When you open up your bible and pray to God what is the intention of your heart? I ask this because recently Holy Spirit had convicted me of going into the Lord’s presence to find out answers rather than just spending time with him. OUCH!
I am not saying it is a bad thing to go into God’s presence with an expectant heart that he will speak to you. I hope you do that. As you should do that; God wants nothing more than for you to follow his will. What I am saying is that when you go into God’s presence the intentions of you heart are very important. We can come into trouble if you go into his presence with the sole purpose of receiving answers instead of being in awe of his goodness.
When the answers become more of a priority than God himself, Houston we have a problem!
It is like that song: “Help me want the savior more than the saving. Help me what the healer more than the healing. Help me want you Jesus.”
Once Holy Spirit gave me a love tap and revealed to me what was going on. I ran with the conviction, asked for forgiveness, and turned in repentance. When I started coming into God’s presence I asked one thing… Who are you Lord?
No one on this earth knows God to the full extent. We can never reach the depth of his goodness and love here on earth. We should be getting to know him on a more intimate level each day. If you are in season of what seems that everything is running dry, know that there is more wisdom, understanding, and revelation that God wants you to receive just off that one question.
Who is God?
Everything trickles off that one question.
Here are some things that God has revealed to me or reminded me of:
I am loved by God.
I am chosen by God.
I am appointed by God.
I am God’s friend.
I am God’s child.
The Lord has removed my punishment
The Lord is among us.
The Lord is a warrior who saves.
The Lord will rejoice over us with gladness.
The Lord will renew us in his love.
The Lord delights in us with singing.
The Lord saves the lame and gathers the outcasts.
The Lord will restore our fortunes before our eyes.
Sometimes we get so caught up in wanting the answers that we forget the whole reason for being in his presence. Simply being in it. We should always want to spend time with him more than what comes out of it. Spending time with him in his word, in prayer, and through other spiritual disciplines will always result in fruit. However, do not forget to step back and simply be in awe of who he is.
I may have woken up at 4:38ish this morning and am still going. IT’S A MIRACLE! (kidding, but seriously I am not a morning person) I grabbed an iced coffee from the kitchen and headed to our war room because I knew Abba wanted to do a work in me. What is funny is that my husband came home from PT this morning around 7:50ish as I was just finishing up my Quiet Time with God. I walked out and his eye got big and he asked, “How many cups of that *looks down at my 1/4 full now melted iced coffee* have you had this morning?”.
The amazing thing is, that when he left this morning I was groggy and kind of cranky to be honest. No one likes a noisy house before 6am. But when he came home, and I walked out of the war room, I was changed.
This is what we should yearn for every single time we go into our quiet time with Abba. To have our hearts changed and our minds renewed when we walk out. I walked out this morning with authority and excitement because I just spent time with my heavenly father. With this time he brought revelation, wisdom, and understanding. He gave me deeper understanding of him and who I am in him. He spoke clearly through his word.
When we have quiet time with God we should:
Be expectant to hear from him through his word and through prayer
Not put a time limit on God and what he wants to do in our hearts and minds
Our hearts should be changed and our minds renewed
Meditate on what he spoke to us throughout our day
If we don’t understand, ASK.
Just like my husband thought I had 7 iced coffees this morning, you leave Abba’s presence changed.
(Oh and by the way, I only had 3/4 of a cup of iced coffee)
“Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’ ”-Matthew 4:4 (NIV) “How can a young person stay on the path of purity? By living according to your word. I seek you with all my heart; do not let me stray from your commands. I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.”-Psalm 119:9-11 (NIV)
“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”-Romans 12:2 (NIV)
“Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.”-Mark 1:35
Is it your closest? Bathroom? A nature trail? Did you have one once and now it has been taken over?
We all NEED a quiet place. EVEN JESUS DID!
Our quiet place is essential. It is where we can speak to God aloud and have him speak to us WITHOUT interruptions. Where you can hear him clearly and you can speak to him about the most inner parts of your heart and mind. Your quiet place should be somewhere where he has your full attention. A place where we can renew our mind in the word and spend time worshiping our creator, Abba, Alpha and Omega, our lifeline.
Many of us have a lot of commitments that keep us busy and we claim we don’t have time or we can’t find a quiet place.
If you are schedule is too busy, have you thought of waking up earlier or canceling the 2 hour Netflix binge? Or if your job is taking up the time you are spending with God, do you think it is time to pray for a new job opportunity? I know for a fact that when work was on the throne of my heart instead of God and I felt like I had nowhere to turn but took a leap of faith, God provided for me 2 new jobs that I fell in love with. He is faithful. I can assure you that you are TOO busy if you are TOO busy to spend time with God. There are ways around it, just ask him.
