Finding God, Losing People

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       As we grow closer to God we not only grow away from the things of this world we also create a distance from other believers who’s walk is different from ours. It might be that God’s timing or direction for them differs from ours. It is important to support those around us while still seeking our own growth in God through His Spirit. There will be times where people will be unable to support your steps and upward calling. That can be to your advantage in many cases. God guides your steps, lights your path, and is the source of your calling. Your first resource for growth in your spiritual walk should always be the Spirit God has sent to dwell in you. The Holy Spirit should always be the source of your conviction and truth. Allowing the Spirit to be your filter as you seek God through His Word and through Spirit driven sermons means you can receive what the Lord has for you specifically. The living Word of God can speak to you a different way each time you seek guidance through its pages. Allowing the Holy Spirit, which dictated every word, to speak to you with scripture means you can get exactly what you need in your time with the Lord.
        There are times when we look around and realize that our walk with God has brought us to a place of unique experience with Him. He speaks to us and grows us in ways that are specific to how He made us. There will not always be someone to share that moment with. It is those times we can take our love and gratitude directly to God, our Source. We can use those moments of revelation to worship and praise Him.
Seeking fellow believers to walk with is God’s desire, but we cannot rely on human counsel as our primary source of revelation and growth. People are fallible where God is not. He designed you and seeks to mature you in His way at His pace. Your growth will drive the right people closer to you and some people away from you. Some of the people who were closest to you in your worldly life will be the furthest from you as your spirit matures. Let God bring people into your life that will develop you through His Spirit. Seek God first and let the Spirit be your counsel.
       We are each uniquely design as part of the body of Christ (the Church). He created us and now grows us in different ways to strengthen His Church. Allow God to grow gifts in you that you can bring to grow His Kingdom here on earth. Don’t let people pull you from God’s unique design for you. Make God first and let His light shine forth from you to serve Him and His purpose for your life.

Put the Creator before His creation

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     The world is focused on what they can see and touch. People who don’t have a correct view of God fail to realize that the things we cannot see are much more important and just as real to us if become aware them. The things we see will fade and turn to dust in time. The things we cannot see are the eternal things that have no end. They are also the only things that can bring real fulfillment to the empty places in our lives. People who focus on the things of this world are empty even when they accomplish what they set out to achieve. This is clear because they are always looking to seek even more, they lack the satisfaction we all desire. What they fail to realize is that fulfillment is only found in God and His work which we can only see when we look to Him. He placed an emptiness in us that can only be filled by Him. He desires that all of His chosen look to Him. This is clear in scripture when He calls His people to follow no other god or idol. for you shall worship no other god, for the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God (Exodus 34:14) God want the recognition from His people. He wants the unconditional love He gives as part of His very essence to be returned in the form of worship and obedience. God wants all glory and praise to be focused on Him alone. I am the Lord; that is my name; my glory I give to no other, nor my praise to carved idols. (Isaiah 42:8)

     The bible uses the concept of money to convey this to us. As we look to scripture I want us to take the word money and allow it to be replaced with whatever other part of creation might fit that place. Anything that gets in the way of you serving God as your only master fits this criteria. It represents anything you seek that might draw you away from your purpose in God. He designed you for a specific purpose. When you seek things other than what God has for you draw your attention away from a calling that will exceed anything you could ever imagine. Refuse to follow God’s creation over God the Creator. Let your Lord lead you in the things that are eternal and come with an everlasting joy and peace. No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money. (Matthew 6:24) Don’t fall victim to the pain and hardship that is inevitable when you seek the lesser things of this world. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs. (1 Timothy 6:10) Let all of your hopes and faith fall upon your Father, the Creator of this universe. Submit your life to God as He leads all things to serve His will. Let your desires be His desires and your will align with His. Only then can your life fall into alignment with the things that we cannot see, the things that are eternal, the things God will bless us with. When God is truly the one we worship, every other part of life can take its rightful place.

Ask and it Will be Given (4 of 5)

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Knowledge

Actions (Ask-Seek-Knock)

The other half of seeking God is knowledge that can lead to wisdom. God puts questions on our heart that spur us to deeper knowledge of Him, His Word, and His Will. We must always hunger to know what the Sustainer of the universe has for us. We must allow that curiosity to drive us to seek God. Our first action is allowing the questions of our heart to drive us to learn about, not to doubt, God. Seeking the answers of God drives us closer to Him as our Heavenly Father. We must spend time with God in prayer, time with God in His word (the Bible), and time with God living out our faith. We must always seek to go deeper and never be satisfied with what is around us. We will miss the unique relationship God desires with us and the plan He has for us. Knocking indicates repetition. We ask questions to determine God’s will, we seek to find His face and learn about Him, and we do this Daily. As His mercy is renewed daily, so should our hunger and thirst to stay close by His side. Close enough to hear His whisper to our hearts, close enough to receive His provision and light. A heart seeking God repels sin and temptation as it is filled with God’s Spirit and Love. 

