When it comes to knowing your identity in Christ, only one thing points you to True North: the Word of God.

Friday night, when I returned home from a long day teaching a noisy class, I brought home their frustrations. They’d raised my dander. (Do hares even have dander?)

When I chatted with Tim about his software business, fear and doubt about our financial future stole into the room. Tears coursed down my chin. What came out of my mouth was anything but encouraging!

Why?  Because I hit the ground running at 5 am most days. So my quiet times had fallen to the roadside. Way off the roadside. Like in the next county, maybe.

Jesus sat on my bed and invited me to get inside His Book. I like His Book. It’s a good Book. I just have an aversion to setting my alarm for anything that looks or smells like a 4.

So I stalled. I talked to Jesus about a recent radio show I was on, a trip to Huntington Beach with my close friend, and a new favorite YouTube video. I talked around Him in circles, hoping to distract Him by showing Him a new gluten-free cookie recipe.

He held out my Bible. Honestly, He can be so stubborn. Aargh.

But there was something in His crinkle-eyed smile that caught my attention. I realized that He was more light-hearted than I was. He knew the stuff inside its covers. Where was my joy? It had fizzled and sizzled like a pan of spitting bacon when I quit spending time with the Author and Perfecter of my faith.

Without His promises in my spirit every day, my decision-making, marriage, classroom management, and emotions were left without True North. And without that, everything had pretty much gone south.

Jesus told me that I was in a spiritual battle with the enemy. The battlefield was littered with lies. He said, “The fight doesn’t change the Word of God. The Word of God changes the fight!”

Want to take the challenge to join me in spending more time within its pages? Here are 3 key tips to picking up the Sword of the Spirit, the Word of God:

1.)  Take up the Sword of the Spirit with renewed resolve this week & commit a new verse to memory. I’m taking on 1 Peter 4 & 5.This week, I’m focusing on “Cast all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you” (1 Peter 5:7). Share the verse with a friend. How does it upgrade their day?

2.) Journal every day on an app you can access anywhere. Where does forgiveness come in when you pray? How does eliminating hurts from your thoughts clear your energy for new plans?  I’m now journaling in Evernote and will share creative journaling techniques with you soon.

3.)  Note how clear your mind and spirit are when you have regular quiet times. Hurts and offenses dissolve and God’s presence gives you the ability to let go of self-directed anger and forgive yourself. What difference does that make in your dialogues with others?

We can rise to freedom when we’ve relinquished our will to God’s. His Word is a GPS and a renegade Sword. Struggling with fear or doubt? There’s an app for that. A foot-lamp that doubles as a path-light, apparently. How amazing is that?

Friend, which of the 3 tips will you use this week? How do you fit quiet times into the rush of super busy days?

Rise to freedom!