Express His Glory in Your Life

Posts tagged ‘conversation with God’

Can we use an Exacto Knife on the Bible?

If I believed in the ‘exacto-knife’ approach to reading the Word of God, this verse would have been eliminated years ago.

But the gate to life is very narrow. The road that leads there is so hard to follow that only a few people find it.  

Matthew 7:14

I wear the proverbial ‘rose-colored’ glasses whenever I can.  I detest arguing and can find a million things I would rather do than proclaim ‘my rightness’ or ‘your wrong-ness.’  Indeed, there are many shades of gray in my world.  And seeing ‘both sides’ is my natural bent.  I am maturing into one willing to stand on the lines of Scripture, though.

For God is not wishy-washy; nor does He have difficulty discerning lines.  His view is not blurry or variations of gray like mine.  Scripture is clear:  there is right and wrong, good and evil.  Scripture is clear:  there is a devil.  He hates believers, and it is his preferred mission to destroy those who sincerely call upon the name of Christ.

The devil loves cloudy thinking.  I thank God that my early years of faith placed me under the tutelage of solid, Bible-teaching pastors.  There is no room for exacto-knives when you study the Word of God.  All Scripture is written for learning, encouragement and chastening.

Christians must study the Word to know what is in it…God created and creates with the living Word.  There is no other source to know how to live. 

Not long after the verse about the narrow gate, there is another passage that chills my heart and shatters my rose-colored glasses.  It teaches us that on judgment day, many who thought they knew Jesus are told ‘depart from me–I never knew you.’

My heart aches to consider the multitudes who have, are and will miss life.  That sorrow presses me to know God more fully, to reveal Him with greater simplicity and clarity.  My heart cries for individuals to know the glory of God–and the privilege of living in the power of Christ.

To consider oneself a believer–a friend of God–is awe-inspiring, is it not?  To claim to be friends with one so powerful that their very words produce action, create substance and give life is quite a claim.  Are we worthy friends?

Friends don’t hang out with those who hate their friend.  Friends don’t walk all over their friend’s kindnesses.  Friends don’t change their friend’s words to be what they want the words to be.  Yet, many of us who call Jesus, ‘Friend,’ do all of those things.  Many who call Him Friend don‘t even know what He says.  Many simply go on their own thoughts and opinions, assuming what they think is what God thinks.

There can be no exacto-knives in studying Scripture.  If it isn’t all Truth, who determines what parts are Truth?

 Wouldn’t that make the person who decides their own god?

Heaven forbid!  Invest your time and mind in studying the Word of God.  Don’t go on what Granny taught you or the newspaper reports.  Read it, study it for yourself!  Your eternity depends on it!.

What is your favorite place to find quality Bible studies? Or why don’t you study the Word?

I’ll post some of my favorite links in coming days but I look forward to hearing yours too.

Finding your way into the presence of God

My heart aches to understand that there are those who seldom enjoy time with God; those who feel puzzled when others speak of ‘feeling His touch’ or ‘hearing His voice.’  God is a personal God, desperately desiring to connect with us.  My greatest sadness is not for those who reject God but for those striving to “DO” something to get closer to Him.  Just as Paul said to the crowds in Rome, “He is never far from you.”  Entering into His presence is a possibility any time!

Made in the image of God–body, soul and spirit–seeking Him involves all aspects of us.  Frankly, we are the barrier to enjoying God.  On the physical level, busy-ness is the biggest blockade.  Even if the activities are God-oriented, busyness prevents real interaction the Father.  Vigilance that prioritizes private God-time is critical.  Fellowship with Christians, “church,” is part of the plan of God as well.  We must enjoy His presence individually and corporately.  If your church orchestrates details of every service, make it your personal ambition to enter the presence of God in those details.  He is still there; help others find Him by letting His light flood you!

Other physical world things that can keep from God are seeking pleasures from the world instead of him.  Over-eating is an easy example for many of us.  Stress and fatigue drive me to comfort foods on a regular basis.  God asks to be my Bread of Life.  Each of us will have areas of weakness the Spirit can reveal.  Ask God what in the physical world separates you from Him.  Any physical sin (any sin for that matter) will separate us from God.  They are idolatry; things we prefer to the presence of God.  Refuse to let your body keep you from the Creator!

Then there is that soul part of us:  our mind, will and emotions.  Much of the battle of life takes place in the mind.  We are to renew our minds with the Word.  That is not a dry, wearisome task—even if you never liked reading anything!  Technology gives you amazing options to listen or watch the Word.  Find a way to get Truth from the Word into your mind because that changes everything!  Emotions flow from our thoughts, and actions come out of our emotions.  Spending time in the Word is not optional, nor is it an item to check off from a ‘to do’ list.

Engage your heart and your mind with His words and you will feel His presence—and He will empower you to exercise your will and obey Him.  It is different than just ‘spending time in the Word’; it must be time with God!  For

Lawrence OP Let the Children Come We are all children!

Lawrence OP
Let the Children Come
We are all children!

me, an avid ‘student’—and self-professed geek, enjoying God through reading and writing is easy—it is my design.  Thoughts serve as propulsion jets shooting me toward the Father.  I may pause to gaze in awe at His beauty; I may ask a question for clarification from Him or dig into a word study for more thought jets.  Seek His heart as you read and even if it is not your default design, He will meet you!

Don’t stop there!  Keep seeking.  Find new ways to enter His glory, unique ways based on how He created you!  Find a mentor who can listen to your heart and help you hear the things God is speaking into your life.

Consider using music.  Scripture-based music helps me lay down the ‘soulish’ parts of self and enjoy Him.  It quiets my busy mind and lets me focus on feeling God.  On the other hand, some find their soul so engaged in music, they fail to connect with God.  Make Him the priority.  Continually seek His presence.  Be attentive for Him.  He promises to be found.  Do not give up.  God is not distant but imminently, impressively real!

I’ll leave you with one final tool that works for me when the press of life feels too weighty.  I go for a walk.  It helps me synchronize my overused mind and underused body.  The magnitude of creation, the details and activity of nature quietly working mostly unnoticed by busting humanity resets my spirit.  To my harm and shame, the stuff of life, the cares of this world, easily stifle the still, small voice of my humble, majestic God.  He is ever-present, yet I am blind to Him.  A walk—whether on a street or in the windows—engages me with a world bigger than my own.  It reminds me of my smallness and floods me with thanksgiving for His love and wisdom.

 What works for you to enter the presence of God.  Share here, share with others:  has there been a song, a book or a worship experience that stands out?

 We are to live this life of faith together.  God blesses that we can in turn bless another.

 If you struggle to find or feel God, zap a note.  Let’s talk it through.  He loves you beyond measure.  He is waiting for you to enjoy being with Him.  There is nothing more you need to do to be loved by Him…

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