Saturday, January 1, 2011

Ask Yourself This Question This Year

Do you have God’s heart?

If you claim to be a Christian, this is really a question to ask yourself every day.

I would suggest that you ask it every morning. If you’ve gone through your day and then you’re asking yourself if you’ve had God’s heart that day, it’s more likely that you didn’t. Start off your day committing it to the Lord and chances are that you will have God’s heart throughout the rest of the day. This is the first thing I wanted to urge you to do.

Do you make The Resolutions every new year’s day? Do you make them in a joking manner because you know you won’t succeed in them?

The first resolution I ever made was a few years ago. From around October/ November of 2007, I felt a strong urge from the Holy Spirit; I sensed that God was preparing me for something major. January 1st, 2008, my LIFE resolution was to follow God his way, meaning that I would constantly practice obedience to him, that I would seek to do things his way and not my way, not my desires. It was a resolution to love God as he deserves. I made it on January 1st because it was came up and because I definitely didn’t want to forget this date!

The second thing that I want to say to encourage you in your walk with God is that God will reward your commitment to him. How do I know this? Because he has rewarded my commitment to him which began three years ago. Life has been tougher and greater and more heartbreaking yet more heart-enlarging than ever and I could never have imagined it would be so amazing! God has come through on every one of his promises: of never leaving me, of always forgiving me when I return to him, of bringing comfort and peace and joy, of providing what or who I would need in my time of need, and more. He doesn’t promise ease, he doesn’t promise popularity, he doesn’t promise green lights all the way, but what he does promise is so much better than anything of the desires of this world.

How do you get a hold of God’s heart? By truly loving him. What does that look like? Obedience. How can you know what or how to obey? By reading his word, the Bible and praying constantly.

The importance of committing to reading the Bible and constant praying is something that I began to truly learn back in January of 2008. I had already known that I should do such things, but I wasn’t practicing it. I would read the Bible here and there, I prayed a lot for whatever, but I hadn’t committed to immersing myself into the Bible and I didn’t know what I ought to pray for or why. And one will only discover the whys of reading the Bible and constant prayer by doing them; this is the third thing I wanted to say.

You may be wondering why I didn’t simply ask if you love God. Why did I ask if you have God’s heart? I’m not sure I can explain my reason well enough but I will try.

It’s easy to say that I love God. It’s easy to believe that I love God. It’s easy to appear to others like I love God. It isn’t always easy to know truly and deeply if I actually love God. It’s a whole other thing.

I’ve attended church since I was about 2. I accepted Christ as my savior in 1992. In 2008, Christ became my LORD. Doing the hard work of walking with Christ as my Lord, learning and doing the disciplines of Bible reading and praying, I have come to find that the good that I do I have done because God has shown me his heart for people. It’s one thing to do good deeds in order to look good, in order to receive praise from people, in order that my reputation grows. It’s another and better thing to do good in obedience to God, in order that his reputation grows in the eyes of others, in order that the praise goes to deserving one [Col. 3:17].

What I’m saying is that if you have God’s heart, you will know that you love God because you receive his heart only through genuinely loving him.

1] Commit yourself to God in the morning and watch how your day unfolds when you go through it in awareness of the Lord.

2] When you do so, you will be rewarded; you cannot lose. [Caution: you probably won’t be rewarded right away or in a manner which you expect to be rewarded, but it comes. This is simply to say that God follows through on his promises]

3] Commit yourself to studying the Bible [Dt. 1-3; Col. 3: 16; Heb. 4: 12] and to constant prayer [2Th 5:16-18; Ja. 5:13-16].

Here’s to an amazing 2011 with God! Trust me, it’s better with him than without him. Praying that when 2012 comes around, you’ll understand what I was saying here!