“Direct your heart to the Lord and serve him only.” – 1 Samuel 7:3
If you have made a commitment to follow God, you know you don’t do it perfectly, right? He doesn’t talk out loud to us. His Book can be hard to understand. We pray and believe, but sometimes we don’t know if he hears. We want to love others as ourselves, but know we don’t do that as well as we should.
When I was gettingdiscouraged about these things recently, God placed this question in my mind: “Where is your heart?” That was easy to answer. My heart is with God. I love him. I want to serve him. You know what I then “heard” in my head? “That’s all I need.” Really? All I have to do is direct my heart toward him and he’s happy with that? Yes. Because if he has my heart, he can work with me, steer me, grow me, use me.
“Where is your heart?” has become an encouraging question for me. Answering that a few times a day might be helpful for you, too. If our hearts are directed with sincerity toward God, we will find ourselves making decisions (time use, possessions, spending, sharing) based on our knowledge that we really do love God. That reassurance helps to guide our choices. We have to focus on only one thing – where is my heart? Our actions will follow as naturally as water flows toward the sea.
“Let a man set his heart only on doing the will of God and he is instantly free. If we understand our first and sole duty to consist of loving God supremely and loving everyone, even our enemies, for God’s dear sake, then we can enjoy spiritual tranquility under every circumstance.” – A. W. Tozer
As we relate one-on-one to God, we learn things: how much he loves us, how deeply he teaches us, and how desperately we need to rely on him. We find the Bible coming alive as we read, – correcting, encouraging, directing. We gain so much by living in close connection with our Creator! But do you know how much he wants that connection, too?
God desires relationship with us as much as we do with him. Probably more. Think about Abraham, a mere human, called by God to leave the familiar and go into the unknown. James says Abraham was a “friend of God.” Or Moses, who was not a perfect man, yet we are told God communicated with him face-to-face. Then there were the disciples who lived in close proximity to Jesus for months. On the night he was arrested, Jesus said to them. “I no longer call you servants . . . Instead, I have called you friends , , , ” (from John 15:15).
Why would God want to be a friend to humans? I don’t know, but story after story in the Bible tells us it’s true. And the better we get to know him, the more we believe it. As I was beginning to understand how important our closeness was to both of us, God whispered “That’s something many of my children don’t know.”
Do you know? God loves having your attention. Relationship with him is what you were made for. He wants to be your Savior, your Lord, and your friend. I think he wanted me to tell you that today.
“Let’s dare to enter into an intimate relationship with God without fear, trusting that we will receive love and always more love.” – Henri Nouwen
“At the sight of God’s majesty, calmness and well-being should fill your spirit.” -Francois de Fenelon
“Be still and know that I am God.” (Psalm 46:10)
Have you ever tried being still? It’s hard to do! When I was talking to God about that one day, it felt like He was telling me that I was going at it backwards: I was trying to be still so I could know Him. He wants me to know Him so I can be still.
“When you know that I am God, you will be still.
Behold Me. Look at Me. See Me for who I am.
You will find I am much, infinitely much, bigger than finances, accidents, cancer, relationships with toxic people, or any other problem you face.
I am God. Just stop for a few minutes and think about who I am. Being still is the only possible response to My glory.”
It seems that the secret of being still in God’s presence is beginning to understand who He really is. When we stop to view Him with amazement and wonder; when we accept the mystery of what we do not know of Him; and when we begin to glimpse His holiness, power, and love, the issues of our lives fade away and awed stillness is our only possible reaction.
Try changing your focus from your restlessness to God’s greatness and see what happens. It helps me a lot!
“Collect yourself in His presence with the one purpose and intent of loving Him.” – Michael Molinos