3 days in a row! My blogging self is crawling out of her hole!
I was chatting with my best friend today about how exciting it is to be hungry for God's word. (This same friend and I used to sit and talk about boys and what bar to hit that night and who did what to who. I love friendships that grow with you!) We were talking about how easy it is to read what you should believe, to listen to what you should believe....to have someone else tell you. We were talking about how dangerous that can be too. You can't have a relationship with God through someone elses. You have to have your own. Our children won't be saved because we know God....it is our responsibility to help them gain their own relationship with HIM. It's in the relationship that things change.
After we chatted, this thought came to mind. I thought I'd share:)
I liken it to a friend of a friend. You know how you have different circles of friends. For example I have a core group of women in my life that I have known since I was 15. I have another group of women I love and have grown with unbelievably in the past few years. The two groups don't know each other. They have met on one occassion I think. I don't keep them from one another, we all live in different cities and it just has never happened. I often think of how much I love both these groups and wish they knew each other. I like to have all the people I love, love each other:) Unity makes me happy! But I digress....
I have told each group of ladies about the other. They know their names and what they mean to me. They may know about their families or experiences we've shared in the past. They may even FEEL like the know each other because of that. You know what I'm talking about, right?! You've met someone and think, gosh I feel like I know you! The fact is though that if these two women were in the same room together we'd discover they don't really know one another. They would have things in common, they would get along well, they would have similar values but they probably would not confide in one another. They would not implicitly trust one another. They would not feel that unconditional love I feel for these amazing women of my life. They in fact, may not even feel that much of a connection to them at all. These women are amazing so I think their might be an element of friendly love/concern for one another just because I love them all....They would enjoy their time but they would not know each other at first. NO matter what I had told them about one another. One group would not spill their darkest secrets to the others (and trust me, with these girls there are some secrets;) ) just because I say they can trust them. That level of comfort and intimacy would not be there. It shouldn't be there.
There is one thing I have learned with any relationship....particularly these friendships...
being a good friend takes work. You have to check in and listen and talk and take time to invest in your relationship even when life gets in the way....even when it's inconvenient or time consuming or circumstances change. All that work is why these relationships are so strong, such a blessing to me. We all work at it. We value our time and know it makes us better. In these groups we look at the world differently, have different priorities, different lifestyles....but we understand one another and KNOW that is who we are.
I say all of this to make the point that our relationship with God is no different. I won't get into heaven or know what God wants for my life because my parents know HIM and taught me about HIM. Listening to others opinions and reading commentary and amazing Christian books won't either. Surrounding myself with Godly people who can give Godly advice....doesn't make my relationship with God mine. Tuning into KLOVE isn't enough to make me truly know Jesus. The sermon on Sunday, no matter how powerful and eloquently spoken won't change my heart for God if I don't seek HIM in my own time too. Will these things help grow my faith? ABSOLUTELY! Are they important pieces of our walk with God. SURE. Did God design these wonderful things to help encourage us and so we can do life together like the early church. YOU BET! But HE wants us to know HIM on our own. HE wants us to see who we are in HIS eyes. HE knows us. That part is done. HE knows your heart and thoughts, dreams, struggles, sins, mistakes, failures, triumphs and deepest part of your soul. But HE is waiting for us. Like the friend you call over and over never to get a call back. Like the friend that never has time for lunch or a phone call or to remember days that are special to you. Like the friend that thinks what is happening in their own life is more important than what is happening in yours. That doesn't create intimacy. That doesn't create trust or truly KNOWING one another. Real relationship is not one sided. It works both way.
We have to seek HIS face in prayer in solitude. We have to seek HIS word. It is how we get to know HIM. We have a living God. Who else can say that?! HE is waiting on us to get to know HIM. To know HIS heart. HIS dreams for HIS people He is waiting for us to see the world through HIS eyes. HE is waiting for us to understand why HE did what HE did....how much he must love us....to understand HIS sacrifice and the cost of HIS choice...To KNOW HIM. HE is waiting for us to call HIM friend.
It takes work. Just like any relationship...friendships, marriage, children....You ask the questions, you listen to their words, you watch them to see their likes and dislikes and what makes them tick....you pursue them, you spend time with them, you confide and are trusted and you work at KNOWING. God is waiting for us. It is our responsibility to search HIM on our own. Others can't do it for us. What God wants for my life, is not what He wants for yours. If we both read the same verse of the Bible right now, it would speak to us differently. God's words are living. They are designed to give us, individually, what we need at this given time in our life. How cool is our God to give us that gift?! HE wants a relationship with us. HE knows us. I pray a renewed sense of desire in your heart to want to KNOW HIM. I pray that you feel that relationship and how real it is to the split ends on your head and the toes that need a Spring Polish!