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5 Ways to Practice “Being”

The past few weeks I’ve been teaching my international students at the university the practice of “being” and not “doing” when it comes to leadership. Why is this so difficult for us? We want to know what the next steps are and yet sometimes we aren’t willing to pay the price to “be” instead of “do.”

We’ve bought into the lie that if we keep doing MORE things then we will be able to discern the next best decision and avoid making the wrong turn on our life path.  (click to tweet)

If you joined me on Wednesday night for the weekly Facebook Live in the Live Bold Series Group, I shared the many reasons why I love peering into the lives of bold women in history. Amy Carmichael, Emma Dryer, Hannah Whitall Smith, and Mrs. Oswald Chambers to name a few. They have a common thread of walking out their faith. There is a theme of learning what it means to sit in God’s presence and to be still that accompanies their “doing.”

Each of these women faced unexpected challenges and yet they kept their hearts and minds fixed on Jesus (Psalm 57:7).

Bold Women

Amy Carmichael challenges, If we wait till we have clear enough vision to see the expected end before we stay our mind upon Him who is our strength, we shall miss an opportunity that will never come again. Now is the time to say, My heart is fixed, O God, my heart is fixed: I will sing and give praise. (Psalm 57:7), even though as we say the words there is no sense of exultation. 

Their vision was not dependant on clarity and certainty. It was dependant on God by waiting, listening, and taking steps of faith as they heard God whisper to move ahead. They “stayed their mind” on Jesus. They learned what it meant “to be.” Amy challenges us to keep our minds focused which in turn influences our behavior.

I don’t know about you, but when I am feeling anxious about a situation or a decision I need to make, I need some tools to help me “stay my mind” on Christ.

Here are five ways to practice “being” so you can stay your mind on Jesus.

1. Worship music:

Fill your day with praises to God and watch your anxiety melt away by refocusing your thoughts on the praises of God.

2. Pray:

Move out of your ordinary routine to pray. Take a walk and release all your thoughts to God and then take some time to walk and just listen. Take a drive and park at the beach, park, or a place of God’s creation you admire. Pray for 5 minutes. Listen for 5 minutes, and then pray for another 5 minutes.

3. Read a passage of the Psalms:

Read and look at the pattern of David’s prayers. He was authentic and yet always brought it back to focusing on what God could do and who He is. Speak it out loud. Here are a few to get you started: Psalm 42, Psalm 91, Psalm 37.

4. Write your own Psalm:

In a journal record what you are facing or the decision you need to make. Turn the last part of your writing into praises of confession believing that God:
is for you,
will provide, and that
He loves you no matter what.

5. Serve others:

Purposefully plan to do something to serve someone else who is in need. Whether making a meal for a neighbor, write a note of encouragement, or drive someone to the doctor. Focusing on helping others can keep our mind stayed on Jesus.

These are not new ideas. Being intentional about the simple basics and practicing “being” can bring a fresh perspective.

Excerpt from: A Very Present Help by Judith Couchman, 1996 Servant Publications.)

Changing My Image of Prayer

When I was a little girl if I was in trouble, I often heard the phrase,

“Wait until your father comes home.”

Because I heard this phrase continually, I would withdraw and hide from my Dad.

By projecting the image I had of my own father I learned to see God as someone who was mostly angry with me and waiting to get me.

I realize even now at times, I hide from God when I am afraid, or think he won’t accept me or forgive me.

I built a false image of God in my heart that keeps me from praying.

Once I released that image, I learned I could come to God as the writer of Hebrews tells us to—“So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God” (Heb. 4:16 NLT).

Albert Haase says in his book, Living the Lord’s Prayer,

“Our image of God is one of the most, if not the most important aspects of our spiritual formation. Our God image shapes and colors everything about our personal spirituality, from why we pray to how we understand personal suffering and evil in the world.” (click to tweet)

Maybe you too have created a false image of God that keeps you from the rich intimacy of prayer with God. Look at this list and circle any false image of God you realize you’ve adopted.

Arbitrary dictator

Divine traffic cop

Chess master

Puppeteer

Divine trickster

Warden

Tyrant

Controller

Now that we’ve identified our false images of God, how can we be free of that image so we can enter into communion and prayer with God?

The answer might surprise you.

Pray!

To correct the false image of God we have constructed in our minds we need to pray the truth over the falsehoods. (click to tweet)

The Bible has treasures of promises of the true image of God. Once you start digging to find them and praying these verses, it will begin to shape a new image of God in you and change the way you pray.

Since today is the National Day of Prayer, I thought I would share the above excerpt from a new book  that I wrote with my cousin Andrea Tomassi

Live Bold: A Devotional Journal to Strengthen Your Soul.

The book is divided into 12 themes that encourage the reader to live bold daily for Jesus Christ. It is a 52 week devotional that focuses on a theme and includes an action step for the week and a bible verse related to the theme to meditate on throughout the week. We also have a Facebook Community Live Bold Series and for the month of May our theme is prayer. Please consider joining us as we focus on prayer this month and learn to pray bold prayers for Jesus!

To learn more about the Live Bold Community go to www.livingbold.org

Live Bold is available on May 15th and available now for pre-order

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