Tag Archives: relationship

Fixed on Jesus

There is such a longing growing in me. A longing for God. A longing to pray night and day, to seek Him at all hours. A longing to worship Him with all my heart, all focus completely and utterly on Him. To be so in tune with God and for Him to be glorified in every moment, every place, every day.

Maybe it’s a longing for me to be living in Christ more and more deeply each day. I know that God is guiding me there: “…He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus” (Philippians 1:6). Maybe it’s partly the groaning that Paul speaks of in Romans 8:23: “…we ourselves, having the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our body.”

Let me dive in more and more, Lord.

I’m one of those creative types to whom the “atmosphere” where I read, write, sing and seek, or the people I am pursuing God alongside, makes all the difference. It doesn’t feel like it should exactly be this way (after all, God is with us wherever we go (Psalm 139:8), but it’s there.

Leaving home to study or write in a cafe is a helpful change of pace and place. Getting out of the usual place and pace of things can help me be even more deeply focused.

At times this comes by gathering with friends to seek God in intercession and worship. All  of us know that there is power in gathering with other believers to unite in prayer and to worship Jesus!

I want to live a life of continual and intentional focus on God and the mission of Christ. I don’t know how, except to let His Word penetrate deeply, and to just go for it–to seek after Him! Just to press in, seeking God with all I can muster at any given moment–yet not getting caught up in striving–but being still, knowing that He is God (Psalm 46:10), that He is my God–the lover of my soul–who wants me all for Himself and for His glory. I want to be that. I want to be solely fixed on the One and Only Giver of life (Jeremiah 32:38-40). I want to be steadfast, focusing on the One Thing–the One–Jesus Christ!

That is my prayer.

“O GOD, my heart is fixed (steadfast, in the confidence of faith); I will sing, yes, I will sing praises, even with my glory [all the faculties and powers of one created in Your image]!”
(Psalm 108:1 Amplified)

“Have the roots [of your being] firmly and deeply planted [in Him, fixed and founded in Him], being continually built up in Him, becoming increasingly more confirmed and established in the faith, just as you were taught, and abounding and overflowing in it with thanksgiving.”
(Colossians 2:7 Amplified)

Do You Know Him?

Only our relationship to the everlasting God–who formed and sustains the universe, and for whom time is nothing–only that relationship will last. Only that security is of any true significance.
– Marty Parks

Do you know the everlasting God through Jesus Christ? Do you have a relationship with Him? Being baptised or attending church doesn’t count–do you have any actual relationship with Him? Does He know you? Is He truly your Saviour and Lord?

For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son,
that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.

John 3:16

Reflecting After Emmaus

I wrote the following a while ago, but haven’t been able to share it yet. God used my Walk to Emmaus to teach me & remind me of things already taught, things I struggle with living the relationship with Him moment-to-moment. Just a few days after the retreat, I read Jan’s blog post here which brought even more to my mind. I hope that if others out there have struggled similarly, or are struggling, that they will feel free to comment as well!

I found out over the Emmaus weekend that I anticipate God & life too often, instead of living in the moment, trusting God with everything & just relaxing in Him. As Psalm 46:10 commands, Cease striving & know that I am God or in another translation, Be still, & know that I am God.

I strive far too much, & it’s something I am still struggling with. I worry, I doubt, I anticipate. Some of it is mixed with good things — hope, desire to know & experience God more, & to improve as a Christian — but I need to trust God more, & that these will come with that trust & faith in Him, not in over-thinking & over-wanting to grow or experience things that He may not have planned for me or not right now.

In that, I need to focus on GOD ALONE, not the extras that come along with that relationship. This is something I discovered before going to Emmaus, seemingly by accident, though I know it was God rescuing me & teaching me not to trust just any teaching, person or ministry.

Now my desire is to make it about Him & His Word, growing in Him & in discernment & trusting Him with the rest. And that it is about agape love, the unconditional love He has for me, & that I am learning to have for Him.

