“What if we would search for God the same way He searches for us?” –Gabriel Contreras
During my devotion time this evening, the Holy Spirit took me to Jeremiah 29. I began to casually read the chapter, until verses 13 and 14. As we know, the most spoken about verse in Jeremiah 29 is verse 11. However, these particular verses grabbed my attention in a way it never has. “When you come looking for me, you’ll find me. Yes, when you get serious about finding me and want it more than anything else, I’ll make sure you won’t be disappointed.” (Jeremiah 29:13-14 MSG) It is easy to become immediately drawn to verse 11, “’For I know what I have planned for you,’ says the Lord. ‘I have plans to prosper you, not to harm you. I have plans to give you a future filled with hope.’” Although it is true that we have a great future in Christ, it is important that we continually seek after God.
Relationships are essentially beautiful because of the consensual efforts put in on BOTH parts. Patience and balance are key factors in any relationship. Oftentimes as Christians, we desire a deeper relationship with the Heavenly Father, but lack patience and balance. In some cases, we don’t really want a true relationship with God. We either want a selfish ambitious dream to come to pass because of insecurity, or we need God to rescue us from a situation we put ourselves in. Unfortunately, sometimes both scenarios apply. Don’t let insecurity or trouble allow you to compartmentalize Christ.
God hates being put in a box. In fact, he hated it so much that he destroyed the temple and began to live inside of us. When God is put in a box, He is restricted to show forth his great love. So why do we put Him in a box daily? Why do we only open it up when we need Him or want Him to fulfill a selfish desire? God wants a relationship with his children not just a religious visitation every so often. If you say to yourself, “I will pray or read my bible after my favorite TV show,” you need to throw away the box. On the flipside, if you say, “I will pray seven times a day, every day,” you also need to throw away the box.God does not want you to be so religious that spending time with Him becomes a ritual and not a sincere effort. At the same time, He doesn’t want to be pushed to the side either. It will take both balance and patience to receive that next level relationship with the Lord.
So how do we throw away the box? My Pastor preached a sermon this past Sunday, and three main points from the sermon apply to today’s post. These three principles will help bring you success to a more intimate relationship with Christ:
1. Sanctify- Set aside devoted time with God. Balance is essential in sanctifying your day correctly.
2. Sing- Get into the presence of the Lord by praising and worshipping Him. This is where patience is integrated because true worship takes time.
3. Study- Get in the Word of God for yourself! Go over sermon notes from your Pastor or Bishop. It is instruction from the Lord. Ask the Holy Spirit to led you and open your ears. This will bring the words on the pages to life.
Furthermore, it will take SERIOUS EFFORT if you no longer want to put God in a box. How much deeper can your relationship with Christ be if you truly went after Him with your whole heart? We see in the natural that relationships take both patience and balance. These same principles apply spiritually. Also remember, the plans God has for you WILL come to pass. As we see in Isaiah 55:11, “So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.” (KJV) But we must apply Jeremiah 29:13-14 to our lives as well. God will never disappoint us, so we have to seek God like he seeks after us. Ultimately, all God desires is a relationship with us anyway. So throw away that box you put Him in! Allow Him to freely fill the air you breathe. Evaluate your day by asking yourself questions like, “Am I truly seeking God with my whole heart today? Have I truly been sanctifying, singing, and studying today? How bad do I really want God? Do I want God more than anything else right now?” These are secrets to a successful, growing relationship with the Lord. It’s up to you now… Throw away that box and get serious about your relationship with Christ!