every moment of the day.

  11. Like kaitlyn, I am blessed to have a separate “office” where I can retreat to with God’s Word. I find that my time spent alone with God is the best part of my day. Time to reflect on His love and Will for my life becomes so much clearer when I’m in the isolated space of our home. My time of praise and prayer is intimate and personal. Exactly how would visit with a best friend when I need their undivided attention, and for that matter, when THEY (God) NEED ME to listen.

    I have tried to pray and study in the living room and “drown” out the sounds of the television or phones ringing and it doesn’t work for me. Too many distractions get in the way of The Holy Spirit’s promptings.

    Thank you so much for this lesson today, as it confirms how God wants us to pray and dig deeper into a relationship with Him.

  12. Thanks for the opportunity of a personal revival,God bless

  13. The verses today seem to be the heartbeat of this blog. I “stumbled” upon Good Morning Girls website through Courtney’s book Women living Well. Since November i have been doing the studies and God has strategically used GMG to help me refocus and make time with God and His Word a priority! My life has been so very blessed by this. I now lead a group of 5 friends on Facebook and they are loving it too! Thank you, thank you to all the ladies that make this online Bible study happen!! What a wonderful gift to the body of Christ and a force to advancd the Kingdom of God! Blessing to you all!!

  14. I used to spend quiet time with the Lord all the time and then when my folks moved in with me and I lost my “office/study area” it just went by the wayside. I am so thankful for this study because it calls me into accountability and makes me realize that the quiet times I had was when I grew the most. So this week my focus will be on carving out my niche again and being serious about time with the Lord. I especially appreciated Courtney’s quote on the blog.

  15. Cindy cox says:

    This is so good for me right now, my oldest daughter is not working at the moment and she is helping me out here at home so if I choose I can have this quiet time, and since I have 7 children I really need to take advantage of it. I need to listen to my spirit and spend this time with the Lord. Thank you for this.

  16. I pictured myself as in a dream: I am opening all the cupboards and drawers looking for that special ingredient for a recipe I am making…cant find it and suddenly realize I don’t even remember what I am looking for. It finally dawned on me its my lack of being able to focus. This study is what I really need right now with so much going on in my life and swirling around in my head. Perfect timing as it always is in Gods time. Thank you for this study.

    • I totally agree with you! So much going on and lack of focus. For me, this study was a real Godsend, getting me back into His Word and focusing on Him and not myself.

  17. What draws me to Him is that I owe Him my time. He makes me feel love. I can see & feel the difference in my day when I intentionally get alone with Him. The opposite is true when I don’t. We truly have to take up our cross daily to stay in a relationship with Him.

  18. What draws me to God is His love. His very nature–He is love. To know someone loves me that much, and that He has show how much He cares over even the little things. In the last year, I will be honest, I haven’t spent as much time making Him a priority as I should have been. I have let distractions and busyness get in the way. This last week of study, I just felt drawn again and tried to be intentional to get away, like Jesus, and pray more often. To me, that is the key to relationship-talking to Him. Not taking that privilege for granted. This study has also helped draw me closer as opposed to being drawn away as I have been in the past by other things-yes, even ‘good’ things but not the ‘best’ things. Thank you for a great week of study!

  19. Wow, thank you so much for that! Your video was so inspiring! I love to watch you speak because you bring it all to life and have so much passion, thank you!!

  20. I live alone so this should be no problem to have quiet time and study the word. WRONG. I work alot and think I will have time between ambulance runs to dig in. Somedays yes, others no. Today, I have decided that I need to alter this. I know many of you have kids at home, I am Mamaw and Aunt to some great kids but, can’t seem to concentrate when they are here either. I sure would like some tips if anyone has any. Trying hard today. Want to dig in to God’s word…

    • Emily Dixon says:

      If you can’t pin down a consistent time, why not start with a consistent space? Your kitchen table, computer desk, or couch? Next to your locker, before or after a shift? Maybe if you find a space where you feel the most comfortable and communal with God, He will show you the best time to meet with Him. I pray for you a space just cozy enough for you and God. :)

    • Michelle Perez says:

      I will pray for you this week Penny. I get up real early (I have 2 little ones and nursing a 6 week old) and I the only way I can do this is through prayer – when my eyes don’t want to open, I pray, pray … Jesus roll me out of this bed :) I pray for my children to stay asleep, I pray that God just brings calm to the storm.. He can do the same from you, just might mean you have to wake up extra early…he can give you the strength to do it!! Todays verses say it all – truly depend on Him!! Have a great week walking with Him!