When it comes to an actually quiet place, being married to a man who is in the military and having 2 dogs that are 6 months old can be really challenging. I am sure this is challenging for many of us who have families. The reading nook/war room I used to have where I would go to now has becomes the jungle gym for my puppies. But after not having the quality time with God that I wanted and so desperately needed I cried out upon God for help. WHERE is this place for me now? It became the bathroom for a while, then the trails, and now it has been not feeling guilty for putting my puppies in their cages for a while when I spend time with God.
What I really was depriving was not only myself, but my family. When I wasn’t able to spend the time with God that I needed (because I didn’t know where), I became moody and my thoughts began to become worldly.
If you are being challenged by busyness or don’t know where to go to spend time with God, simply ask him what can change. I know that I didn’t know what to do. I felt stuck. But that was just the enemy slipping in and trying to take away the time I need with God. Nothing is more important than your relationship with God. You can say it all day long, but until you put it into action is when the real fruit bearing begins.
God has brought a lot of revelation of the difference of being worldly and the new creation he has made me us. He has shown me things in my life that when trials and tribulations come that I begin to think from a worldly perspective. He has also used the people closest to me, facebook, and even people in the church, to show me the difference between worldly and thinking and acting like The Children Of God That We Are. How many of our thoughts are just mere feelings and worldly thoughts compared to biblical truth?
(This blog will have a couple different parts over the next couple days!)
Let me drop some biblical truth that relates to being worldly:
“So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer.Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come:[The old has gone, the new is here!”-2 Corinthians 5:16-17 NIV
“Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them. For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever.”-1 John 2:15-17
Now let me challenge some worldly thinking:
We worry for nothing, especially when it comes to money. “But Tanja, money is important!! The world revolves around money!”
Let me stop you right there…If your world is revolving around anything but your relationship with God, then your priorities are out of order. God is supposed to be first in our lives. He is supposed to be at the throne of our heart. Not our spouses, children, nor our jobs that often can take up a majority of our time. That job you have doesn’t provide your needs, your heavenly father does. As long we give our first fruits (tithe 10%), he will provide our needs. There has been a lot of animosity about tithing. What if I told you tithing has to do with your heart, not your money? Do you trust God to provide your needs even though the overwhelming amount of bills are coming in continually or are you going to keep that money for yourself? The streets are made of gold in heaven. I assure you that God doesn’t need our money! But he is after out heart!
“Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the LORD Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it.”-Malachi 3:10
“And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.”-Philippians 4:19
“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you-you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”- Matthew 6:25-34
(Here’s the link to a video concerning financial worry and recent government shutdown)
A recent article showed me some astounding facts about how much time we sit in front a tv screen and on social media. I am thankful that I am able to use social media to spread the good news, but how much of our time is really spent on cat and puppy videos or even the death being spewed all over social media platforms?
“Astonishingly, the average person will spend nearly two hours (approximately 116 minutes) on social media everyday, which translates to a total of 5 years and 4 months spent over a lifetime. Even more, time spent on social is only expected to increase as platforms develop, and is expected to eat further into traditional media – most notably TV. Right now, the average person will spend 7 years and 8 months watching TV in a lifetime. Currently, total time spent on social media beats time spent eating and drinking, socializing, and grooming.” -Socialmediatoday.com
Are you spending as much time connected with God as you are other people?? (now that’s good, thankyou Holy Spirit!)
Let’s put social media aside…
Even children, spouses, friends, and our favorite hobby can take up the quiet time being spent with God. I am not saying that these things are bad. However, anything that takes precedent over first spending time with Abba, has become and idol.
Even Jesus took time away and prayed and spent time with the heavenly father. We see this in scripture several times. There was even a time where people were looking for Jesus, but he knew there was nothing more important than to surrender and have quiet time with the Father.
“Yet the news about him spread all the more, so that crowds of people came to hear him and to be healed of their sicknesses. But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.”-Luke 15:15-16
“Before daybreak the next morning, Jesus got up and went out to an isolated place to pray. Later Simon and the others went out to find him. When they found him, they said, “Everyone is looking for you.””-Mark 1:35-37
“Jesus went out as usual to the Mount of Olives, and his disciples followed him. On reaching the place, he said to them, “Pray that you will not fall into temptation.” He withdrew about a stone’s throw beyond them, knelt down and prayed, “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.” An angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened him. And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.”-Luke 22:39-45
The worldly perspective of the broken, needy, and poor are that they aren’t worth helping. Wipe your hands of them, they will hurt you, they are scary, they put themselves there.
Man am I thankful God took the broken person I was and made something beautiful out of me! Jesus hung out with the broken, the worldly “low-life’s”, the prostitutes, tax collectors, the sinners. None of us are holier than thou, including myself. God has used my testimony to set people free. He has used some of the hardest things I’ve went through to display his glory of healing, forgiveness, and overall victory.
