At the end of 2013 I picked out a word to meditate on this year. The word I chose was “intentional.” It is so easy for me to just go with the flow and not really think about why I do what I do.
This past year has been a year of growing and learning so much more about the Lord that I love. Up until a few years ago, I thought that a couple minute quiet time with a devotional (in which a single Bible verse was mentioned and then someone else’s thoughts filled up the rest of the page) was sufficient to really grow in the Lord. Boy was I wrong!
What I have learned more recently is that the Lord desires to be very much present in every part of our lives. He is with us always. And although some of us might only come to Him when we need something for ourselves, our chief purpose on this Earth is actually to glorify Him. The first question in my Baptist version of The Shorter Catechism is this:
What is the chief end of man?
Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy Him forever.
1 Corinthians 10:31 Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.
Romans 11:36 For of Him and through Him and to Him are all things, to whom be glory forever. Amen.
Psalm 73:25-28 Whom have I in heaven but You? And there is none upon earth that I desire besides You. My flesh and my heart fail; but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. For indeed, those who are far from You shall perish; You have destroyed all those who desert You for harlotry. But it is good for me to draw near to God; I have put my trust in the Lord God, that I may declare all Your works.
You see, I thought that once I became a new creature in Christ I should expect things to go my way. Conversely, I was also told that the closer I became to the Lord, the more Satan would bother me, so I actually was scared about growing “too close.” When things didn’t “go my way” I would become angry with God. I had so much to learn. I hadn’t been studying the scriptures like I should have been, and was relying on others opinions. I didn’t yet realize that God was ultimately in total, absolute control of all things, and nothing in this world can happen without His permission. Once I realized this truth, I was able to rest in Jesus and desired to grow closer to Him. For His glory, and not mine.
What was my downfall at first? I was relying on the opinions of my friends and family and “Bible teachers” instead the Word of God. Do not get me wrong, there are some amazing, Biblical teachers out there. But I’ve come to realize that probably at least half of the material found in the Christian bookstore should be passed over. When we read Christian material we have to be discerning. If the literature is about what God can do for us instead of what we can do for God then we need to question that teaching. Our focus should be on God and not on us. In James 4:3, it is said, “You ask and do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your pleasures.” When our focus is on what God can do for us and our pleasures, than our prayers will go unanswered.
This is a page from my devotional Bible. I’ve learned that about half of the “devotions” are about us and not God. We must be discerning, friends.
What are some practical ways that can help us grow closer to the Lord?
Stay in the Word. The actual word and not someone else’s opinions. While there is absolutely nothing wrong with reading books by respected Bible teachers, it must not replace our time in the Bible. This is how God speaks to us!
- Remain in Prayer. We should strive to “pray without ceasing.” This isn’t always easy! If we find that we are in an activity other than our family life that consistently takes our focus off of the Lord than we should consider limiting it. God desires us to lift up our prayers to Him on a consistent basis. A prayer journal can also help.
- Remain humble. James 4:10 says, “Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up.” If a certain article of clothing or household item gives you a sense of pride, get rid of it. It’s just not worth it. This is the why certain groups, such as the Amish, reject modern technology and chose plain clothing.
- Keep your focus on glorifying God, and not yourself. This is God’s will for us. Psalm 37:4 says, “Delight yourself in the LORD; And He will give you the desires of your heart.” What this truly means, is that when we delight in God, and give Him the glory, then He will physically give us the desires that reside in our heart. Those desires come from Him and will align with His will.
- Become friends with people that encourage us in our walk with God.
Please do not be discouraged, and remember that we should be “looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Hebrews 12:2) Jesus is the author of our faith. He is also our “faith finisher.” He will complete in us the work that He has started!
May you be blessed as you continue to seek the Lord’s best for your life, and take steps to grow closer to Him!
Also, please remember to use the coupon code: MOMSDAY for 10% off everything in my etsy shop, Joyfully Made, through Mother’s Day!
*¨¨*:•..•:*¨¨*:•. Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious JOY, for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls. 1 Peter 1:8-9 *¨¨*:•..•:*¨¨*:•.
Also, Approximately 10% of the profits received through the sale of these items goes to purchase baby supplies for my local crisis pregnancy center. This center is a pro-life, Christ-based organization, and such a good cause. Thank you so much for helping purchase diapers, wipes, and other goods for these precious babies.
Possibly linking to:
Growing Home, Tending the Home Tuesdays, Raising Homemakers, Deep Roots At Home, Raising Arrows, A Wise Woman Builds Her Home ,Walking Redeemed, A Proverbs 31 Wife, The Modest Mom, A Mama’s Story, Mom’s the Word , Raising Mighty Arrows, Hearts For Home, Time Warp Wife, Graced Simplicity, Christian Mommy Blogger, Faith Filled Fridays