      • stacy soto says:

        With my husband in the hospital, i have found it to stay focused thru this pain and what he muddy be going thru. My faith is strong and i stand knowing this will come to pass, but i am struggling finding time to sit and saying focused.

  21. Good morning GIRLS!! Well, I started this group by myeself wanting to learn how to dig deeper in to the word. Now, that I have been doing this for a while I wanted to bring my sisters back to Him. I was so nervouse because my family, we are very strong and opinionated woman. I started the first day in this study and decided to make a group with my sister. The thing is, now that I’m suppose to be helping guide them, seems like I’m slacking. This hasn’t happened in the past. But I know that I need to try that much harder. So here I am every morning reading my bible, doing my study. The enemy has no control over me and I refus to be used as a puppet. Please pray that I continue to keep moving forward and not miss a day in this amazing study.. Thank you all and God Bless everyone of you!!

  22. Thank you for helping me to realize how much my quiet time with GOD really means. I will not let evil destroy my life, family or marriage. I am reading my Bible everyday, doing the study each day and doing my prayer journal as well. This has been the most empowering 8 days in the last few years of my 51 years on this earth! I pray for each one of you as we draw nearer, nearer to God!
    God Bless!

  23. Great video today! Awesome message! Thank you. :)

  24. Debbie Rice says:

    Thanks Courtney, I always enjoy the GMG Blog. What a mess I could be if I didn’t take some time alone with God in prayer and Bible Study. He already knows all the things we will encounter each day. when I do spend my quiet with the Lord, yes it takes time but always, always He streached my hours, I am amazed how much more I can accomplish when I spend my time alone with Jesus.

  25. Beth Johnston says:

    I’ve been looking at time with God like dessert; I’ll get everything else done first, and save the best for last. But, of course, time often runs out. I realized today that I need to see time with God as the appetizer that comes first. Thank you!

  26. Ursula Nihau says:

    Spending time with anything is a problem in itself, so when this bible study came up, I saw it as something I needed to do. And of course the first week was a complete fail, but here I am on week #2 and I’m ready.

    • Don’t give up! Every day, every moment is a new opportunity to jump right back in! Happy you’re here for week 2!!! :o) ~ Marlene {Leadership Encourager}

  27. I was really blessed by this word today and it helped me to see how awesome our God is. I have times when I don’t struggle with getting time with God and their are times when I just miss it completely. I realize in the times that I don’t feel like it that my flesh is warring against my spirit and I have to choose to yield to the spirit. The great thing about this is that when I am going through this time of struggle I hear a word like you just spoke and it encourages me to do it. So thanks for this word.

  28. one word…POWERFUL!!

  29. This was such a great post. Praying for conviction for my husband to start doing couples devotions with me at night.

  30. This truly spoke to my heart. As a 21 year old mom of two with a full time job, I feel like I have no time for anything. I’m always busy. But this showed me that I need to stop making excuses and spend time with God. I need to stop using the tired old “I’m busy”, and just do it.
    What draws me to God is his love and ability to forgive. It makes me feel amazing to know that I will always have his love. I suffer from depression and anxiety, and when I’m at my lowest point I know that God is there to pick be back up and make me whole again. He will always love me no matter what.

    You ladies are amazing! I can’t tell you how much you speak to my heart and how much it makes me want to be a leader and share God’s word! Thank you ladies so much for being here!

    • Hi Danielle,
      I completely know what you mean, I’m a working mom too and its really hard to find the time. I also suffer with anxiety and God’s word is my medicine for that. Keep pressing on and you won’t regret it. God is always with us, never leaving our side and will always give us the strength moment by moment. I’m also so glad we have this amazing community of women to help support each other!
      Have a great week!
      Jessica

  31. Thank you… i am just realizing that to fear is much different than being afraid. I don’t want to “be” afraid but I do want to live in fear of God only.. awe and reverence to the fullest extent of their definitions then, like you said, even more so!

  32. I’m coming against the demon of distraction and praying for focus, discipline, patience (mostly with myself because God has been incredibly patient with me) and perseverance, particularly when I am tempted or distracted away from God’s word. It’s amazing to me how other things pop up right around the time I’m getting into the Word. I know it’s not by happenstance but is evil trying to lure me away, so, with this awareness I come against it in Jesus’ name! It already feels like it has less power over me! But it’s still up to me to choose to do the right thing. Thanks for your insight!

  33. That is an awesome powerful picture. It is a vivid picture of who I get to meet with everyday. I look forward to taking up the challenge and meeting with Jesus in a whole new way.

