Sunday, August 06, 2006

If It Is To Be...It Really Is Up To Me!
"God, I really want to be closer to You, help me God to draw closer to You, make me do what I'm supposed to do so that I can be nearer to You!" Sound familiar? I'm quite confident that I've prayed that one more times than I can count, and then I sit waiting for that magical moment when God divinely reaches down out of heaven, makes me feel something that I've never felt before, so I'll know that He has heard and answered my prayer...because without that magical feeling, I think I'll sit and wait until it comes...ever been there? When you take a simple journey throughout the pages of scripture you easily find that God has invited us, imparted to us, and encourages us to draw near to Him. Everything we need to effectively serve Him has already been deposited within us, it's up to us to get it out...really! This evening our pastor made this point extremely clear, if I'm thirsty I'll find something to drink, if I really want God the way that I say that do...I'll come after Him, aggressively seeking Him until I find Him, and once found, I'll continue to follow after Him, so that I don't lose ground. What God requires of me is that I love Him with all of my heart, soul, and mind, and that I love others. He requires of me that I remain faithful, even when it's easier to quit. He asks of me to trust Him, even when I can't see what He is doing and even though I may not like what I do see. He asks me to make the effort, to step out of the box, to be willing to be uncomfortable, and to make Him my number one priority...after all... I am His!

8 comments:

ruthrap said...

i think you just simplified what most try to complicate, thanks neil! sometimes we need to realize that following Christ is not all that difficult if our hearts are set on that being top priority in our lives! self will is all that stands in our way and that can be a big obstacle for the majority!

Amy said...

thanks for this post , i needed that!!!

Neil said...

What I'm finding is that effort on my part will lead me into the right place, I simply have to be moving toward Him. To find my place in the harvest may require that I initially do something that is available for me to do and that while doing that I end up where He wants me to be...It was while Ruth was in the field that Boaz saw her, not while she was sitting in temple looking pretty. Going deeper in spiritual things is a journey, and we must be actively pursuing Him and actively involved in Kingdom business!

Darrell said...

Excellent post Neil. As you well know from your years of pastoring, people are always asking me to pray that they become closer to the Lord. Ironically, since so many people only seem to get close to the Lord during times of trouble or crisis, what they are really asking for is "God bring me more trouble." No, that is not what God desires for us at all; but that is the harsh reality, because we make it so. It is really not hard to get closer to God. It is a matter of not only having the "want to" but the willingness to do. The real problem, as I see it, is, when we get closer to God, it means we will push away from those things that have stood between us and God. And somewhere deep inside of us, we are not ready to say goodbye to those things, places, people, habits, tv shows... or what ever it may be that takes the time and space in our lives that belongs to our Lord.

ruthrap said...

Darrell, you made a good point, and as I see it, it's the things of the world that Do separate us from God. But as we grow in our knowledge of the truth and seek after Christ, things of the world become less and less important to us and the realization of what is of real importance becomes prominent in our live.... this is the beauty of knowing the Lord!

Neil said...

Christianity has become an easy place, we've forgotten that it is through tribulation that we enter the Kingdom. I would suggest a peak at Jesse Wilson's blog, Reality Bytes, he shares a great thought on this. Acts christians were involved in the spreading of the gospel, we are involved in receiving it. In the early days of history, everything was specialized, you went to the grocer for canned goods, the butcher for meat, the clothier for clothing...we go to Walmart, where everything is convenient. That same attitude is in the church...you will find closeness in relationship and satisfaction in the field of dreams...your harvest is found in the field, not the pew!

Deborha's Palm Tree said...

Amen Neil!

If we would follow "the Great Commission"... our focus would quickly change ... We have been busy saying "give me, give me" ...when we should be saying..."He gave, He gave..anyway, I am thirsty...I am going for the ONE who quenches...how 'bout you? I am putting the fishing pole aside and goin' for the net! Lord, strengthen my arms!

michigan preacher said...

How many times have I found myself praying this?! Too many times. We all want God to wave his finger and put us in the place we need to be in our walk with him. God says that if we draw near to him, he will draw near to us. He wants us to choose Him. We want revival, but do we want to shut ourselves away with him alone? Just a thought, eveyone.

I love you guys! Thanks for making me stretch, Neil!
~Jeff