To me, devotional means anything sacred that connects us with the Lord. Spiritual health depends a lot on how we spend the quiet moments in our day, as well as the habits we adopt and carry out. I found a list of things to do to “better yourself” on Pinterest the other day and decided it was good enough to add my own personal spin to and share as a blog post. A cluttered mind and life is a cluttered Spirit. I am fervently incorporating these into my own life at the moment in order to declutter.
//Drink a lot of water.
//Eat a big breakfast, average lunch & tiny dinner.
//Fill up on fruits, veggies & natural foods.
//Go for a walk when stressed.
//Spend more time looking at the sky. You will be in awe of what you see.
//Read a book… or 10. Always be reading one and expanding your mind.
//Go to bed earlier, consistently.
//Stop thinking negative thoughts about yourself & others.
//Don’t dwell on the past, turn it into art.
//Enjoy the little things in life.
//Stop judging & comparing yourself to others.
//Meditate on the Word daily, even if it’s only 15 minutes. Soak in it.
//Stop putting things off. It’s better to start somewhere now than later.
//Avoid processed food.
//Meal prep at the beginning of each week.
//Talk to yourself. Tell yourself the truth until you’re blue in the face if need be.
//Listen to music that makes you feel connected to the Lord.
//Go into creation whenever possible.
//Live in a tidy space. Your home/room is your sanctuary after a long day.
//Wear clothes that make you happy & keep you warm.
//Throw away things you don’t need. Spend time contemplating the necessities.
//Check the posture of your heart before responding and making decisions.
//Remember that God sees all the effort you’re making now that seems unnoticed & the work you’re putting in will pay off in the end.
“Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.”
The Lord has plans to use you exactly where you are. Your job is not to be wasted, your education, your family dynamics, where you live, whom your friends are, your hobbies, your strengths, your abilities, your romantic relationships, the body of believers surrounding you, even your social media platforms.
You have been given your exact strengths and level of influence for a reason.
The only thing left to do is examine where you are. Make use of the time you have. You are where you are for a reason. You are who you are for a reason. There is so much kingdom work that can be done any place where there are other souls.
I have never looked back on a place I did not choose or desire to be and not seen at least some purpose in why I was put there.
Being where you are is no surprise to Him, He has divinely placed you there. The Lord can and will use you literally anywhere. Nothing is pointless.
“Life and death are in the power of the tongue…”Proverbs 18:21
Like anything powerful, there is potential danger in the tongue. Quick and cutting words, impulsiveness, sarcasm, and competition are just a few of the ways we can abuse our speech. Words are important. Our words affect people deeply. People are built up or torn down by the words we speak. If my purpose in life is to honor God and love people, I must make how I use my speech a priority. I don’t want to simply keep from speaking words of discouragement, I am to use my tongue to give life. I must use my speech to inspire people to walk closer to the Lord, to remind them who they are in Him, to encourage, to build up, to edify, to bless.
Our very faith foundation is built upon the life giving words of Jesus, the Word made flesh. We as His people have a duty in turn to use seasoned speech that is consistently characterized by life giving. To speak encouraging things over the people around us, and to know how and when to respond (Proverbs 15:23).
So how do we control our words? How do we direct our mouth to speak life?
-Well firstly, the things that come out of the mouth come from the heart (Matthew 15:18), and I am called to watch over my heart with diligence. To check up on it vigilantly. So before my speech can become life giving, my heart has to be right.
-Ask the Lord to make me quick to listen and slow to speak (James 1:19), which does not come naturally to anyone but is fruit produced in me when I am living by the Spirit (Galatians 5:24-25)
-Remember what it cost, the damage done in the past. Not in a shame filled way, but learning not to return to it, ending the pattern of repetition (Proverbs 26:11).
-Recognizing where my speech is corrupt and cutting it out, then only speaking what builds up (Ephesians 4:29).
-Speaking constructive criticism and correcting in love. You would be surprised how much a person will grow when rebuked in love. Knowing when and how to rebuke with God’s word in a gentle manner is one of the most valuable lessons. I have never felt more loved than when someone I respected and trusted corrected me with God’s word, even if it is painful in the moment (Proverbs 27:5-6).
-And the most important of all these is to remember that we are not on our own. God’s Spirit is producing fruit in us, and with Him comes the fruit of self control. Lean into Christ. He will not fail to give us wisdom on how to speak in a manner worthy of Him when we ask (James 1:5).