This year has to be the year when we were all distracted. From everything Disney+ to schools reopening; it’s like our minds go from one extreme to the other. It is like trying to read 5 different stories at once with no ending in sight. It’s hard not to turn your back on a lot of these distractions because some give you good nostalgia, like watching Moesha or House for me or staying informed with what’s happening around the world. I am one of those who enjoy a good throwback show or movie of my youth but when you really examine the situation and the health of our society, we are clearly being distracted by the distractions.
As I mentioned in a previous post, time is something we cannot take back. Time is unique for each person, yet we are given the same amount each day. What are we doing with the time we have? Are we just sitting waiting for our moment to move? Are we anticipating a change? What are you doing to prepare for these moments in time? There’s one thing I am certain that can and will sustain you in these trying times… The Word of God. As I was reading through my bible app, I came across a blog post that explained how to read the bible when you’re feeling uneasy: PAUSE.
P- Prepare your heart
A- Ask God to speak to you
U- Unpack the passage
S- Summarize the scripture
E- Exercise the application
It is so easy to become uneasy, but knowing that we can rely on God and His promises can keep us in perfect peace in chaotic times. When we pause, we can see the bigger picture and focus on the One who controls it all. I’ve decided a long time ago that nothing I do would trump God’s’ plan. We are not in control but how we react to the situation can determine our outcome. So let’s look at this acroymn, P.A.U.S.E.
Prepare your heart. When diving deep into the scriptures, you must come with an open heart. One scripture that comes to mind is Psalms 146:10, “Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!” Being still is easier said than done, but I find it quite ironic that in the climate of the world, we have no other choice but to be still. Honestly, this year has been full of stillness and self-reflection. God’s way is perfect and I am adjusting to the stillness. Some days it may feel as if you need to do all you can to help what is happening around you, but busyness may very well be the death of you…not necessarily a physical death but one that is joy stripping and anxiety stricken. When we prepare ourselves for reading, we learn to let down our guards.
Ask God to speak to you. Once we are prepared, our minds should be cleared and focused. Ask God to give wisdom in His word, for an understanding of the scriptures. It is easy to use the word to prove a point and to even point fingers, but when we use wisdom, we realize that there is a word that can be revealed if we only ask. Matthew 7:7 says, “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth, and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.” Now, don’t mistake your asking as a “yes”. Everything we ask for will be given to us if it’s in the Will of God. Everything we do should reflect His goodness and God should always get the glory. Don’t blame God for you vain asking.
Unpack scriptures. Vain asking and doubt can be eliminated if we research the scriptures. “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness…” – 2 Timothy 3:16 To unpack the scripture is simply re-reading and taking notes as you would with any new material. When we study, our knowledge expands, we ask more questions and receive answers, same with the bible. This is where a journal comes in handy. If you read my previous post, I mentioned how important journal writing is. When you write, you keep track of your thoughts and so much more. Load your prayers and uncertainties in your journal so when you open a page years later, you’ll see growth and how God came through for you when you needed it the most.
Summarize the Scripture. What does it mean to you? How can you apply it to your life? How can you summarize the scripture for clarity? This goes hand in hand with my previous thought of journal writing. Summarizing what you’ve read can help someone else. If you are able to reach someone with what you read in the bible, God’s word goes on to inspire and motivate someone else.
And lastly, Exercise the application. Have you ever read the scripture, “be doers of the word and not hearers only”? (James 1:22-25) This speaks volumes when you read and apply the scriptures to your life. Not only will you be transformed but you are now a walking testimony of God fulfilling promises and changing lives. People can see a difference when you are living confidently in Him. When we “practice what we preach” or “walk out the word”, God is glorified in your obedience.
So even though uncertainty and doubt seems to surround us, we must choose to PAUSE. Choosing to PAUSE with God daily will help us see His eternal perspective, through faith. And in the process, we will find rest and be renewed, ignoring the distractions that distract us from Him.
Take some time this week to PAUSE and reset, because Lord knows we need to!
Until the whole world hears,