God doesn’t exist for us.
According to the Bible, we exist for Him and for His pleasure.
If we want to know Him in a transformational way, it is important to understand that He sets the terms of the relationship.
Author Jeff Imbach notes,
“This is God’s life and God’s purpose, a river of life within us. We did not start the flow and we will not provide the current.”
In His goodness, when God determines to take us to a deeper level of intimacy, we find ourselves at a place where He won’t allow us to keep on with our adolescent approach to intimacy with Him. We might still be content with a childish devotional love on the level of a little boy passing love notes in school. However, God wants us to enter into a mature relationship with Him that has much more depth than superficial faith will ever know.
If you sincerely hunger to know Him in the most personal sense of the word, He will take you there.
The fact that you hunger to know Him deeply demonstrates that He is already moving you toward a greater depth.
From my childhood, my paradigm for a truly spiritual walk was that God has a detailed plan for us of the things He wants us to do during our lives.
I believed that we could leave this world knowing that we have “fought the good fight” if we accomplished that list of things He had determined for us. For some years now, I have understood that the doing of our spiritual journey is the result of His life flowing through us and not our own determination.
However, only recently did it occur to me that we also glorify Him by not doing the things He doesn’t lead us to do. For some of us, doing comes much easier than not doing.
I realized that it wasn’t that He wanted me to be sure to accomplish the things on some Divine “To Do” list He had written for my lifetime.
To the contrary and to my surprise, He wanted me to erase some of the things on the list I had unconsciously made in an attempt to accomplish as much as I could do. Being told, “Stop striving and know that I am God” (Psalm 47:8) is the most difficult command some of us will ever encounter.
Sometimes the answer to our deepest need is met when we understand that the best way to advance may be to retreat, remembering that God’s ways are not our ways.
Since we aren’t sure how to get where we want to be we simply walk faster and faster. We are accomplishing nothing but exhausting ourselves. In an effort to reach our goals, we become driven to increasing activity and effort, which only serves to exhaust us physically, emotionally and spiritually.
We seem stuck in a phase of spiritual growth that Kelly called “adolescent development” and “an awkward stage of religious busyness in the kingdom of God.”
What we need is to stop running, sit down and rest. Whenever we take that simple step, God will show us the Power Line which has been there all along. Then, and only then, can we follow it and find our way out of the woods and back to the main road of resting in Christ.
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