Ask and it will be given (3 of 5)

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Prayer

Reciprocations (Receive-Find-Enter)

Many know that part of prayer is receiving the provision of God. Many have an unrealistic expectation of what that looks like. Receiving an answer to prayer involves an overlooked aspect of prayer: silence. We should spend the same amount of time and energy listening as we do speaking to God. God communicates in whispers to your heart. You must allow for God to reciprocate in your prayerful conversations with Him. Finding is a process of understanding God’s answer. People get lost as they look for God to answer them according to their expectation. The answer flies by as they look for their ideal, as opposed to being open, in submission, to the provision of God that surpasses their imagination. The process of finding also allows God to redirect our path by using His provision as a guiding light. Allow God’s provision to lead your heart into deeper communication and better understanding of His desire for you. You are now led to the opportunity to enter into God’s kingdom. Not Heaven yet, I mean to take your place in His kingdom where you can be used to show His light to this world. Through persistence and perseverance God will develop you to receive His provision and be directed to the place in His kingdom design specifically for, and available only to, your submissive heart.

Ask and it will be given (2 of 5)

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Prayer

Actions (Ask-Seek-Knock)

As believers mature in their prayer life they begin to discover the purpose of prayer. God knows what we need but wants us to ask as we submit to His will and admit our dependence on Him. God waits to give to us what we humbly ask Him to provide. Our first action, as desired by God is to simply ask. We are next asked to seek. This action is meant for the believer to look for the opportunity to see and experience answered prayer. The important thing to remember is that God answers prayers the way we need them, not the way we want or expect them. An important criteria for seeking God’s answer is an open heart and mind. This is possible through the same submission with which we initially asked. Then we must knock. Knocking signifies a persistence and an expectation. We must pray consistently in submission as we wait for God’s answer, in God’s time. We must also wait in humble, faithful expectation. Any prayer in submission to God’s will and for His glory will be answered. Continue to knock as He develops you in perseverance to receive His provision for you.

Ask and it Will be Given (1 of 5)

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(Matthew 7:7-8) Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened.

This passage has six main components that send us a message on the structure of prayer and knowledge as desired by God. We have: Ask – Receive – Seek – Find – Knock – Enter. When we look at this, we see three actions and three reciprocations. We are meant to Ask, Seek and Knock, then through God’s desire and will we are allowed to Receive, Find and Enter into His truth. These actions and reciprocations are applicable to everything in our walk with Christ. I want to narrow it down and focus on two: Prayer and Knowledge. Prayer is our communication with God. Prayer is our response to God. Knowledge is a basis for wisdom and a necessary step in understanding God’s character and desire for His chosen. Both prayer and knowledge are examples of us seeking God’s face and giving God the glory He desires. Let’s break these two topics down one step further into Actions and Reciprocations. Let’s look at God’s desire for us and recognize it.  We know it is the best way.

Instead of God’s Kingdom (Intro/1)

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Mark 10:21-23

21 And Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, “You lack one thing: go, sell all that you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” 22 Disheartened by the saying, he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions. 23 And Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, “How difficult it will be for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God!”

 

                As a follower of Jesus there is a decision to be made. Do we seek earthly rewards and pleasure or the abundance that awaits in heaven? This question pertains to many things: 1) possessions, 2) status, 3) recognition, 4) affection, 5) acceptance, 6) control and 7) longevity. This list is limited but should suffice in awakening the senses to the other ways people seek this world over eternity in paradise.

Possessions/Wealth

In order to build up great wealth it must become a focus in your life. When so much attention is being paid to earthly possessions there is little left for the heavenly wealth you are meant to build up in the service of God. When you’ve set your eyes on the creation of man you cannot focus on the one who created everything. Following in the steps of Christ requires believers to become selfless and to take care of the less fortunate with the blessings God has given. We are meant to share the blessings of God with others so that they can see the provision of God, especially those that go beyond monetary gain. Giving back is a form of worship. Praise God for His blessings to you by helping those lost in the dark. (Ecclesiastes 5:10) He who loves money will not be satisfied with money, nor he who loves wealth with his income; this also is vanity.

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