The Presence ended up being really good. It was very encouraging along the lines of learning to trust when God is speaking to you. The main character has a tremendous amount of faith and trust in God. Good book :)
Experiencing God is going really well..am thoroughly enjoying. It does require quite a bit of time each day and so that seems to be taking up what little free time I have had for things like reading, getting online, or just watching tv. Which isn't a bad thing :)
There are so many things through this book that are not new, but are said in a way that it makes sense. The theme over and over is that there is no method or formula to make you a good Christian--it's all about a relationship with God. And the point is not to become a "good" person or Christian, but to enter into a relationship with God. To learn how to love Him. And then ultimately to learn how to see where He is at work around you and adjust your life to become part of it. That is so different then asking God to bless our plans or to "help" us out. It's not about us, and while we agree with that statement, how often do we go ahead and continue to make it about us? What is God doing in MY life? What does He want ME to do? We get so busy doing and pleasing God (which is important) that we forget about the relationship. There is a statement in the book that says, "You cannot bypass the relationship." I'm so guilty of doing that. I like to be busy, I like to do all kinds of things and I think that I'm doing them because I love God and I want to serve Him. But I think that if I was really honest with myself, I do them because I want to be a good person and a great Christian and I want to feel good about myself. It's not because I love God.
There was another place in the book where a church member was asked by the pastor, "Can you describe your relationship with God by sincerely saying, 'I love You with all of my heart?'"
The strangest look came over his face. He said "Nobody has ever asked me that. No, I could not describe my relationship with God that way. I could say I obey Him, I serve Him, I worship Him, and I fear Him. But I cannot say that I love Him."
That hit me upside the head yesterday because I realized that if I was truly honest, I would have to say the same thing. I would add that I respect, honor, and appreciate God. But love, I'm not so sure. To be really honest..I don't think that I know Him well enough to honestly say that. I kind of liken it unto great speakers and/or authors I have heard or read. I know a lot about them, I've seen how they develop their speeches or their stories, I'm "wowed" by them, but I haven't entered a personal relationship with them. And sometimes I wonder about my relationship with God. I say I love God, but do I spend time with him? I know I judge how a person feels about me by the amount of time they spend with me. Especially in my marriage. If Josh spent as much time with me as I do with God, our marriage would be in BIG trouble. And I think before I always thought of spending time with God as one of the things you do to make you a good Christian. And while I know I knew in the back of my head that really it's to develop a relationship with God, I didn't live that way. So this study has been really good for me to really fall in love with God. Not just to serve, worship, obey, fear, respect, and appreciate--but to LOVE GOD! It's been awesome and I find myself looking forward to the time I get to spend in the study and the time I spend afterwards just "being" with God.
THOUGHT FOR TODAY
Do you love God? OR do you just obey and serve Him etc.? Take some time to fall in love with God again, or for the first time! Don't forget to Sound off and tell me about it!