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Have you ever felt like something is just missing? You are not the same person you were a month ago, or a year ago, etc.? If you ever self-reflect then you are able to see that sometimes there is a big difference in who you are (at least I can). Sometimes the difference is really ugly! There are times that I wonder why I am even here on this earth. Sometimes I wonder why bad things seem to come my way so often. Ten months ago I set out to find my purpose in life, and did it by seeking God and His Word for the answer. I have found that when I step away from that habit that I find myself slipping back into not knowing whether or not what I am doing is truly what God wants of me. I begin to question, and have doubts. Then out of the blue I awake in a sweat with this on my mind, so here it is.
I have come to realize that going to church is not enough. Just because you go doesnít mean anything-It can be a good front, or a good cover. Look at me, I am at church. That one hour of hearing the Word of God is not enough! That hour of being a Christian is not enough! That is just religion!
I have been in seminary for six months now. I study the Word of God in my classes. Sometimes that is all I do for the day. Yet I still find that something is just not right, and still feel like something is missing. I just don't feel right.
I can say that I am more "book smart" in the Word than I was six months ago. The problem here is that I don't always apply what I learn. Jesus meditated on, studied, and then applied the Word throughout His life. When he was at His lowest and weakest moment in the desert the devil tested Him. Jesus didnít have a bound book with the scriptures written inside. Rather the Word was easily accessible to Him because of His diligence in studying the Word his entire life. The Word was written on His heart and easily accessible. Not only did he know his scriptures he practiced them.
When God created Adam in His image in the garden of Eden He created him so that he could have communication with him. He wanted to have a relationship with Him. God is relational, and since we were created in his image we also are relational beings. God desires to be in communication with us, and to be in a relationship with us. When Adam was in communication with God things were wonderful. Then there was that moment when the devil tempted Adam, and Adam fell to the devils scheme, and because of his sin he wanted to hide from God and did not want to talk to him. Things were not good for him!
Through the Old Testament the Israelites can be seen on a up and down roller coaster ride in their relationship with God. When they were in communication with God they were blessed. When they sinned and lost that communication things did not go good for them at all. They suffered!
Jesus was in constant communication with his Father. He taught us how to pray in the Lordís Prayer. One thing that stands out in the New Testament is Jesusí prayer life. Whenever he was troubled and didnít know what to do he went to his Father. Sarah Young writes in Jesus Calling (a daily devotion of Jesus speaking) ďDuring times of severe testing, even the best theology can fail you if it isnít accompanied by experiential knowledge of Me. The ultimate protection against sinking during lifeís storms is devoting time to develop your friendship with Me (Young, 2004,252).Ē I think that is definitely something Jesus would tell us, and He set that example for us in the New Testament.
Psalm 32:8 says, ďI will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you.Ē God wants to teach us and instruct us. We canít be taught by the teacher if we donít go to school (not a literal school here). We have to go to class, we have to be in His presence, and then he will instruct us there. In His Word which is living, breathing, the same today, yesterday, and forever He will instruct us.
We grow our faith by hearing the Word of God. We feed our faith by reading the Word of God. The Bible is the force of faith. If you want more faith then read your Bible. Genesis 8:22 says ďAs long as the earth endures, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night will never cease." You are always sowing seeds in your life. Galatians 6:7 ďDo not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.Ē The seed principle works in both a good way and a bad way. It works for you or against you. I can say from experience that skipping reading the Bible and spending time with the Lord before my day starts is definitely sowing a bad seed!
So prayer, (talking to the teacher, going to Him for help and your daily needs) and reading, studying and then applying are all part so finding purpose in this life. When I think back to ten months ago I can see that big difference. I was seeking to find that purpose that God had for my life, and so I was digging in my Bible. All the answers you want for this life will not be found in a regular book, and definitely not on your television (youíll find only bad news there). The Word of God is where youíll find the answers you seek. When you sow those seeds have an expectation. An expectation is the confident anticipation that something good is going to happen. Hebrews 11:6 says, ďAnd without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.Ē If you have been like me lately, and sowing that bad seed (skipping out on your time with God) it is never too late to sow a good seed, and when you do you can be assured that God will reward you for planting that good seed each day.
Godís love for you is an everlasting love that flows out of the depths of eternity. Before you were born he knew you. Be still in His presence for five minutes a day (start small). When you do, you will find all the answers that you seek. With Him you will be able to weather any storm that comes your way.
Young, Sarah. (2004) Jesus Calling. Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson.
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