I listen to and read lots of different pastors’ material and Rick Warren is a favorite. Today’s devotion is entitled TURNING BACK TO GOD. The first line is, “You will experience dry seasons in your spiritual life.” My goodness. I had a forty year drought!
all relationships have peaks and valleys.
It’s like that with God, too. He just needs to know that’s how you feel and it will change, unlike most human relationships! That sounds weird because God knows everything and sees everything so why do we have to tell him? Well, because He wants you to talk with Him instead of running the other way and writing Him off. He’s not that guy that hates to talk.
I certainly do want newcomers to the faith to understand that we have lots of awesome, eye-opening work to do! The great thing about doing it with and for God is that He always responds in the right way because He loves us like no person can. We #humans cannot always get it right. Our love is shallow compared to God’s.
are you a child of god?
If so, act like one! Ask the Holy Spirit to help you get back to those things that made you grow close in the first place. I am a child of God, and I have little dry spells now and then. All it takes is time and sincere effort to get back on track, back in the comfort zone. He wants our attention. And He wants to know you want this relationship with Him. Not just because you’re afraid of dying and going who knows where, but because you want to know Him, love Him, and love on the rest of His kids.
Rick Warren says to pray, ” ‘God, my heart has grown cold…I need you to light the fire again’…and fully expect Him to do it.”
He doesn’t respond well if you doubt that He’s listening or you feel you’re too insignificant. Like Rick says, “This is the faith step.” The first Bible verse I ever memorized was on this same premise.
‘And it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him.’ Hebrews 11:6
Are you willing to work at fixing relationships that suffer? Or do you walk away when you are able to?
I guess the way you answer that question determines whether or not you will even begin to seek God’s friendship or maintain an open channel of communication with Him. Think about the things we do when we strike up a new romance or friendship. All the little things that endear people to one another are so abundant at first. When the honeymoon is over, and familiarity breeds…whatever it breeds…it takes a little effort to do all those sweet things we did in the beginning. If we stop doing them, though, people begin to feel unloved, unappreciated, downright neglected, then resentful. Then they shut down, or blow up. Either way it’s not good. So fix it!
In my fellowship group we are studying the book of Ephesians right now and read the verses below as a cross-reference just last night. Today it’s at the top of the devotional page. Ha! I love when that happens 🙂
4“But I have this complaint against you. You don’t love me or each other as you did at first! 5Look how far you have fallen! Turn back to me and do the works you did at first. If you don’t repent, I will come and remove your lampstand from its place among the churches.
This verse is taken from one of the seven letters written to the seven churches of Asia Minor, (modern day Turkey). These letters are Jesus’ own words, spoken through John, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, while imprisoned on the isle of Pathos. John wrote five of the books in the New Testament. This comes from the very last book in the Bible; Revelation.
Of all the books in the Bible, I know the least about this one. It’s a little scary. Especially in our present time, with so many wild and crazy things happening on our planet. When I decide to study it I will do it here. If you decide to check it out use a study Bible because you will need to cross reference a lot! You must understand things in the Old Testament in order to understand the symbolism in this book.
Most of my life has been a dry season…
Now I’m living in a rain forest! Do I still have dry spells? Yup. But I get it now. He doesn’t change, I do. It’s up to me to fix it when the embers fade. I must fan the flame. I’m ok with that.
Being the nerd I am I love to study and dig and take notes, but if you’re not that person, it’s ok. Just spend a little time every single day, no matter what. Acknowledge His presence in your life, talk to Him, complain to Him, you can even be angry with Him. Be something.
As a Catholic kid gone bad at thirteen, I had no spiritual life and became quite reckless. Not that being Catholic had anything to do with obedience for me in the first place. We were that Italian family that went to church on Sundays, except Mom, because she wasn’t allowed to celebrate communion. She divorced her first husband because he used to beat her and cheat on her and gamble away the furniture. (And I wonder why I always had a penchant for bad boys! Hahaha!) Dad was an usher and passed the collection basket. We didn’t bless our food, though. I don’t ever remember saying prayers at home except before bed when I was real little.
So, a relationship with God? Why would I want that? He was just something to fear the wrath of, not to feel safe with. Was it like that for you as a kid?
a teacher in high school was god’s instrument
My sophomore year was my first encounter with Jesus. It saved my life, I’m sure. My second one was in my back yard. And it saved my life again. I stopped going to church at age thirteen and spent forty years floundering. At age fifty-three I reached up and took Jesus’ hand again, while pinned under my motorcycle trailer with a broken back. If not for the people in my life that allowed the flow of the Holy Spirit to touch people like me, I would certainly be dead and not in a good place.
I am here to be that instrument for you
So just come back every week. I may end up posting more than weekly as things change. For now, this is good. Until next time, if you haven’t already, please get a Bible. Bible apps are awesome but so are pages and print. Whatever suits you. Start reading the book of John. And ask questions if you’re so inclined. You can comment or question here, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
I will close with these verses from Paul’s second letter to Timothy, and to us as followers of Christ.
This is why I remind you to fan into flames the spiritual gift God gave you when I laid my hands on you. For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.
Peace in Christ