Consistency is Key - what I learnt from my month of daily devotionals.
Aloha! Hey Family,
Hope you are all well!
2020 is in full swing and some things are happening. I’m not sure if you follow me on Instagram (@lionessola_) but in the month of February, my Pastor’s sermon stirred me up to give myself a personal challenge of doing a devotional everyday for the rest of the month. I made myself ‘accountable’ to you all on instagram and posted there everyday.
So let me give you some background..
One of my biggest frustrations with myself is that I can be very inconsistent. I can start something and then after a while the zeal fizzles off and I stop doing that thing, then (and this is going to sound really dramatic), but I begin to feel useless get angry/frustrated/annoyed with myself and beat myself up (sometimes pretty badly). It actually turns into a cycle of ups and downs, excitement and then frustration.
So this year, I am really trying to push myself, really trying to do better, be consistent. And it started in February, with this devotional challenge - 27 days of uploading a ‘what I learnt today from the devotional' and I used ‘New Morning Mercies’ by Paul David Tripp.
This is really just a quick blogpost on what I found out whilst doing this challenge.
Here is what I learnt:
Consistency starts and continues with your WHY. - When you don’t know why you’re doing what you’re doing, you’ll eventually stop doing it. I had to remind myself of my why. My reasoning (or why) was two fold; I wanted to get closer to God with longevity, I wanted to speak with Him and love Him deeper and enjoy fellowship with Him, and I also wanted to challenge myself in consistency. I felt that this was the perfect way to start this off.
I reminded myself why I was doing what I was doing. It wasn’t onto man, I wasn’t recording daily to make myself look great before people, I was doing it because of the reasons I stated above. If I had been doing it onto man, when no-one commented, or liked it or interacted with the posts, I could/would have become discouraged and stopped, and on the other hand, if/when people did comment, I could/would have become big headed, and started trying to ‘do the most’ to be seen. I realised my mission was greater than mans approval, when I was happy to record either way. I was seeing the manifestation of my why, regardless.
You can’t do anything without Christ - I needed to call and ask God daily for help. What does this mean? what can I pull out of the devotional today? What do you want me to say? What time do I have today to do it? Can you help me find a place to do the devotional and record it today? Etc. There were many times that I didn’t want to do the devotional that day or record it, or felt that I didn’t have time, but thankfully, God stirred up my spirit to do it.
Understanding the devotional and finding something to act upon was tough some days, but by the grace, God enabled me to find something daily. He encouraged me daily. Some days, I would start the recording having no idea what I would say, but as I prayed, the Spirit would fill my mouth with words.
Push through the mundane - I don’t know if it was the particular devotional I was reading, or what, but I found some days to be incredibly dry. Like it wasn’t like everyday I was getting some awesome revelation regarding the grace of God.
If I’m honest, sometimes I didn’t really enjoying the quiet time I was having and wanted that day’s devotional to end, and sometimes I felt the devotional was repetitive. But it is imperative that you push through. Some days the devotional was DRYYYYYYYYYY and I had to push through and ask God to open my heart to what He was trying to tell me in that day, and every day, He would.
You have to plan your time properly. You cannot just expect things to happen, but you must PLAN for them to. Just like I said in the point above, I had to discipline myself to find time to read and record the videos. Especially when I was going out that evening. Every morning, I planned my day and my recording time. I found this very helpful.
Essentially what I’m saying is, you need to be INTENTIONAL about your devotional life, your worship life, your spiritual life. You can’t expect your life to just grow through sheer willpower, but actually put some action behind it.
You never know what is happening in someone’s life. Not everything is actually as it seems. During February, loads of different things happened in my personal life. Some really great things, and some really sad things, most of which I didn’t share with the gram, or even with friends. But because of what I set out to do, I continued to read and record the devotionals, regardless. In pretty much all the days, I was seemingly joyous and happy in the videos, irrespective of what was happening.
It made me think about that scripture in Matthew ‘Didn’t we prophesy in your name… Get away from me, I never knew you’ (Matthew 7:21-23). I’m not saying I was unknown by God or that I was doing a madness, but it made me think about the things that we can all be doing or things that could be happening in the background of someone’s life, that you and I literally have no idea about.
What we choose to show others and what we do/who we are behind the scenes can be two very different things. Just a thought, especially in this age of social media, not all that glitters is gold, not everything or everyone you see in the spotlight has a private life of integrity. Not everyone being used by God, is known by Him. Not everyone who looks like they're ok or living up their life on social media really is ok. Not everything is great, not everything is fun. (Reminder to check up on your friend you've been following on the gram but haven't checked up on in real life for a while)
Accountability is key - Now, truth be told, i’m not the best at being accountable. I’m trying to be, and learning how to be open and vulnerable enough to let people in and be accountable... and boy, is it is a process, but in life, you definitely need people who check up on you, remind you, encourage you, pull you up on things, etc.
In the context of this month of devotionals, I asked you all on Instagram and my ‘real life’ friends to keep me accountable and be on my case if I didn’t upload. And you lot really did (thanks!!!!!). I had people in my DM’s or WhatsApp messages like ‘errrmmm
m…..Devotional?’ And it was actually really nice and I was appreciative, because I knew that they wanted me to do what I had said I would do.
I was also able to understand how it was necessary in the other areas of my life (even though its still a struggle, but we move) to be accountable.
So yeah! That was my month of devotional! I’m still continuing with the doing daily devotion, but I’m just not putting it up on the gram anymore.
However, I really enjoyed it and I am thinking about doing this every so often, what do you think? Should we do another month of devotionals later on in the year?? Let me know!
Love Peace and Joy!
And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. - James 1:4