My relationship with God is such a roller coaster, but that roller coaster is because of my fears, my worries, my condemnation of myself – not something He’s doing! (This realization actually came two weeks after Emmaus.) All in all, I’m tired of the jagged ride of not trusting & resting in God. I need just trust in Him, even when I fear I’m not doing my best in spending time with Him or in His Word. If I keep letting my fears & condemnation get in the way, I’ll never get through the motion sickness of this Christian ride!

Trust in the LORD with all your heart
And do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He will make your paths straight.

Proverbs 3:5-6

Let the Flowers Grow: Emptying Ourselves of All That Hinders Love

Last night at our small group, I felt like God brought a great metaphor to us that I thought was worth sharing here.

We felt that God was speaking about our needing to truly empty ourselves of all things that hinder our relationship with Him to make room for all that He wants to fill us with.

We need to empty the inside of us of all burdens of worry, unbelief, sin or other things that hinder us from truly blossoming in our relationship with God. We need to clean ourselves out so that God has an empty vessel ready to be filled.

The metaphor was this: We need to empty out our “basements” full of junk that we are hoarding or holding onto, and allow God to turn us into beautiful gardens blooming with flowers of all kinds in every season.

He wants to fill us with the fragrant aromas of all He has to pour into us, that will may then blossom in & through Him! In essence, He wants to renew our minds (Romans 12:1-2), filling us with His Word, His Truth to bring us life as His children.

Lay all burdens & other hindrances to your being closer to God at His feet, & refuse take them back up again (as we often try to do)! Then let God renew your mind through His Truth, letting yourself blossom as He grows a garden of His love, truth, grace & peace in your heart & renews your mind with His Word!

He wants to take every burden you have (1 Peter 5:7) & have you just rest in Him (Psalm 46:10), growing you closer to Him & living in His Truth. Let the garden of your heart blossom! Let the flowers grow!

More encouragement from God’s Word:

“Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy & peace in believing, that you may abound in hope, in the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13

Not Quiet, Loud

I read an interesting blog post the other day about how quiet time shouldn’t necessarily be “quiet.” In fact, he states that quiet time should probably be called “noisy time.” One particular quote that stood out to me:

…the standard practice for both public and private prayer is to speak so as to be heard by the Person with whom you are talking. Prayer is verbal because it is relational. I’ve known many people whose relationship with God was significantly transformed as they started to speak up with their Father.

I am personally too hard on myself about spending ample quiet time with God, & I often berate myself for not meeting my own standards at times. Then again, my standards have recently shown to be a little wacky! Quiet time isn’t only time spent deeply focused in God’s Word (which is what makes it meet my now changing standards)! That is definitely important, but isn’t the essence of time spent with God. Renewing our minds in God’s Word is absolutely essential, but there are also other “God time” things that are necessary to a truly intimate, two-way relationship with God.

Though essential, it can’t just be reading or Bible study. It’s about daily communication with God. It isn’t called relationship just to have a special word for it. It’s a relationship — just like one’s relationship with their spouse, parents, children & friends. Is every moment we spend with other human beings quiet? Do we talk to them about what’s going on in our lives, & also listen to what they have to say or show in response? That definitely isn’t 100% quiet. We have to speak up!

Often the focus when talking about “God time” is spent on our need to listen more, & this is so incredibly true. But I have a feeling there are others out there who don’t see God as someone we can be intimately upfront & honest with no matter what.

Our God wants to hear from us. He wants to know when we’re hurting, rejoicing, or just plain bored. He wants to know our dreams so that He can exceed our imaginations in making them come true. He wants us to call on Him when we’re confused so that He can shed new light on His truth. He wants to respond to our prayers by birthing in us feelings of greater faith, hope & encouragement. Our God wants us most of all to come to Him. He wants to show us the way to Himself. Whether we know it or not, we’re indescribably hungry & thirsty for Him, & He wants to fill us like no one or nothing else can!