Deepening Your Relationship With The Lord - Part 4

Pass Through The Valley Of The Shadow Of Death Press On. If You Lose Your Life You Will FIND IT!

Our goal is to entice each of you into a deeper and richer relationship with the Lord - and remove any potential obstacles. I'd love to hear from others.


I'm going to deal with two things at once in this blog:
1. I don't have time
2. I get tired and (truth be told) it bores me


The first is easy. The time is FREE! It's like fishing. The time you take to fish gets tacked on at the end of your life since you won't die as soon. Also, as with exercise, you sleep so much better that you get your time back that way. And instead of chasing mirages that never satisfy (I used to waste TONS of time trying to relax), you feel very SATISFIED. You eat less. You need less. You HAVE MORE - MUCH more.


When you're insanely happy you just don't need anything from the things that compete with "the love of your life" for your attention. Love calls and you come running.


It is the key to happiness. It is a dream come true.


That pretty well deals with the boredom thing, too. But we'll get to that in some practical ways in future blogs. So don't be impatient with me, please.


But does God even care if you're enjoying worship? Is it really even ABOUT YOU?


Let's be blunt. IT IS! The GREAT ETERNAL LOVER didn't suffer and die to win his Bride so that she'd have to be dragged into the bridal chamber by duty. That is the ultimate insult, is it not?


That's why God told the people, in Isaiah, that he was sick of their worship. Their motives had nothing to do with any love for God.


Our pastor taught us to be careful lest we say, "I didn't get anything out of worship today"


He said, "Maybe you weren't SUPPOSED to. It's not about YOU!"
Very true.
Worship, by definition, is adoration for someone besides yourself.


So does our Lord want us to enjoy worshipping Him or not?


I say this, "If you're not enjoying worshipping HIM, then He's not enjoying it either." And I really want to EMPHASIZE that!


Let me explain from my actual experience. Remember, you don't have to mimic what I do. I just want to give a real world example that is totally honest.


There are examples of me being tired, worn out, emotionally dry, or even having a bad attitude:


1. Maybe I watched an educational movie or wrote a CHRISTIANBLOG article (like right now). So it's LATE - maybe very late. Perhaps it's 2am and I must work tomorrow. Still I put on the praise worship and give Him at least 10 or 15 minutes. Sometimes it will go into an hour or more.


Like many things, a behavior that dispels stress can become very enjoyable ONCE YOU BEGIN.


I'll be honest. I feel OCD lunacy closing in on me very hard if I leave stress hanging around unresolved. I don't have time to waste being an idiot. And, like I said, sleep is better and I get much or all of my time back in restful sleep.


Worship has blasted most temptation right out of my life. That freedom is worth more than I can express.


2. Repetition (every single night), weariness, or just your mind demanding control can create a negative attitude. I blow that off. It's not real. I know what causes it so I ignore it. I'm crazy about my Lord.


3. Did any of you used to party all night? Whatever we used to do to our bodies for shallow dumbness - my love for God drives me to get crazy for HIM now. The tiredness I may have the next day is what I call a "sweet hangover". No regrets!


4. Quiet worshipful music which lends itself to a dance that is half waltz and half ballet is my favorite. No matter how stressed or tired I am - I feel lifted into Paradise. But I've been directed to lively stuff - intense music by Jeremy Camp, Jesus Culture and others. I've no strenght for that - yet I soon find myself spinning like a dervish, leaping in exultation - whatever - even though that's not me (usually). I feel HIS joy - HIS pleasure. The fact that I'm pulled out of my comfort zone pleases both of us.


5. Now to get a little deeper. The most precious part of love and relationship is found in the song, "Living Flame Of Love" by John Michael Talbot.


"Oh Living Flame Of Love
Tenderly wound my soul
To it's deepest inner part
without oppression"


This might lead me to burst forth with thoughts like, "I want to ADORE you. If I die in the process - GOOD!" In one sense I mean getting out of my comfort zone - as we've been discussing. Or it could mean, "Well, at least I'll die happy!"


So both are true at once - as we have seen so often before - though they are completely opposite. The greatest joys are only found in the context of absolute rejection of one's OWN joy - just to LOVE HIM!

What Do You See When You Look Closely?

Our Identity As The Bride Of Christ Takes Form As We Worship Him Through The Storms Of Life


You see, you just really CANNOT "out love" God! The more you sacrifice yourself and forsake your own life, the richer your experience of Spiritual Paradise here on earth - and the greater and richer reward you will have in all ETERNITY.


Our eternal reward will be greater than others who show Him less Love and Adoration???


You increase your CAPACITY to EXPERIENCE Him in Eternity. His Love will flow through you. But will your capacity only allow a rivulet - or will you be able to experience Him like a mighty waterfall?


I know. He's ALWAYS like a Mighty Waterfall. But I think you get what I'm saying.
So, NO, you CANNOT OUTLOVE GOD!


One last thought. The majority of the time the sacrifice is tiny and the reward is immediate and overwhelming. Don't let me pretend that I'm doing great things for God. He does great things FOR ME! He is FOREVER insisting on washing my feet and refreshing me - though my tears have often washed His.

FIND HIM! Even in the darkest night of your soul.

If you SEEK Him, you will FIND Him - and the very DESIRE OF YOUR HEAR!

@watchmanjohn
John Knox @watchmanjohn ·

Very thought provoking, raising many questions in my mind to ponder under God - thanks for a stimulating blog along with your amazing lay out.

wmj

@enje25
Barbra Lambert @enje25 ·

[quote]FIND HIM! Even in the darkest night of your soul.[/quote]
I wonder if "in the darkest' night of our souls is key -- at times -- to helping us locate "any potential obstacles." Because when things are going well, we tend to not see, or willfully ignore these potentials; hence our falling in to their traps. But the dark areas of suffering have ways of making us aware of these potentials and take more seriously the "need" to conform to His likeness. ...Would you agree?...

Thank you for this informative content, content like always before that is presented with great love.

Stunning imagery, I second wmj's comment!

God bless you always!

@peoplepower
Kip Petzold @peoplepower ·

I really liked the image where you have to look close to see the "bride" in the image. It was a nice fit.

My wife and several friends are very artistic. So I'm hoping to use more and more of their work.

@peoplepower
Kip Petzold @peoplepower ·

I really liked the image where you have to look close to see the "bride" in the image. It was a nice fit.

My wife and several friends are very artistic. So I'm hoping to use more and more of their work so I can have the exact image I want.

Do not include honorifics.

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