I feel like my life has become one massive To-Do list. I check things
off with my purple Sharpie, feeling like I've accomplished a lot if
my tasks were completed. By the time Friday rolls around, if I feel
like the week has been productive, it's time for some Ice Cream and a
movie to celebrate! I crawl into bed and my mind begins to think
about all that must be done tomorrow. I close the book on another
day, and hope that when my the story of my life is completed, my saga
will be something worth reading.
I desire that my life have great meaning. I desire to have massive impact. I want to live a life worthy of my calling. I want to do something with the life I'm living and not waste a single breath I've been given. My bucket list has all sorts of worth-while, and somewhat impressive causes like Adopt an orphan, raise money for a well in Africa, record a C.D. that will inspire thousands, go to Hollywood as witness to young people, plan a conference for girls and their Mom's, write a bestselling book...
And the list goes on. Pretty lofty stuff, huh? But if you glance at that list a second time, you may notice that something was missing. Something so vital and purposeful, that if I don't dare to do this one thing, every other effort will be a lost cause.
What did I forget on that list? Something that a guy named Enoch had at the top of his priorities. Genesis 5:24 introduces a character who only has one line written about him.
“Enoch walked with God, then he was no more, because God took him away.”
What a story! This tale tells nothing of his impressive job, life of fame, or the way he reached out to the poor. Only one thing mattered about Enoch's story. Only one thing was worth writing down. Enoch walked with God.
all know a lot about God. We know what He likes and what He dislikes.
We know how He sent His son to die for us, the way that He rose
again, and how He wants us to spend our lives. We know His favorite
songs, His favorite verses, and some of us who are super savvy and
spiritual even know His favorite color.
We're kind of like a hyped up fan-club. We can spit out facts and defend our knowledge faster then unsuspecting haters can respond! We all love to rock out to His favorite tunes, and talk about how much we love Him on Twitter. We proudly sport the T-shirts, the bumper stickers, and love getting together with any of His fans. We have so much in common! We all love to talk about God!
One Direction and Justin Beiber fans feel the same way. They know everything about their object of affection and would come against anyone who dare attack him verbally. But as much as these ladies love their boy bands, the sad reality is that none of them actually know their favorite guys. If they showed up at Justin's house, pushed past security, and said, “Oh my gosh! I love you! Let's hang out!” He would probably twist up his eye brows and say, “Who are you? I don't even know you.”
It's a sobering truth, but Jesus said this very thing is going to happen to many people when they arrive in heaven. Jesus fans will show up, talking about how much they love his name, and all that they did under the Christian Fan Club Hub, and Jesus will only be able to shrug and say, “Yeah, but I never knew you. We never hung out together."
I think we can all agree that, when a girl is in a fan-club, there is only one place that she dreams of being. She dreams of being the girl-friend, the best friend, the assistant manager, the coffee girl, or heck even the toilet cleaner on the tour bus! Fan-girls just want to be WITH their dream dude. They want to know him, be around him, smell and watch him, listen to him talk and learn what his personality is like. The most desired place to be, far beyond a mere glimpse of him at a concert, or an autograph at the Meet & Greet tent, is to be the girlfriend. To be his lover. To be the one who knows his deepest secrets and greatest fears. She desires to truly know him, to love him, and to be known and loved in return.
King David felt this way about God. He wasn't content with being an average fan. He wanted to know God intimately, personally, and somehow move from fan, to friend, to absolute best friend. He wrote;
“Better is one day in your courts then a thousand elsewhere, I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God then dwell in the tents of the wicked.”
David was passionate about one thing. He had one main goal underlined and highlighted at the top of his To-Do list. His heart was unraveled by a love so deep, that only one thing could satisfy. He discovered that even the love of women and his many wives could not fill that ache, that desperate thirst in his soul. He experienced things that many of us dream about, world-renown fame, success, riches, love and popularity. It was fun and David enjoyed it, but once he experienced the manifest presence of God, he was never the same. He became addicted. His heart beat for one thing alone. Worship was so much more then his lifestyle...it was his daily bread. If you have done any reading in the book of Psalms you are familiar with David's desperation. He used so many analogies to express how deeply He desired to be with God, continually, day and night. His only aim in life was to be God's best friend. To know and be known by someone who loved him so deeply and unconditionally.
“Okay, that's nice.” You might say, “But how are you supposed to be God's best and closest friend, isn't that like...impossible? He's God.”
