Several of my posts over the last months express my desire to be close to the Father, and how vulnerable I feel to being distracted with things that take up my attention or interests that keep me from more focused times of prayer and reading his word.
True to his nature, my Father has delivered messages recently to encourage me to keep seeking his face and to know he has not stopped looking for ways to draw me in or has not backed away from pursuing me. Abba's love is after you, also. As I share some of the lures he's using to reel me back in, may you recognize the ways he's fishing for intimacy with you; be awakened by hearing how constant and intense His love is for me, and know it's the same degree towards you.
Reading his Word, in the times I did stop and respond to the Lover's Voice, opened my heart to promises that are just as true during this time as any time I may have felt more inflamed with passion.
I Peter 3:10-11 [Amp.]
For let him who wants to enjoy life and see good days...search for peace
(harmony; undisturbedness from fears, agitating passions, and moral
conflicts) and seek it eagerly. [Do not merely desire peaceful relations
with God, with your fellowmen, and with yourself, but pursue, go after
I desire peaceful relations with God. Right now that means, no guilt or condemnation that I should be trying harder. This verse assures me that my heart to pursue him is more than a mere desire. Otherwise I would not care or even be aware that there is disharmony.
James 4:8 [NLT]
Come close to God, and God will come close to you.
There is no period of waiting until it's the right time, or until penitence for wandering away is served, for me to come into his presence. The closeness starts immediately. My response to his overtures of love is nearness, now.
The pastor called attention to another promise this morning in church.
who accept my commandments and obey them are the ones who love me. And
because they love me, my Father will love them. And I will love them and
reveal myself to each of them.
I love him, therefore he has promised to reveal himself to me. It's happening; may my eyes and ears be always open to catch the revelation.
The Father inpires me with the lure of if-he-can-do-it-with-others-he-can-do-it-with-me. Whether I hear the stories on the radio or a missions-minded friend tells me about non-western believers, the results reported from hearts fervent in prayer, are awesome and exciting. Setting aside more intentional times to pray is a privilege. He will use me to see his kingdom come. My heart is increasingly willing.
Perhaps my least favorite technique the Fisherman uses is the jerk on the line when I'm intent on swimming the opposite direction. It hurts; discipline hurts. But it is also effective to motivate me towards closeness. It might be the realization that I missed an opportunity to help someone, because I was selfish with my time. Or it's a change of plans that I don't like. I woke up one morning this week, feeling anxious and needy. That kind of wake-up finds me stopping in my tracks, desperately wanting his care and crying out for help. I become still and let him hold me close.
Although, bad news of tragedies, illness of friends and difficult circumstances for others is not pleasant, it drives me to intercession and more time in prayer. It reminds me how insignificant the attractions of this world and pursuits of comfort or pleasure are. There is a greater purpose in life and a God who is powerful and an ever present help in time of trouble. In the reality of the turbulent waters around me, I hold on to his line and keep trusting his leading for how to pray for the ones I love.
Don't you sense how much he loves us? We know what great lengths he went to to demonstrate his love to us. Won't he finish the good work he's started in each of us? Yes! In spite of us, in spite of our tendency to stray away. I love these words from Romans 8.
What shall we say about such wonderful things as these? If God is for us, who can ever be against us? Since he did not spare even his own Son but gave him up for us all, won’t he also give us everything else? Who dares accuse us whom God has chosen for his own? No one—for God himself has given us right standing with himself. Who
then will condemn us? No one—for Christ Jesus died for us and was
raised to life for us, and he is sitting in the place of honor at God’s
right hand, pleading for us.
anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer
loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry,
or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death? (As the Scriptures say, “For your sake we are killed every day; we are being slaughtered like sheep.”) No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.
And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No
power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all
creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is
revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.
I love you, Abba. I desperately need you. Here's my heart, take and seal it. Seal it for your courts above!