Much of the content in this blog came from a conversation with a pastor friend of mine, for my upcoming father-son book. Some of these paragraphs were direct quotes from him. He chose to remain anonymous.
But Martha was distracted with much serving, and she approached Him and said, “Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Therefore tell her to help me.” And Jesus answered and said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her.” (Lk 10:40-42)
Inspect your life and soul and find out what things pull you out of the Spirit and from a place of rest. Watch for things that take you out of a love walk and bring offense or anxiety.
It is as men live that they pray. How you live affects the way you pray, and vice versa; how you pray affects the way you live. Some Christians want their prayers answered, but they’re not that interested in having a real relationship with the Lord. Frankly, at this stage of my life and spiritual growth that is a hard one to wrap my mind around. Why wouldn’t any born again believer want to deepen their relationship with the Lord? It can only be because they have not yet seen Him in all His love, beauty, and grace.
When some Christians do not receive what they ask of the Lord they become despondent very quickly. To them prayer is getting their needs met or receiving their desires, and when they don’t receive they develop an attitude. On the other hand, when they do receive their answer or their need and desire met, they don’t always continue to fellowship with God. Any normal relationship becomes strained if all one person wants is material benefits. It is like a young boy who receives a much desired gift or toy from his father, but then he just spends all his time with the toy and never spends time with his father. That may be normal for a baby Christian or a young convert, but it is an infantile state of Christianity. We must move on from there and grow in our relationship with God. He wants us to enjoy His gifts and be thankful for them, no question about it, but we’ve got to graduate to a higher place of enjoying Him.
Fellowship is the reason God created man. Work on your fellowship and friendship with Jesus. Your faith will automatically work better then. Faith and love are twins. When you learn to love the Lord and fellowship with Him your faith works better. Faith works by love (Gal 5:6). Don’t trade your fellowship for a formula, or for anything else in life for that matter.
Lack of focus on the Lord will turn your fellowship into a formula – a mechanical something. Most people’s lifestyles rule them to such an extent that they have no focus toward God. They live so much in the flesh and in the natural realm that they become a very soulish person who may even quote the Word, but they never learn to abide in the Lord. Sanctify the Lord in your heart (1 Pet 3:15).
What does that mean? It means that you’ve got to cultivate an ability to see God in everything. Most Christians only see God in the good things, but not the bad. This greatly affects their fellowship. It’s a compartment mentality. In other words, believers recognize that God wants them to have a full, abundant, and prosperous life (John 10:10). When good things are happening in their lives God is there, but in difficult moments, they can’t see Him. It has to be the devil.
The problem with that mentality is that it stops you from being able to see God in every circumstance. Most believers’ ability to see God has to do with their environment and their circumstances, so their faith is very limited. We as believers have to grow past that.
Like most believers do, I’ve always rejoiced in the Lord when everything was calm and good. And I’d often rejoice in the Lord when things were not so good, but I used to do it from a heady knowledge because I knew I should. But it did not include an ability to see God at that moment. I saw the kingdom of darkness and I saw the kingdom of light. It was almost as if God appears one day and then all hell breaks loose, and in my mind He wasn’t there. It’s me and the devil having a fist fight. The devil got in and I had to get him out. And in my thinking I had to break through that hell to find God again.
Then I started thinking differently in that God is always present, and He doesn’t change. Yes, life and circumstances change, but God is still omnipresent. God is still immutable. When your faith becomes developed to such an extent that you’re able to recognize that God is here, He’s always here, then you’re going to start looking for Him even in difficult moments. When I say looking for Him in difficult moments, I’m not talking about looking for Him to get you out of difficult moments. Of course you don’t expect difficult moments, but the Lord makes it very clear that we’re going to have trials, and we’re going to have hardships.
I don’t expect difficult moments, but I’m not going to set myself up for false expectations to believe that the day is going to be absent from potential trials. I already have an understanding that I’m going to experience those things perhaps today, tomorrow, or a week, or a year from now. Those things are going to come my way, but the great news is that God is with me. Again, it’s developing a moment by moment consciousness and awareness of God, and learning to abide in Him even in rough times.
Most believers are always looking for God to resolve their problems. And of course we want God to resolve our problems, but we’ve got to learn to love God even in the midst of our problems. I want to learn to enjoy God in the midst of my difficult circumstances. When I enjoy God in difficult circumstances, the circumstances become different. They have a whole different flavor to them. They don’t represent defeat any more. They don’t represent fear any more.
This fresh perspective can help a lot of believers learn to abide in the Lord. Most Christians rightly believe that God is good and the devil is bad. So they fight the bad and believe for the good. But we never have any rest in the bad, do we? And the reason we don’t have rest in the bad is because we really don’t have the kind of faith that we need in the bad.
The faith that we really need to enjoy life is to see Him. That’s the real faith, when we see Him. It’s not so much what He does for us; that’s good, that’s great. Thank God He’s forever taking care of us, but it goes beyond that. When I can see Him, when my faith is developed to see Him in all circumstances, then it brings me to a great place of rest.
And that resting place is the abiding place in God.
I’ll share a few more secrets about walking with God in our next blog. This is gold, and it will absolutely revolutionize your life. Stay tuned…