Jesus died so that we could have a close, intimate relationship with Him. Sin separated us from God but when Jesus died on the cross, He set us free from sin and made us the righteousness of God in Him. We were totally purified and once again restored to have a fun friendship with the Lord! God originally created us to BE with Him!
We are not human doings. We're human BE-ings. God didn't make us so that he could have slaves. He made us so that He could have FRIENDS. He loves people. He loves hanging out with His girls. He wants to laugh, and talk, and show you who He really is.
“The secret of the Lord is with them that fear Him, and He will show them His covenant.” Psalm 25:14
A smart celebrity doesn't share a secret with their fans. They don't even share it with their common acquaintances, or casual buddies. No, a wise person only shares a secret with his best friends, the ones that he trusts. Don't you want to know what God is thinking and feeling? How does He think about this life? What does he desire for your life? He won't be posting it on Twitter! He only shares those things with His best friends.
“I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not to know his master's business. Instead I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from the Father I have made known to you.”
So tell me girl, when is the last time you hung out with your friend Jesus? When is the last time you went to your bedroom, turned off your cell phone, closed the door and said, “Hey Jesus, what's up? Reveal your heart to me. Show me what's on your mind. What do You want to do today? Who do you see when You look at me? How do you want me to partner with you, being a co-heir with Christ, to get out and change the world?”
I think it's time scratch some things off our To-Do list this week and scribble in something new. We need to carve time out of our busy schedules to spend time in the Lord's presence. Friendships without nurture and quality time don't thrive, and most of the time they don't even survive. Our relationship with Jesus cost Him so much. It should be of utmost importance in our lives. Because, in the end, it's the only thing that truly matters.
Let's aim to be God's best friends, instead of fangirls. Let's learn the secrets of His heart. I pray the Lord speak to you and reveal Himself for who He truly is!
Learn To Be Alone Without Being Lonely
“Be still and know that I am God, I will be exalted in the heavens, I will be exalted in the earth.”
-Learning to be still, steady your heart, calm your racing mind, and sit in a quiet room is something many girls never learn to do in life. For many of us, the idea of by ourselves with our computers and cell phones turned off, brings out some of our greatest fears. Who wants to be left alone with our wild thoughts? So many girls don't like themselves and are afraid of what might happen when they're truly alone. Tears may fall, or we might remember things we wish we never did.
But we must remember that with God, we are never truly alone! He is big enough to handle everything that's happening in our hearts and minds. And here's the crazy part- he actually wants us to be alone with Him. He likes us. He thinks we're amazing company. You always have His companionship! Wouldn't you like to take some time and enjoy it?
2) Get To Know Yourself Better
Girl, you're actually really pretty cool! Knowing, and being comfortable with yourself is vital life-skill that is required in order to thrive in any other human relationship. before being successful in any other human relationship. It’s important to learn to be a friend to yourself, before you can effectively be a great friend to others! (“Love others as you love yourself…”) If you don't like who you are, it's time you ask God how He sees you!
3) Change Your Mind = Change Your Life
Spending time with God is amazing. Why? Because Your mind will be renewed and transformed! You will think about yourself and those around you in a positive healthy way. Changing your thoughts, changes your life! Just like the Proverb says, “As a man thinks in his heart, so is he…”
These words are so true.
Also, You will become more honest with yourself. Spending time with God is like looking in a mirror. He is faithful to show you where you’re really at and who you are called to be. You won’t deceive yourself by thinking you’re any worse, or any better then you thought you were! In His light, we see light. Psalm 36:9.
For more information about Renewing Your Mind, find out how God wants to give you a new kind of mental energy!
4) The Fear of the Lord is the Beginning of Wisdom
You will learn to have healthy, inspiring, beautiful relationships with the girls and guys that you know! God can help you understand others just as much as He can help you understand yourself. He can show you how guys think, why girls struggle so much to get along, and how to communicate better with those you love.
God is the best relationship mentor, dating guide, and marriage councilor ever. Because He created the whole concepts of relationships in the first place, He knows what makes them work…and what makes them crash and burn. He is eager to show you how to be successful in your relationships and to find, cultivate, and treasure friendships that glorify Him!
4) So Long Selfishness!
When you're hanging out with God, your mind will spend less time thinking about yourself and more time thinking about others! Who you hang out with is such a powerful influence on who you will become. Spending time with Jesus will make you a more thoughtful, caring, sweet, spectacular person!
