His Ways are not Our Ways!
More of God means less of You or I, this is the challenge! Most of the time I don't necessarily think we need more of God, we need more obedience to God! To get closer to God we have to go His way, He first works death in us! Think about the heart like a cup of water filled to the rim, and mixed in there is some engine oil. You can't put more water in it or it will overflow. No matter how much water you dump into that cup the oil stays at the bottom. There's a lot of dead stuff in our lives that we don't get rid of and we ask God to pour the anointing in, but our heart is already filled with dead things we refuse to dump out. God is looking for a clean and empty vessel. Brokenness is a good thing, because you are being emptied and God is close to the broken hearted (Psalm 34:18).
God will try us again and again with problems (Proverbs 17:3). God wants to work with us, He wants to get real faith out of us, because without faith it's impossible to please God (Hebrews 11:16). Adversity produces advancement, strength comes from struggle, muscle comes from Resistance, and trouble drives you to God. I believe that many of our dilemmas are gateways to glory. How can you glorify God if you've never had a problem? To know deliverance you have to first have a disaster. To know the miraculous you have to first be in a mess.
We need real faith, and human reasoning always attacks faith. If we understood the purpose of God was in place before the problems arrive, the problems cannot supercede the purpose. We need to be locked into our destiny rather than focused upon the problems, afterall nothing in all creation can separate us from the love of Christ Jesus.
You should be hearing something in your heart from God often and go through seasons of breaking every so often. So examine yourself and ask: Why don't I feel the rivers of living water flowing in my life? Do you still talk to God all day? Do you have hidden sin? Is there something you refuse to give up you know is wrong? Do you just play the role of a Christian but your hearts not in it? Is their unforgiveness or bitterness somewhere? They are tough questions to examine in yourself and I don't like examining my heart and finding rotten apples. But it's better to let God prune the branch than allow a rotten apple to stink up the orchard.
Give God your Treasured Time, He Responds!
I'm always looking for a quick answer from God so I can spend as little time worrying about things as possible. The problem is that leaves me no fuel to fellowship with if my problems are resolved instantly. I think he really wants me to learn to rest in his presence, and patience and learning is never easy friend! How can I expect to hear God if I am never near Him, busy all day on the TV and computer? When you read the Word you are planting seeds in your spirit and later on you will have a good harvest if you let them fall on good soil, you should try to apply them to your life! Keep planting Gods Word in your life and meditate (or think about it throughout the day). Just don't get obsessively legalistic about being a Bible Expert in a week! Growth does not happen overnight, it needs to be watered and sit in the sunshine. In other words, You get closer to God by continually planting the word in your life and being in the presence of the Lord. For me the presence of the Lord is very real and I can usually feel Him alone when I am ministering to God. Other times I sense many spontanious thoughts and write them down and it feels like my mind is in tune to what God is saying.
There is a difference between serving God, and spending time with God. You can do what's right, but if you don't spend time with Him you won't get anywhere. You may get temporary self-satisfaction from the acts of righteousness you've done. I wasted a lot of time trying to do good without paying attention to the most important commandment, to love God with all my heart, mind, and strength. Spend time alone with Him in prayer, in secret; Jesus did daily. There is nothing wrong with doing good, but if you want to go deeper with God, you need to spend time with Him and know His heart. How do you get to know someone without spending time with them? How would you get closer to God by reading about Him but never taking a walk with him?
In Jeremiah 29:13 it says, "You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart." Don't forget that just because you are saved that you only have to give God a little bit, keep giving Him your all! I encourage you to spend alone time with the Lord. Set aside anything you were going to do, and just pray and dig deep in your heart and express yourself to God
Like a Child
Some of have been hurt by something have created a wall of protection so that we aren't hurt again by it. That is a problem because behind that wall a lot of ugly weeds can grow and we don't allow that area of our heart to be vulnerable to God. Mark 10:14 But when Jesus saw this, He was indignant and said to them, "Permit the children to come to Me; do not hinder them; for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Growing in God isn't only about learning more, it's also about unlearning a lot of bad things.
Some attributes of a child are: Dependant on parents, innocence, a teachable heart, curious, receptive, full of wonder, not clouded by cynicism, naive, and simple. There is a verses that say foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child, and another that says, "I put away my childish ways". Being like a child doesn't mean willfull ignorance, it means to go back to the simplicity of a childs heart.
Everytime I learn something from God it is very simple to understand in my heart, yet in essence has deep depths of meaning. God doesn't confuse us or make things difficult to understand. Sometimes He may give us revelations and words which we ponder for a long time, thats because God can be mysterious but it is certainly not confusion. More like curious wonder and hopeful expectation. When it's difficult to understand we are usually leaning on our own understanding.
Children, when they don't agree with someone, they don't debate. They might argue for a moment, but they will go on their merry way and get back to life. They won't lose any sleep over someone thinking they are wrong. They can do this without forming a bitter attitude because they forgive and forget quickly and move on with life.
Children have big imaginations and big dreams. Children look up to their parents. Children love new experiences and adventures. Children love to laugh. Children smile when they are happy and cry when they are sad. Children are simple and they don't worry about every disease on the news and every infomercial for the next great thing.
If you are ever accused of being naive or simple, count it a blessing. God wants you to enjoy life, renewing your mind to childlike simplicity is the best way to start.
Chase the Lord
Are you ready to get closer to God? Pray in secret, write some letters to Him, and examine yourself daily! Outward power only comes from your inner purity. The inner purity is only the work of the Holy Spirit working inside. Draw near to him and he will draw near to you, the time is now, draw near to God!
God doesn't want His love for you to be at a distance, He wants to be with you. The most frequent promise in the Bible is; "I will be with you." Thats what he wants!
Getting closer to God at times is something I struggle with sometimes. I seem to forget that It cost everything to follow Jesus, and somedays its easier to die daily than others. Always determine if you are in the wilderness, or if this is sin related. But we also have to be like a child. So lets begin!