Now that I have your attention, let’s get talking about this book.
About 3 weeks ago I attended my first Harvest Institute class session. I had missed the very first one, so I was very enthusiastic about this one. I was ready for all wisdom and challenges that about to be poured out to us for the day. As you can imagine, I was among the first people to arrive. I walked around the hall, getting acquainted with s few people around. Those who know me well understand how difficult it must have been for me to do that. One of the hardest and scariest things for me to do is to reach out to new people. But yeah, I got out of my comfort zone and reached out to at least 2 others who were unsuspecting of my discomfort.
At 8:30, class was almost filling up and I could see that I missed the bonding in the previous class. Majority of my classmates also fellowship with Worship Harvest Ministries which is hosting our Leadership course. When familiar faces turned up, I started to feel at home as I interacted more. After much contemplation, I reached out to my Huddle Leader; Ariho Kamara and introduced myself to him. I was happy to realise that I am getting better at initiating contact.
The day had several valuable lectures with awesome speakers that articulated everything quite perfectly. These 2 stood out for me; Generosity of Kings and Rest and Solitude. One of my major take outs was that as a leader, I need to incorporate rest and solitude into my daily, weekly and annual activity plans. For me to survive as a leader in a demanding world filled with a plateful of responsibilities, my inner life must be taken care of. Right there, half way through our day’s lectures we had 30 minutes off to just relax. My friends always laughed at me because I love napping. The idea of resting was welcomed with arms wide open, given that I had spent the last few days trying to juggle between being Mommy, doing Dee the Wife, meeting work obligations, meeting school assignment deadlines, attending to Church commitments and being Dee the friend. As for the other practical assignment, I am still on a search for a gift that suits the description “generosity of a King,” for my ‘giftee’ of the month.
Then came the lecture on Getting the most out of our Bibles. First, I want to make it clear that I pursue Jesus. At least I have always considered myself as one ardent pursuer of God and His Kingdom purpose. All that came crumbling down as Bee3 took us through the basics of pursuing God through His word. I remember thinking to myself “What have I been doing all along?” “Why is she judging me like that?’ Her simple ways of getting us to see the big picture was firm and gentle but it felt like daggers across my heart.
As she carried us through the word, pointing out Scripture that shows us the vitality in feeding our souls with the bread of life – God’s word, I repented having not given much attention to God’s word in my life recently. Like Solomon said, chasing the dreams of our lives is vanity without God. I desire to live out my purpose in life the way God intended for me to. I need to read the manual (The Bible) to stay attuned to this. We have His word that is supposed to fuel us and make us prosper but no, we don’t want to read it.
Every new year, I always challenge myself to be more consistent in reading the word of God. To relentlessly pursue God. I sign up for one of those Devotional plans off my Bible App to keep me in check. I even set the reminders. By mid-year I am already tired of the devotional, finding it a little detached from my reality. Listening to Bee3 helped me to see why this happens. The lovely people that write these devotionals often write from the angle of how God is speaking to them. Sometimes some of the lessons and challenges may relate to what we are going but considering we live in different worlds, different seasons we can not share the same word all the time through out the year. We each need a personal word from God. When we religiuosly follow the devotionals as though they are our only lead to what God is saying, we are being just lazy, making them do the work for us so that we can get satisfied. It is like saying to another; “Eat, I will be nourished and satisfied through what you eat.” Do we really get physically satisfied and stay healthy if someone else is doing the physical eating of the food for us? Would we know what specific word God has for our season simply by reading a devotional? Maybe yes, but that is limited. It is being lazy while expecting to grow. I don’t know about you, but this was a wake up call for me. I sat up straight at that point and made a mental decision to change my ways and style.
Imagine if your earthly Father, after passing on to eternity left a will that read; “In this will, you will find all the secrets to unlock your wealth, your inheritance, your future.” I am sure you would read the Will faithfully and even pay for a lawyer to interpret sections you do not understand. But the word of God, the Will that Jesus left for us to unlock all the Kingdom wealth, we have no time for. ~ Beatrice Byemanzi (a.k.a Bee3)
We would rather have other people read the word for us and tell us their own interpretation of what God is saying. That’s why some will be told to open the book of Abraham, and they will fidget to look for the book. Let us not be those people.
Find an accountability partner to challenge you to stay on course. After class I immediately texted my friend Lynnie with whom we have always challenged each other in pursuing God. I found that she had also relaxed, giving in to the pressure of life. We decided to start again and although it has been difficult to stick it out, we have kept on encouraging each other to read 2 chapters each day and write in our journals what we have discovered and learned. To keep each other accountable, we must share photos of our daily journal experience. What you love, you must make time for it. It has meant sacrificing my beloved morning sleep for a date with my Father.
So, I want to encourage you too, to go back to the basics…
“Read your Bible, pray every day, pray every day, pray every day, read your Bible, pray every day, if you want to grow…”