This morning I was reading in both Blackaby's devotional and Spurgeon's for today.
Your life is a part of God's grand design. God has known about you and had a plan for your life since before time began. He knew everything about you before you were even born (Jer. 1:5). God predetermined that you would become like His Son. -Blackaby
There should be no one with whom we talk as much as with Jesus. To live in Him, alone, is true love; but to commune with the world, to find satisfaction in our sinful comforts, to prefer even the society of our fellow Christians to secret times spent with Him, this is grievous to our jealous Lord. He wants us to abide in Him and enjoy constant fellowship with Him; and many of the trials He sends to us are intended to wean our hearts from created things, fixing them more closely on himself. - Spurgeon
I read those today and am considering what John wrote in the Gospel of John, when he describes himself. "The disciple that Jesus loved". I have to believe that of the two 'sons of thunder'. He was the less outgoing of the two. It seems to me that His brother James was more of the one to grab the bull by the horns type of person.
Think about your life. Oh the distractions!
Guess what? Most all are there by design. Design? Yes.
To what end? To what purpose?
Yes. To both.
To cause you to be distracted and lose the benefits of a life spent following Christ. To cause you to lose sight of that which is most important. To have lived a life spent living for yourself means you weren't living for Jesus.
Jesus saves people not just for the sake of saving them. Not so that they can continue to live a life of reckless abandon.
His desire is a close personal relationship.
To teach and we learn. To become like Himself. You probably missed it in school but each grade is meant to lift your level of understanding to a certain standard. So-called experts call it an estimation of what children of that age group ought to be able to understand. Each year the ante is raised. Each year the subjects get harder. Each year tests for comprehension take place. Then, at last, is the last year of school and you either are stated as having met minimum standards or you repeat. Some meet the standards and go on to more schooling.
Is it so hard to understand what 'school' is like with Jesus? His teaching truly impacts your life and those around you.
It does more than what earthly teachers can teach you because it impacts your heart and soul and mind.
But too, it requires your undivided attention. Jesus can and does repeat lessons with us if we forget or need it again. Listening, as someone said it, requires two open ears and one closed mouth. We often keep doing all the talking to Jesus but don't do a whole lot of listening.
Think about what Blackaby said. Before there ever was a history, before time began, God knew you and loved you.
He was looking forward to the day you became you to have an intimate relationship with Him. We were meant to be in the image of God. Of Jesus.
In our world the complexity of relationships has brought about many problems. Relationships can be torn apart so easily, even because of asking an innocent question to clarify an understanding! A relationship can be torn apart because of simply finding out that you are not a fan of someone's team or a sport they are into. A relationship is so very fragile more so today than in ages past. People are being pushed into publicly accepting other people based on beliefs. Tolerance is now a two edge sword. Accept or else...
There are so many people who just won't let others believe what they do about God and want to force a penalty on them.
All this is designed by Satan to mess up believers in Christ. To try to cause them to give up. To cause them to bring dishonor to the name of Jesus.
As I was telling a friend recently, I am finding the more I let go of the more I find it easier to hear God talking. There's less work to maintain possessions when they aren't there. When I am not working on possessions I have more time to sit at Jesus's feet. There's time to listen.
Years ago, we were in Pidgeon Forge, Tennessee. Out on a deck overlooking the splendor of God's creation. Guess what? It was awesome. Our only possessions were what we brought with us. Nothing to maintain. Nothing to fix. No need to be concerned about the oh so many things that normally fill our lives.
I really think it was a mild taste of what Jesus meant by entering into His rest.
There was no sports, no news, no distractions. Just the ability to be with Jesus without all of that.
We tend to think we have to be doing something all the time. We try to sit still and can't. We miss the obvious. That God would like to hear from us. That we could sit in prayer and say nothing. That we could be singing praise songs to Him. That we could be reading His Word. That we could be learning.
What about your life? What can you honestly do without in order to live the life that God intended for you? Is it hard to hear Him? Remove the noise. Is it hard to see where you are going? Stop, look for Jesus and listen.
Think about just what you are doing today. How much of your life is lived as Jesus wants and how much is what you want. You can't serve two masters.
Only one Master died for you.