“I will lead the blind by a way they do not know, in paths they do not know I will guide them. I will make darkness into light before them, and rugged places into plains. These are the things I will do, and I will not leave them undone.” Isaiah 42:16
My child, have faith and believe Me today. My Word is true, and what I said will come to pass. Do not doubt, only believe. This is what I have called you to, a life of faith. Without faith it is impossible to please Me. Hebrews 11:6
My child, I have put My Spirit within you and you have come to life. Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also, and greater works than these he will do, because I go to the Father. Ezekiel 37:14 John 14:12
My child, seek Me first. Lay everything else down and release all into My loving hands. Trust Me with your life, your concerns, your day. In and of yourself it is impossible, but with Me ALL THINGS are possible.
One rainy winter day, I noticed how dusty our houseplant was. So I set it out to rinse it off a little. Not a bad idea—except that I forgot about to bring it in. The next morning I was horrified to see the pitiful thing had lost all its leaves. Sheepishly, I put it right back in its favorite corner, Later, I was overjoyed to see hundreds of tiny shoots reappearing on its barren branches.
Right then God spoke clearly to my heart: “This is what I’m doing to you!” I’d been going through some difficulties, so immediately I understood what God was saying. He’d been exposing me to extreme circumstances, using suffering so that fresh life could sprout. That lesson taught me to embrace trials whenever they come my way. They’re there for my good—to transform my character. For God, suffering is a much lesser evil than a mediocre heart.
God wants you! And He wants you to want Him. He desires the kind of relationship rooted in our need to be with Him. Can we survive spiritually in a halfhearted relationship with God? Sure we can. But merely going through the motions doesn’t carry a whole lot of weight with Him. Nobody likes indifference! What we do for God is important, certainly. But if our efforts are not coupled with intimacy, they have little value.
How can we alter our tendency toward doing stuff, as opposed to being what God wants? First recognize it as a problem. Then ask God to change the motivation of your heart. He’ll answer that prayer! Then practice it! Few things succeed in life without a lot of practice. Granted, employing this discipline doesn’t come easy. What’s encouraging, though, is that reaching toward greater intimacy with God just naturally increases our appetite for it.
Deciding whether or not to pursue intimacy with God has its rewards—and its consequences. Ask any parent. Ask them what they value most: an adult child who desires to be close for the sake of relationship itself, or one who relates to them either from obligation or from selfishness, motivated by the fear of losing some future benefit. They’ll tell you! The parents love both children the same. But which do you think will receive more of their attention? Which deserves their undivided companionship and support?
God is like that. How could He be pleased with those who pursue Him merely from self-interest or a sense of obligation? God sees it the same way we do. Though He doesn’t reject His children when they don’t show much interest in Him, just imagine how thrilled He must be with those whose motives are pure—who want Him just because He’s Dad.
My child, you are chosen according to My foreknowledge, by the sanctifying work of My Spirit. For I caused you to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you. The rich rewards waiting for you in heaven far outweigh the trivial awards of earth. 1 Peter 1
My child, I am not calling a confused, frustrated and divided church. I am calling My bride, pure and spotless. You are Mine. Holy, sanctified and set apart for My Kingdom. Don’t be so bogged down with this world that you forget your purpose. Set your mind on things above, not on the things of this earth. Your purpose is in Me. In Me you have joy and peace.
Attempting to gain acceptance from God by our own goodness merely results in dependence on law as the basis for our righteousness. But trying to earn our own way is at best an exercise in futility. God, knowing the limitations of our flesh, resolved this issue once and for all by laying in us the foundation of His holiness. Only through God’s holiness can we build a life pleasing to Him.
So we’ve got to get over the idea that we somehow now have the power to establish our own holiness. What it’s really about is having the Holy Spirit within—the righteousness of Christ Himself—which gives us the ability to make godly choices. What, then, is our obligation in pursuing holiness? Most importantly, we are to “set our minds on the things above,” for God assures us that “the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace.” Colossians 3: 1-4