15 Nov
Increasing Questions - Week 4

Last week I ended with a question that still stirs my soul... Do I want what God wants? If God is asking me to love Him completely, my neighbor as myself, and to go out and tell the world of my love for Him, the immediate answer is yes! Yes of course I want to love God with all I’ve got. Of course I want to love others as myself (even more than myself) and of course I want to tell the world what the Lord has done for me. Yes, yes, yes! However, now it seems that I’m faced with a different question… do I do it? I find this answer trickier than the last and impossible to answer without first asking more questions.

What does it mean to love God with your all? I am convinced that loving God means having a full-blown relationship with Him and suggest we do this by including His already present heart into our company. Already God is constantly with us, whether we want Him there or not, and the Holy Spirit is residing within. Engaging with Him can be done in many ways and it may sound simple enough to hear, “ALL God is asking you to do is love Him.” However, maintaining a good working relationship with anyone is hard to do, especially when the other half (God) is perfect in all His ways. This means He is never wrong. Which means everything He’s chosen to share with us is for our benefit. While we may not like all He has already come to reveal, I believe the truth of the matter is, He tells us these things to protect our heart and allow for more room of Him in our lives.

Now, do I allow God to have room in my life and do I agree with everything He has already shared with us? Welp… I’m working on it. I’m asking God to help me love Him more. I’m asking Him to help me in my unbelief and strengthen my willing Spirit. I’m asking God to continue refining me while gently forgiving me along the way for my stubbornness, my wayward actions, and the worldly occupation of my mind. I struggle with desires of the flesh on a multitude of levels. I can feel the conflict in my soul while trying to determine what Christ would want for me and what would be best for my heart. I would be lying if I said I always chose what I thought Christ wanted. In fact, I would probably still be lying if I said I frequently chose what I thought Christ would want for me. Truth is… I’m more selfish than I want to admit and less giving of myself than I want to be.

The Lord tells us, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me.” (Matthew 16:24) I don’t know how much of myself I really deny, but then again I don’t know how much of myself doesn’t really want what God wants. Sure I wrestle with patience, treating my body as a temple, showing grace and compassion to others, along with many many many more things I’m sure we’ll discover throughout the year, but ultimately I trust my deepest desire is for all to know and love God (including myself).

So now, how do we get to know and love God? Well… I think it’s impossible to get to know who God is and not love Him. So how do we get to know Him? For me it’s reading His word, listening to what others have to say about Him, and sharing my thoughts as well. I try to surround myself with situations and people who glorify the Lord, and attempt to stay in communication with Him (an attempt that’s proving to be more difficult than I’d like).

Admittedly it wasn’t my strongest week in prayer. Though I wrote to the Lord once, said grace, and read His word, I can’t say I spent more than 12 hours total in personal alone time with Him. Nevertheless, unleashing His presence in conversation has been beautiful this week. It has challenged me in my beliefs, my speech, and my opinions of self. I’m coming to find that although I have some big discrepancies in my life that are hindering me from fully engaging with God, I want to be utterly, completely devoted to God. I want to be able to say that Christ is the only thing I need to be truly happy and that nothing else matters besides sharing what His life (and ultimately death) did for the world.

While it saddens me to say I’m not quite there yet, I rejoice in the fact that He who began a good work in me will carry it on to completion until the day of His return. (Philippians 1:6) I may be wrestling with things that negate the “Christian religion” but how thankful I am that the Lord has chosen me to be His own and deeply cherishes me despite my faults. As He continues to reveal more of Himself, I continue to realize that He wants nothing more than to be loved, and that I am continually learning what that means.

I think in love we do things we might not be comfortable with, things that take us out of our comfort zone, and things that we would never imagine doing otherwise. We make sacrifices in life for the ones we love in order to benefit our relationship and are willing to change in order to grow in that devotion. Saying this, I have to remind myself that a sacrifice is defined as an act of giving up something valued for the sake of something else regarded as more important or worthy. If God made His valued sacrifice for us in Christ, how much more did He love the world than Himself? And if He can do that for me, shouldn’t I be willing to sacrifice abundantly more for Him?

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