Going the Distance When Life is Tough …

Each of us as believers will have a common struggle at some point in our faith journey, and that is truly accepting that God loves us deeply and eternally.

Remember Satan is quite crafty at his tactics — that is why we call him the enemy.  He will allow us to go to church and be involved in the things that make us feel that we belong to the body of Christ, but his greatest attack is waged against us when we are feeling the press of God to go deeper in Christ and develop a level of intimacy that will allow us to go the distance when life is the most trying.

Think on Matt 6:33 where Jesus says that if we seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, then all these “things” will be added.  He is actually referring to our basic needs in this life.  The important point here is that in reality, until we have developed intimacy to truly know God, it is quite difficult to believe that everything God is doing in our lives is for our good.

Our natural heart must first be satisfied by God’s love before we have what we need to give of ourselves to a spouse, friend, mission etc. The reason is because until we learn to accept and believe that God’s love for us is real and true the little child within, complete with all of his/her leftover childhood needs, comes out crying to be placated. This can create incredible stress in our lives and relationships.

The way to know God’s love intimately and deeply is to spend time everyday in His presence. This can be with your Bible, a journal, an inspirational book or devotional or just resting in a favorite spot with coffee or tea.  In this time, we simply ask God to meet us here. No agendas except to get to know Him and ourselves better.

Relationships, career, parenting, and wholehearted living  requires a lot of work and this discipline is the best readiness that I know to prepare us for listening, loving, supporting and encouraging a spouse or significant relationship, child, friend, co-worker or one who is seeking to know God. This time will also help us overcome any loneliness we may feel.

When the Holy Spirit is our regular and constant Guide, we are able to look at our circumstances as a step in God’s purpose for us, coming to a deeper trust that He will work all things together for our good. Just as any success or achievement we’ve experienced didn’t happen overnight and required preparation, God knows exactly what we need and He allows for adequate time in this process.  Each lesson God brings benefits us in many dimensions and as He reveals His plans and purposes we need to be able to recognize that He is always working for our best.

Prayer and personal time with God provide a higher alert status that He is present and active in our day-to-day lives and in each encounter and every decision.  He uses this opportunity to smooth down the rough edges in our lives and then replaces them with the ability to surrender our heart at deeper levels and a desire to pray His will over our own.

His will is ALWAYS best, regardless of what it feels like. This is an important truth to grasp. He only asks that we invite Him to give us the “more” of the abundant life that He purchased for us.  He will lead as we go. His Word and guidelines are out of a heart of love for us to learn to accept His ways and avoid the enemy’s darts.

The next important step is to cultivate significant relationships with friends where we can be ourselves and be loved and accepted.  We can ask Him to help us find those with whom we need to be connected.  It is amazing how sweet life can be, when we invite God to enter into even the smallest of choices.

With God’s presence it’s like taking our lives off of battery power and plugging into His direct current =)

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