5) Fear, Worries and Lies...Time To Say Goodbye
God desires that we have lives filled with joy and peace. He doesn't want us to be mistakable. There are several things that steal our joy and make us feel like we're living in a nightmare. Fear, worries and lies from the enemy rob us of life. When spending time with the King of King's you’ll learn not to worry so much. Learning to trust the One who is in ultimate control, writes every day of your life even before One of them came to be, and promises to work out everything in your life for His glory and for your good…is so refreshing!
You’ll also learn to see fear for what it is (a lie), conquer it, move forward when you’re terrified, try new things, meet new people, become strong and very courageous!
You'll also begin to see what’s happening behind the scenes. You’ll learn to fight against mental strongholds, evil spirits and “every perception that sets itself up against the true knowledge of God.” (AKA, destructive lies.) (2 Corinthians 4-5)
Your mind will be set free from the lies of the enemy. He can speak no truth, and he loves to implant roadside bombs on our dreams.
“When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.” John 8:44.
Knowing the truth will help you see with clear eyes, love and appreciate yourself for who you really are!
6) Step Into Heaven
"So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal." 2 Cor. 4:18
The Bible says that to be carnally minded (or focused on the flesh and this world we live in) is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.
I don't know about you girl, but I want my mind to be fixed on things that bring life and peace! When we spend time with Jesus, thinking about heaven, and asking Him to evade our world, His presence literally brings heaven to earth.
Heaven is where the King of King rules and reigns. The Word says that there is joy and peace in His presence. I want to experience a little bit of heaven on earth!
7) Understand What You've Been Given
Imagine this. Someone gave you a multi-million dollar home to live in, but you choose to daily live in the garage of that home. You don't use the shower, the beds, or the kitchen. You camp out on the hard floors with no bed, because you didn't know that the whole house belonged to you. You've lived in the garage your whole life, therefore you thought it was the only area that belonged to you. Nobody told you that you could be swimming in the pool and using the hot tub!
This is often true with our Christian faith. We don't understand what God has given us through His Son Jesus, therefore we only access a small part of our inheritance. We forget, or are ignorant to the fact that we are co-heirs with Chris (Romans 8:17), and don't unlock all He has given us.
1 Corinthians 2:12 says;
"Now, we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God."
What has He given us? "He that spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, will He not also along with Him graciously give us all things?"
It's time we find out what is ours as His children!
8) God? Is That You? Learn To Hear His Voice!
"I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come.” John 16:12-13
But does God really speak to us?
I for one have never heard God's voice thundering through my bedroom. Yet, I know He speaks to me by guiding my heart, and whispering to my spirit.
Jesus desires to be in communication with His children, He said so in John 16-12-13, "I'm not done talking with you! I have a lot more to say...so I'm going to send the Holy Spirit to speak to your heart. He'll tell you everything you need to know."
A lot of people get confused and frustrated because they feel like God doesn't speak to them, not realizing that His voice is coming from the inside, if the Spirit of Christ lives in you. The Bible makes it clear that no one knows what God is thinking expect for the Spirit of God. But if we have received His Spirit, we have the mind of Christ and hold the thoughts of His heart! (1 Cor 2:16.)
It takes time to learn how to discern when God is leading and guiding you, and how to pursue His paths of truth and righteousness...but He is a very faithful teacher!
9) Gain Quiet Strength
is what the Sovereign LORD, the Holy One of Israel, says: "Only
in returning to me and resting in me will you be saved. In quietness
and confidence is your strength.” Isaiah 30:15
The Bible talks a lot about how much peace and strength there is in sitting quietly before the Lord everyday. I dare you to make a new habit during your quiet time, and just be still for a few moments. Don't pray, don't read the Word, don't think about what needs to be done today...just close your eyes and spend a few blissful moments adoring the Lord and blessing Him in your heart. Think about how wonderful He is, and how amazing He has been in your life.
Let your heart adore Him, and gain strength in that quiet trust.
10) Love Him...Just Because You Can!
The 10th and most important reason to spend time with God is...just because you can.
What a privilege and honor it is to be in the presence of the King! Jesus paid such a high price so that ugly sign could separate us from Him no longer.
We should hang out with God, not because we want benefits or blessings. We need to love the Giver, not the gifts. Let's hang out with Jesus because we want to.
In the same way that we desire to be with our friends, let's cultivate that desire and hunger for being with God. He wants more then anything, just to be with you.
He sacrificed everything so that He could BE with you!
What will you give up to spend time with Him? A few extra hours of sleep? Computer time? Dates, parties or extra afterschool activities? We can't keep our relationship with the King on the back burner. If we are truly His disciples and His children, we will make the effort to sacrifice in order to be with the One we love!