Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Relationship not Religion! Our real & intimate God!

Our God is a personal, real and intimate God!!!

This is truly what God has been speaking to me this week, month, year! Everything. Every book. Every whisper. Every scripture. Every conversation. Everything seems to point back to Him and the fact that this journey with Him isn't a religion or a system... it’s a relationship. I knew this... but God is truly helping me LIVE this!

It is a relationship! Which is why we go through seasons…droughts & harvests…resting and seeking. That’s also why it looks different for everybody… everybody is different so each relationship looks different. And that is ALSO why our relationship with God doesn’t look like the muslims, hindus or other religions who out of fear or ritual pray 5 times a day to a far and distant god they desire to 'get in' with. A friend in our Bible study brought up her thoughts on watching other religions and their radical devotion and that we could learn from it. I kept thinking we are soo different from them... but couldn't really describe it until I realized the key difference is that God, the one and only true God, is a personal, real Savior. Our 'radical devotion' looks so different from them. The Lord God Almighty is not a far off God demanding efforts from us to please Him. We always complicate it thinking we are not doing enough… but God has made it clear, it’s a relationship with Him not a duty.

So many times young moms & wives are at a place where it feels like everybody just NEEDS FROM them and we lump God into that category too but it’s just not true! God does not need from us – He desires to meet our needs and fill us up!

We know how to be in every other relationship – we don't always question and complicate every other relationship --- so why do we have such a hard time figuring out how to be in relationship with Him?? He doesn’t want our duty or rituals – He wants our lavish love. He desires us to find our satisfaction and our joy in HIM.

God is glorified when we enjoy Him. He is worthy of our captivated and amazed adoration of Him! He is glorified when He fills us – not when we try to bring something to offer Him. Too many times we try to offer or do more instead of emptying self and taking joy in. It’s all about what HE can do…not what we can give HIM.

Thankfulness pleases God, yes. Taking joy in Him and then sharing all HE has done pleases Him, yes… but those things are all about what HE has done in us…that’s why He is pleased with those responses! He is pleased when we are satisfied in Him and HIS work!

So for those young moms who are so bound by time, I’d say the key is to do what you’d do in a normal relationship. Take time away together. Think of Him throughout the day. If you don’t yearn to spend time with Him out of love and not duty then don’t beat yourself up… He doesn’t want you to guilt trip yourself into loving Him…(guilt actually separates us from Him)…and He certainly doesn’t want to be a check on our checklist!!! He loves us so much He doesn’t want that for us. Relationship with Him should bring peace and joy not frustration guilt and shame. I pray we can ask God to give us a lavish love for Him. Ask God to help fill us with love for Him!

Bible study IS important yes… but relationship is most important. Our most important work is choosing to take in our "daily bread"... choosing to drink from "the spring" daily. (Isaiah 44, John 7) HE is most important and taking *from* Him daily is what gives us joy and peace and satisfies us. When our souls are nourished by His daily bread… when we choose to drink from the spring of living water… THAT is what people see and THAT is what glorifies Him!

When we feel stagnant, when we are having that internal craving for something ‘new’… we must ask Him to revive us! Plead for Him to make our hearts and lives fresh and vibrant again. Everything in us will want to fix things on the outside – tighten up some rules, be tougher on ourselves or make some tougher goals (reading more, sleeping less, working out)..… but changing on the outside only changes on the outside! We need saving and lasting nourishment which is from Christ alone. He is all that satisfies!

The 'rest of everything'... the external 'things' will build out of that relational foundation. He will use many things in our relationship - Bible studies, time away with nature, serving others, learning how to take care of self & others.... but *all things* need to be in their proper place - flowing out of a life that the Holy Spirit is pouring into! Never pushed out in our own efforts to try to please God or make us feel better about us.... but instead overflowing from a heart assured in God's love & approval because of Christ and His saving grace!

The God of this entire UNIVERSE who made the earth and mankind on it... The Lord God Almighty, Holy One of Israel. HE desires a personal, intimate, daily relationship with ME... with YOU!!

MINDBLOWINGLY AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

"If you seek religion you will find a system to help you. Instead you ought to seek relationship to find the Savior that will save you. We don't need a system to better ourselves to try to impress God. We need saving and God is waiting for you to ask for help!" - Max Lucado, my paraphrase