Written by Rich…
I have been thinking and talking through with a lot of people how to pursue a deeper relationship with God.
Now the first important thing to say is we cannot earn His presence, His delight and connection with Him – we already have it, in and through Jesus.
But I do think we are called to actively cultivate our relationship with God.
We are “holy and blameless without blemish in the Father’s sight” but we should also, through effort pursue “holiness”.
We are forgiven and free from sin through Jesus but we need to continue to avoid sin.
We are made “righteous through faith” but we should continue to pursue righteousness.
Well there are many ways but recently I have been reflecting on the spiritual disciplines as training methods. I will write more about this but the key thing I feel is important to say is that pursuing God – Himself & His presence, needs to be holistic. What do I mean and why do I say that?
Connection with God needs to be in both the public and the hidden place. It needs to be both regular and spontaneous, corporate and personal.
It can be:
At church and on the street corner
At a huge conference and in your front room
In giving sacrificially and receiving abundandantly
In huge dreams and simple acts
In the exciting and the mundane
In the highs and lows
In the laughing and the crying
In the celebrating and the mourning
In the crazy and the sensible
In the quiet and the loud.
It has to be through His spirit and His word.
It has to be in our mind and our heart.
It’s too easy for us to chase the experience of the Holy Spirit not the Holy Spirit Himself. And it’s also easy to slip into studying & devouring the bible for knowledge for ourselves and not for relationship & knowledge of the One the bible speaks of.
We each have our natural tendencies.
Discipleship is about being rounded and made whole, like Jesus, not getting stronger strengths or covering blind spots. The disciples had many amazing experiences with Jesus; there were some huge events along the way. But they also experienced loss, sorrow, trial and hardship with Jesus. They also just talked as they walked between towns or around the campfire – the whole of their life was engaged with Jesus.
It’s a fine line – if there’s a line at all.
But as I seek to know the Father more deeply, follow Jesus more closely and connect to & be led by the Holy Spirit more intentionally I pray that it would be He, not I, that determine my steps and that ALL my life would be engaged with Him.