A number of years ago a great crisis and set of circumstances in my life led me to a place of having to re-evaluate all that I know to be true and right. During that time a pastor that I was conversing with gave me a sage piece of advice. In it’s simple form this is what he said…
“Grow your faith to understand who God is, not the shadow of God that you see from those around you.”
It has been five years since that time and my whole spiritual world has been turned around. Not because of the statement itself but because I have re-dedicated myself to God, I’ve been diving ever deeper into His Holy Word (the bible) and dedicating myself to prayer and seeking Him in every way that I possibly can. I have in essence surrendered myself completely to God over and over and over again ever since that time. He is, albeit slowly changing my whole view of who He is.
I want to challenge each person who reads this devotion to do this as well. Throw aside doctrine, theology, liturgy, tradition, and the attitudes perpetuated by your church and those around you. Dive into the text of the bible, ask God’s Holy Spirit to walk with you and to teach you and change your heart. Ask Him to explain and illuminate the text that He inspired to be written so that we would be able to know Him better and to have instructions to live by. Pray, study, and wait for Him in stillness and silence. Seek him in everything that you do and stay focused on Him even in the day to day tasks of your life.
** Update 29March2017 **
I read a devotional this morning that really spoke to a large point of what I’ve learned in my own life during this time. I really feel like sharing.
“If we are going to be ready for Jesus Christ, we have to stop being religious (that is, using religion as a higher kind of culture) and be spiritually real.
If you are looking off unto Jesus, avoiding the call of the religious age you live in, and setting your heart on what He wants, on thinking on His line, you will be called unpractical and dreamy; but when He appears in the burden and the heat of the day, you will be the only one who is ready. Trust no one, not even the finest saint who ever walked this earth, ignore him, if he hinders your sight of Jesus Christ.”
Chambers, O. (1986). My utmost for his highest: Selections for the year. Grand Rapids, MI: Oswald Chambers Publications; Marshall Pickering.
-End of Update-
Most of all, I challenge you with this: “Grow your faith to understand who God is, not the shadow of God that you see from those around you.”
God, I simply come to You now once again voicing my dedication to You. I am not my own, I belong to You totally and completely God. As my brothers and sisters come to You in prayer we ask that You would open our hearts, cleanse us of any worldly man made viewpoints or religion. Sovereign God, You and You alone are worthy. All honor, glory and praise belong to You! Speak to us, teach us, lead us, burden us with a deep and strong desire to know You more each day. Illuminate Your Word as we read and study it and help us to understand how to apply it to each of our lives. You created each of us as individuals and You have different paths for each of us to follow. Help us to understand that our relationships with You aren’t “one size fits all”, but that our relationship with You is custom tailored for each of us. We confess being like sheep and following the herd of the people surrounding us. Forgive us God help us today to break away from that flock and to come to You so that we might be able to keep more and more lost people away from the jaws of the wolves and bring them into Your fold. Please fill us with Your Holy Spirit and teach us how to live more like Christ Jesus each day. We bow humbly before You asking these things in His name, the name of Your Son and our Savior. AMEN!