After successfully putting Marshall down for his morning nap (well, after a 15 minute protest period where he defiantly stood up in his crib, holding onto the railing with one hand, staring up at the video monitor and swinging his dog lovie around with the other), I finally was able to sit down to a warm mug of hazlenut coffee and a bowl of cereal at my kitchen table to begin my quiet time with the Lord.
As mentioned in previous posts, I recently started a women's bible study on 1 Peter. I have ben using their curriculum to guide my time with the Lord. On a side note - moms, being in a women's Bible study has been SO helpful for getting me back in the Word. I didn't have any structure to my quiet time before and therefore, often wouldn't know where to go in Scripture and then get distracted by other tasks. Now that I am in a Bible study, I have something to guide my time and it's manageable - only 20 minutes or so to complete the daily lessons. This is my plug for any women's Bible study!!!
Anyways, one of the cross references for the 1 Peter passage led me to Romans 13. Verse 12 caught my attention that morning.
"The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light."
I began to pray, "Lord, what does it mean to put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light" in my life?
As someone who has grown up in the church, it is very easy to identify the ways I can "put on the armor of light." Doing things like: reading and memorizing Scripture, praying, regularly attending a worship service, being part of a community of believers who will speak truth into my life, being involved in a Bible study, etc...all of these things are wonderful things to help draw me closer to God and "put on the armor of light" in my life. They are NOT, however, things I do to earn my salvation. It is by grace through faith alone! But they are things that help me "set my mind on things above."
On the flip side of that coin, as someone who's grown up in the church, what does it mean to "put aside the deeds of darkness?" It's easy to identify the "big sins" - the things not to do as a follower of Jesus. But then I prayed, "Lord, what are the subtle sins, the small areas in my life where I am not putting aside deeds of darkness?"
Three things came to mind:
1. Money - do I spend my money in a God-honoring way? Am I buying things for myself, our house, or Marshall with a materialistic need to impress, need to possess attitude?
2. TV - As much as I love reality shows, many of them are not God-honoring shows. The messages they promote do nothing to edify and encourage my relationship with God or my family.
3. Music - I am a runner and I need peppy music to keep me going, so I usually listen to the latest rap/hip-hop/pop artists when I run. I tell myself that I tune out the lyrics and mainly just enjoy the beat, but that's impossible to do! The other day, God must have been convicting me because I noticed the lyrics that day and had to forward through 10 songs before I came to one that was not all about sex, sung about in a non-God honoring way.
So my prayer for today and my challenge to other moms is...what are the "deeds of darkness" in our lives - even subtle ones - that the Lord may be convicting us of and how can we "put them aside"?