Christian Devotional: Refresh Yourself
by Susan H. Lawrence
There’s something about convention and retreat experiences. We walk away rejuvenated and ready to tackle our ministries with renewed energy and purpose. What makes these experiences impactful? After all, we build time with God into our daily lives: devotions, prayer, and accountability. But daily also means routine. When we’re at conferences and retreats, we step away from routine. While routine is excellent for discipline, occasional escapes encourage us to listen in fresh ways.
How can we capture renewed energy and purpose on limited time, money, and flexibility? Open your ears to hear from God in a sneak-peek retreat!
Use your senses. Quietly reading your Bible is wonderful. Experiencing God’s Word through multiple senses helps you put an exclamation point on a verse. For example, consider “Praise be to the Lord, to God our Savior, who daily bears our burdens” (Ps. 68:19).
- Close your eyes and go about your routine for five minutes. As you experience challenges, praise God for opening your eyes to His provision and direction, and acknowledge the burdens He carries without your awareness.
- Hold a can of vegetables in your outstretched hand while praying. Put down the can of vegetables as you close in prayer and commit all your burdens to God.
- Listen as you repeatedly read the verse aloud, emphasizing different words with each reading. Consider what aspect of the verse resonates with you.
Use repetition. Carry your quiet time throughout the day with you. We too easy compartmentalize our time with God. Choose one key verse of the day.
- Write the verse on a dozen sticky notes during your devotion time. Find places to stick the notes through the day, preferably one each hour. Computer screen, mirror, steering wheel, wallet. Each time you find a place to stick a note, read it quietly to yourself. Reflect on how it impacts your life in that moment.
- Set your cell phone alarm to vibrate hourly. Write or type the key verse once each time your alarm vibrates as a reminder to reflect and act on the verse.
- Identify an object to remind you of the verse. A rock represents a burden, a small cross signifies salvation, and a water bottle indicates God’s provision. Keep the object with you and place it in prominent locations as you move through your day as a reminder of the day’s verse.
Use social networking. De-compartmentalized your faith while engaging others. Tweet a verse each day on Twitter. Post a reflective question or action challenge on Facebook, such as
- How have you recently experienced mercy?
- Find a way to show compassion today. Share your experience as to encourage others.
- What strength do you have that can also be a weakness?
- Show your appreciation to someone in a practical way today.
- If you attended worship services last weekend, what do you recall from the message? (Post this Wednesday or later to challenge people to recall after several days.)
Whatever your approach, seek renewed energy and purpose with occasional escapes from routine. Listen to God in fresh ways. Open your ears to hear from God in a sneak-peek retreat!
“Blessed is the man who listens to me, watching daily at my doors, waiting at my doorway” (Prov. 8:34).
You can email Susan at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit her blog at http://susanhlawrence.blogspot.com/ for more creative ideas for you and your women’s ministry.