  34. I love my daily time with Jesus. I have my days for sure when I’m not so good at it, but what I have found is that when you make time for Jesus, he somehow gives me time back to make sure I can get to everything I need. Making daily time with Jesus refocuses my true priorities and makes me realize I’m sometimes too busy doing things that really don’t matter. Just as the bible says to give our first fruits or the tithe, I think that includes our time too, and in the say way when we give our time to Jesus, he will give us time back. He is the ultimate provider and will always give us what we need. Love you ladies and have a great week!

  35. I am drawn to God because I have been taught of His everlasting love. I know that believing in Him is right, but I also know there is more to faith than just believing.
    Unfortunately, I haven’t made him a priority. I am not a faithful church-goer, I don’t read the Bible regularly, I don’t spend time reading scripture with my kids. Rather, I have chosen to serve Him with time by serving on various ministries at church and participating in church activities.

  36. I think it’s God’s love and unconditional grace that makes me run to Him. He has blessed my life in ways I truly did not deserve. Before I knew Him, I was a wretched woman. And I mean horrible. But God’s grace turned me entire life around and His patience and love saved me time and time again. He is truly a magnificent God.

  37. God blesses me every morning to wake up. He gives me favor, grace and has mercy when I mess up. His love surrounds me every day and his angels protect me every night. My prayer and meditation time is for me to let him know I love him and he is FIRST.

  38. Michelle Perez says:

    Just love the studies yesterday and today – we need quiet time!! And like Courtney explained in her video we need to put the excuses behind us – he does give us a supernatural strength to complete everything we need to in the day, we just need to ask :) and for today just remembering that He is bread of life, our good shepherd, the way, the truth and the life, the vine! We need him – we need to be completely dependent on him! Oh Lord thank you for your forgiveness and for your love!! I can’t do this without you!

  39. I love reading this! Thank you. I’m currently trying to put a moms group together at my church. Where young moms can bring their children in a stroller and walk around the park digging deeper in Gods word!!! Thank you so much for the encouragement!

  40. I have experienced too much “busy time” lately and not enough “quiet time” with God. Thanks for the reminder for me to be still and share time with God.
    :-)

  41. I can totally tell when something’s come up that has taken away my time w/ God. I just don’t feel at peace! I feel kind of lost all day. I realized that it doesn’t matter *when*, just as long as I *do*. And asking for His help in pleasing Him in absolutely everything I say & do has made a huge difference in my life. I am a mom of 4, 2 still at home, and I was diagnosed w/ fibromyalgia. Life gets really hard sometimes, but God is my rock, my strength, and my deliverer/friend. I am truly blessed!

    I am just now starting the study as I was away w/ my husband last week celebrating our 25th anniversary!!! We had a wonderful time! Now that I’m home, I am so excited to be starting this study. I think I will try to catch up, but if that doesn’t work, I’ll just dig in where everyone else is. I am in a group already on facebook and they’ve been great w/ me catching up sometimes, as my health permits. Keep up the great work! I am so happy to have this time w/ all these other women! How awesome is He!?!?!?! <3

    • Meg,
      I too have Fibromyalgia – it IS hard but much EASIER with God! I pray that your days are filled each day with God and less pain. {Leadership Encourager}

  42. I loved this post and it’s fitting as I am a day late starting this week because I was “too busy” yesterday! But I wanted to share something I learned in a small group recently. The group was about discovering pictures in the Bible and understanding it from an Eastern prospective (how it was intended). Psalm 1:1-2 encourages us to “meditate” on God’s word…but the Hebrew word translated to meditate is “hagah” which literally means a lion tearing into its prey. We are intended to tear into God’s word fiercely and with great passion! THAT is how you feed your soul! How cool is that?

  43. Let’s see I was a day behind, but all caught up now and in actuality I have been consistently reading the scriptures for the day and Soaping them. I may not have time to watch the videos but I am making time for studying and reflecting upon God’s word and I find myself praying more. It is making me more focused no matter how tired I am after working 12 hours and my days starting at 5 AM gearing up for work.

  44. Rie hamby says:

    It has become apparent that God is wanting me back into His fold. Things have been happening in my life that makes me believe that….. I believe that spending more time with God and “tearing into His word” is exactly what I need to do….. Get to a quiet place and have some 1 on 1. What better way to know what God wants.

  45. Focusing on Jesus is what He calls me to do. Life clogs up the path far too often and I so easily let it. This study is giving me direction and bringing a desire to my heart to be focused on Him. I am grateful to be amongst so many who care and are trying to focus on the only One Who matters. Caring through Christ, linda

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