What is God saying about your marriage? What is he saying about your kids? What is God saying about your year? Your workplace? What does God want to do in your life this year?
What if you developed a relationship with God this month, so deep that you can have conversations with him constantly throughout your day? This is possible! Join me in the #VOXDEIchallenge
Woah, woah, woah. Constant conversations with God?! What does that even mean?
Well, Paul wrote in Thessalonians "Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus." Thats 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 in the NIV.
The TPT says it this way: "Let joy be your continual feast. Make your life a prayer. And in the midst of everything be always giving thanks, for this is God’s perfect plan for you in Christ Jesus."
I interpret praying continually as a two way street. But how?
Well let's back up a little bit to earlier today.
I saw my pastors post about VOX DEI on instagram and thought it was a great idea. I have shut out noise in the past and it always gives me good results in my life.
Unfortunately, I just kept on scrolling....
Yep, I didn't do anything about it.
It wasn't until my amazing wife, Jessica, told me that she was participating in VOX DEI with our church that I decided to join.
This got me thinking, growing and taking on challenges with a community is ALWAYS better than going it alone. We are built for community.
Ok, let's go!
First I'm going to help equip you with the tools you need to empower your month of less noise and more VOX DEI. But how?
MEDIA BLACKOUT- Turn off all the noise!
I sincerely think that you will have enough extra capacity to not only have as much time with God that you want, but you will also become a better YOU this month. You don't need a whole year to do it, just one month to create new healthy habits, guided by the voice of God.
Step 1 - Get a friend to join you!
Let your people know you're going to be off social media for a while. Maybe some of them will want to join you! Things are simply better in community. You can just share the posts below.
At this point go talk to your spouse. Pre-Agree on how either they will support you or join you! You'll need to talk through whatever other inputs you're taking a break from. Trust me the Mandalorian will still be there when you want it next month.
Step 2 - Sayonara Facebook!
Ready? This is the part that might make you nervous.
Delete all social media and news apps on your phone. Right Now. Just keep messaging and email. Don't worry, this isn't a permanent thing. Your friends and family will do just fine without you on social media for a month. You could also access any sites you need on a computer at a set time of day. Maybe after your morning devotional time. The point is to be proactive not reactive! Our goal on this step is to remove the alerts from non essential things being on our phones at all times as well as the easy access to fill any free moment we have with picking up our phones. This is the stop the noise step.
Step 3 - The Jedi Mind Trick
Change your phone to greyscale! This one is subtle, but oh so powerful. When you open up your phone and see your apps in "Its a Wonderful Life" black and white, something magical happens. Everything outside your little demanding screen all of a sudden becomes more vibrant.
When you pick up your phone this month, you'll think. "Oh yeah, thats right! I'm taking a break from all the noise."
But seriously, when my kids have finished their allotment of screen time they kind of just wander and lay on the furniture. Then after a little while their minds begin turning again, they get creative and play! We are built the same way. Your ability to focus on talking with God, reading the bible ,or spending quality time with your spouse is on the other side of this attention grabbing device attached to your hand.
You can try the solution below or google it. If you have an iPhone you'll be able to triple tap your home/side button to turn this feature on or off. Pretty cool.
Step 4 - Elements of a Fulfilled life
This is the fun part. The most important part of the #VOXDEIchallenge is VOX DEI or "the voice of God."
Your first step is to start a list, we'll talk more about that next. This list should be filled with behaviors that you really want to have as habits in your life, but feel like you are lacking. The first item on your list should be Jesus Time or Quiet Time or Devotional time, whatever you want to call it.
This is simply time set aside each day for you to spend with God, with all distractions set aside.
If you already have some resolutions that you want to improve upon or goals that you are trying to work toward this year you can add a few of those too. But I encourage you to wait through the first couple of days of time with God and talk to him about your year and what kinds of things you are convicted to improve. The Holy Spirit will show up and give you insight.
Some goals will give you joy in the process, other goals are hard but fulfill your deep need for responsibility and will help you inch your way towards a better life. Think big and think incremental and most importantly, invite God into this process.
Step 5 - Streak
Download streaks app on your phone. This one isn't required but I want you to spend your time this month cutting out the things you spend your time on that aren't necessary. This is a perfect opportunity to replace your old habits of consumption with new habits of creation.
The app costs a couple bucks but I think its worth it. I'm an achiever so I like the simple sounds and checkmark reward system when I complete a task for the day. You can always just use any notes app on your phone to make a list.
Set priorities in your life, influenced by God's voice. What does he say are the most important things in your life? What are dreams that God has given you that you always wish you had more time to pursue? Who are the people in your life that God has called you to pour into?
Your list is simply a reminder to focus on the things or people that actually matter with your time each day.
This way when you sit down and resist the urge to pick up your phone and waste away, you can move the needle towards the things in your life that he reveals to you as a priority.
If you make 1% more progress towards your goals each day, love your spouse or kids 1% more, or simply live a 1% better life each day for a year - then your life will be 37x better a year from now. At least in the areas you focused on. (1*1%^365=37.8)
You are giving yourself 1 full month to hear the voice of God and then create new habits.
When I feel like I have successfully created a habit, sometimes I remove the goal from my streaks app and won't add it back unless I fall out of practice.
Step 6 - Time with Jesus
Hey, you and I are on better terms than when we started right? I mean you read all the way to this point already. Maybe you're just reading or maybe you're actually following along with the action steps. Well, this next part will test our new relationship. Please go to your phone and set an alarm.
For 5am. Doesn't hurt enough? Then try 4:30.
Its all relative to the time that you wake up for work or school or whatever, but the point here is that you need to set aside the first and quietest part of your day for time with God. I chose 4:30 initially but then wimped out and changed my wakeup time to 5am. This gives me about an hour of uninterrupted time to spend with God before my kids wake up.
This is your secret place, the time that you create your OWN history with God. You could spend most of your life relying on others relationship with God and get along ok. But the single thing that I am most thankful for in my past is the amount of depth and history I have with God. How do you hear God's voice? Time in. Practice. Reading the bible. Praying. Worshiping God by yourself. VOX DEI is loudest when you shut out all the noise and simply wait on his voice.
Not only will God meet you in these quiet times but you will have a kickstart to your day already being your best self. It is much easier to carry this sentiment throughout your day when you wake up to his voice instead of the noise that the world makes.
During Jesus' ministry, he constantly traveled away from the commotion to be with his father. He prioritized his quiet time very highly! Even in his ministry, the most worthy thing you can imagine, he got so busy he wouldn't even eat! In John, Jesus' disciples noticed that he was missing meal time because he was tending to the people that came after he ministered to the woman at the well. All noise isn't bad noise. But it prevents us from hearing God.
My kids are loud. That doesn't mean that their laughing and playing is bad, because it is not. My wife and I just need to be intentional about setting aside time to actually talk together, without all the chaos.
So set aside time to hear God. To truly give it a go and attend yourself to VOX DEI you have to be very intentional.
I am excited for you! I hope your month is filled with depth with the father, hearing his voice, and moving yourself towards the fulfilled life that he has for you.