Ever wonder what God might have to say to YOU today? Here are things to ponder, and things to receive into your heart. If you have a question, put it in the comments. I respond as much as I can.

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Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Life WITH God.

I  assume that  many who read this blog, or watch the videos, are Christian. So today I'm writing directly to you, but indirectly to anyone who wants to seek God and have His presence fill their lives from day to day.
Christians don't all have a "Life with God." Every Christian CAN, of course, but not all do. The question is "Why?" Of course, the first question is, "What is that "life with God" that you're writing about?" and the answer is that it's the life you were intended to have by the Almighty, in full and constant communication with Him at all times--but something has gone wrong. A life with God can be defined as one in which God is always consciously present in our spirits, and where He is able to communicate with us as He desires (He IS always present, but sometimes we miss Him, and sometimes badly.). In other words, from our side, "we have our ears on," and we are ready to hear what He has to say and follow the directions He has to give.

Here are some thoughts on the "how" of gaining and maintaining communication with the Father, through His Son, Jesus Christ:

  1. The Problem: We may not actually want to hear what He has to say. Lots of things hurt our ability to communicate with Him: guilt, fear, anger, envy, sexual desire, unrequited love, greed, and so forth. When these things, or any of them, rule our lives, they are like terrible smells that prevent us from smelling the roses in our gardens. In the same way, God's Spirit is always seeking to communicate with us, but if our attention is elsewhere (that cool guy, that pretty girl, how much money), we don't hear. His voice is muted. Of course, it's good to want someone in your life, and you have to have money, but I'm talking about focus at this point. Sometimes we have only one thing in focus in our lives, and we miss everything else (which is why Jesus said, "You cannot serve God and Money," Matt. 6:24). However, here's the way to prevent messing up the life we can have life with Him, and still enjoy the good things in the world around us--our temporal life:
  2. Don't make this thing you want an idol. You may love him or her, you may want that job, that car, that vacation, but you have to allow your desire to be subject to your desire for God and His will ("Delight yourself in the LORD, and HE will give you the desires of your heart"--Ps. 37:4). It's not the easiest thing, but you can do it, and the way is to maintain communication with Him. Of course, there's the added benefit: Putting Him first (delighting in Him) gets you more of what you want than making the "thing" your goal. How to do this? On your side, it's two things: Let Him be first, and listen to Him. That's not always easy, especially if there is something you really want, or you feel overwhelming guilt over some issue in your life. However, you can do it, if you practice. Here's the thing. The spiritual life IS mostly practice. It involves paying attention to the truly important, and minimizing your attention on the less important. What's important? First, the things that are forever. That's MOST important. Then, things that last a lifetime. That's second. Finally, the stuff that changes.
  3. Most of us invert the order above--we pay attention to the stuff that matters least, and focus on those things, rather than paying attention to the most important things and focusing on them. The only thing it takes to change this is refocusing once you find that your focus has changed, and the MOST important takes a back seat. I have a couple tools to help you with that:
  4. First off, read your Bible. You will get God's perspective on life, the world, yourself, your spouse, girlfriend, children, money, your job, everything. Note that I did NOT say "go to church." You should, but the most important thing in your life is to allow God to speak to you personally. He does that through both His Word (the Bible) and His Spirit, but when you read you can consciously eliminate your focus on all else and pay attention to Him alone. He speaks to us through His Spirit, but there are lots of deceiving influences around, and the Bible puts our minds right--it "fixes us," so to speak. Of course, you have to be listening to get anything out of it, so listen.
  5. Next, listen for the promptings of His Spirit. I can't tell you exactly how this works, and after over a half century as a Christian, I can tell you that I don't do it as well as I should, but listening to Him and doing what He says will benefit you more in the long run than anything else you do. Of course, you shouldn't exclude the Bible from your listening times, because sometimes God seems to speak directly to us through His Word. Other times, we are gathering information and help for the future.
  6. Most times, prayer helps as much as anything. Many times I awaken at night, exercised about something(s), and I pray until I fall back asleep. God has sustained me and answered me many times this way. You ought always to be close enough to God to pray about anything He lays on your heart (speaks to you about), and respond to Him when He speaks further
The single most important thing I can say about these 6 things is PRACTICE. Practice makes possible things you thought you could never do--and one of the main ones is to be a truly spiritual person in the world we live in, difficult as it is. 
You can do it. You will not fail, if only you apply yourself and practice.

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