Did you know when you love the poor, you are actually doing loving God?
“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’ “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘LORD, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.'”-Matthew 25:34-40
“As Jesus went on from there, he saw a man named Matthew sitting at the tax collector’s booth. “Follow me,” he told him, and Matthew got up and followed him. While Jesus was having dinner at Matthew’s house, many tax collectors and sinners came and ate with him and his disciples. When the Pharisees saw this, they asked his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?” On hearing this, Jesus said, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick.But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.””-Matthew 9:9-13
God Focuses On:
love not hate
life not death
victory not defeat
I hope this post somehow challenged you like it has challenged me. We are constantly growing which causes growing pains and that’s okay. Remember, progress is progress!
“Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.”-Colossians 3:2
“Seek the Lord while he may be found; call on him while he is near. Let the wicked forsake their ways and the unrighteous their thoughts. Let them turn to the Lord, and he will have mercy on them, and to our God, for he will freely pardon. “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.”-Isaiah 55:6-11 CSB
When I read this passage of scripture there are a couple things that stand out to me. One being, when we pray the word of God, it will not return empty and will achieve it’s purpose. With that being said, we should not only be mediating on the Word of God, we should be speaking it aloud in our prayer life as well. When I started doing this, my whole life changed. I saw how truly ALIVE & WELL the Word of God really is. The bible is a book of promises that he wants you to ask him for through prayer with an expecting heart.
The other part that really stood out to me was the “for my thoughts are not your thoughts, and my ways are higher than your ways”, when just above in verse 6-7 the passage talks about the sinner and his thoughts. What I gather from this is that when we don’t renew our minds each day and do not meditate on the word to not only memorize but put into practice, our thoughts won’t be godly. Our thought pattern will gradually shift to our old ways before we asked Jesus to be the Lord of our life. It actually talks about this in Colossians
“Since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits in the place of honor at God’s right hand. Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth. For you died to this life, and your real life is hidden with Christ in God. And when Christ, who is your life, is revealed to the whole world, you will share in all his glory. So put to death the sinful, earthly things lurking within you. Have nothing to do with sexual immorality, impurity, lust, and evil desires. Don’t be greedy, for a greedy person is an idolater, worshiping the things of this world. Because of these sins, the anger of God is coming. You used to do these things when your life was still part of this world. But now is the time to get rid of anger, rage, malicious behavior, slander, and dirty language. Don’t lie to each other, for you have stripped off your old sinful nature and all its wicked deeds. Put on your new nature, and be renewed as you learn to know your Creator and become like him.“-Colossians 3:1-10
How do we get to know our creator and become like him? Spending time with him! We are told to line up our thoughts and live with the way Jesus lived. Jesus was God in flesh who didn’t sin even though he was tempted just like us. Holy Spirit is inside of you, waiting to show you the next step in your walk. How to obey his word and to be obedient and see miracles and heavenly things before your eyes. Yes, the word of God talks a lot about “putting to death” our old ways. When being obedient to God’s word I have never regretted putting into practice what it says. Was it easy all the time? Of course not! Even so, when I started implementing the scripture I meditated and memorized, the load became a lot lighter.
If you are stressed about reading your bible? Can I just shout from the roof top that is the devil himself trying to stop you from having freedom…THAT GUY…*rolls eyes* If you are having a problem finding a place to start, pray and ask Holy Spirit to guide you. I often flip open to a page and it is exactly what I needed at that moment. If you don’t understand Holy Spirit to give you wisdom and understanding of what you are reading. Even if you think you understand what you are reading, ask Holy Spirit for a deeper, more heavenly perspective. That is how this article came about! If you get distracted when you begin to read your word and pray…there’s that devil again…you are not alone. When I first got Kylie I was struggling to dedicate as much time to God as I normally did before. This girl used to go pee every 20 minutes!! My husband and I began to pray that she would be convicted to not pee on the floor. It probably sounds silly, but it worked for a while and her bladder became stronger as she got older! Pray about the distractions! If you are easily distracted like me, a tool that helped me was putting on Christian music in the background so no matter if I traveled to the background, focus on God was there. If you are worried…let me just drop this little truth piece below:
“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.”-Philippians 4:6-8
There is nothing God wants more than to spend time with you and for you to have the supernatural peace, freedom, and pure love he has to offer. When we start to take those thoughts captive and line them up with biblical truth, our thoughts patterns change. When our thoughts change, our hearts change. When our hearts change to be more godly and holy, our whole entire life changes. You have the tools and the truth to fight off whatever the enemy decides to throw at you. We are in a spiritual war we need to be equipped for. Being Christ-like is the goal. The only way to get there is to get to know who he is.