Reading Cat's blog just now reminded me of something that seems to be hitting home a lot lately; and that is, 'why do I not want to dedicate time to chill with God at times?'. Sometimes I seem so on fire for God, oozing his praise from every pore, and other times I get distracted by the merest thing & find myself making excuses not to spend time with him!
But that's totally crazy! We're talking about the God of the universe, eternal God, sovereign ruler, loving saviour, mighty victor; and the greatest friend I could ever hope for. And so this gets me thinking: what are the reasons and contributing factors to this lack of passion after God? Why is the passion there one minute, and not there the next?
Yet, I've already said it - getting distracted. The enemy's main aim in my life, I know, is to distract me from the guidance of God & to lead my thoughts down other avenues - sinful ones. And my thinking that it's not something I might label as 'a sin' is althemore dangerous! What is this? It's me trusting in my own understanding of events & my thinking; not trusting God for the discernment I desperately need to be able to know God's will from the enemy's temptations.
So back to the original question, 'why do I not want to dedicate time to chill with God at times?' When the enemy tries to redirect your thoughts from God & off onto something else, have you ever noticed that it always seems to be an enticing idea? It's never a case of just 'you could do this instead'. It's always that much more alluring or enticing, 'what about doing that - you know you like that, it makes you feel happy & feel good'.
Why do I seem to want the enemy's temptation over my soul's nurturing? Because often the desires of my mind have the frightening ability to over-rule the deep cry of my heart. But hang on a minute. That's sin. And in Christ, I'm free'd from sin. So why am I still wanting to do this? Because sin is all we knew before we knew Christ - we felt safe in it - it was well-known ground. To take Christ's hand each day and walk with him into sometimes unknown territory is a step we must make each and every day if we're wanting to go deeper into the faith & life of glory that he's called us to. So what can we do? The writer of Colossians puts it simply:
'Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature...'
-- Colossians 3v5 --
And how to put these things in our nature to death? Not in my strength, I know. Because each time I try that tack, I just fall right on my face, closely followed by the enemy going 'Hah!' at me. No, it has to be in God's strength alone, because above and beyond the power of sinful desire in your mind stands God's power & passion after his glory in your life. And that means the power to renew your mind! The writer of Romans calls to the reading believers:
'Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.'
-- Romans 12v2 --
Hang on, that said 'God's will - his good, pleasing and perfect will.' Yes, it did. Read it again. God's will is not boring, irrelevant or anything else the enemy may try to convince you of. It is powerful, awesome, and an immense priviledge to be part of. Don't let him convince you otherwise. I find he tries each & every day. For you maybe less so, but his aim is always the same - draw your trust and focus from God, place it in something else & then to let you founder when you wonder why your passion's gone.
God's spirit will transform your mind as you ask him, but I find more and more that there are practical steps we need to make to aid this! It's never a case of 'step back & let the spirit move' - no. That's laziness & arrogance to think we can order the spirit around. He works to the glory of the Father in our lives, not to pander to our desires. So, practical things? Schedule time in the day for him if you're not good at sitting down with him. If you make the time for God - show him you're willing - he'll teach you & draw you on after him. Other things I find help include calling out to God bluntly for passion after his name to do something for his glory! I've lost count of the pieces of coursework, lab experiments, coffee chats and conversations that've been grabbed by God & used for his glory because I handed the reins over to him.
Yet that's only part of the story. The enemy's still going to put tempting ideas in our minds. If we're to put the enemy's temptations to the side, then we need to fill our minds with the sheer awesomeness of God's plan & will. If you're given the option of a holiday in Swindon Town Centre compared with a paid holiday in the bahamas, which would you choose? I'd personally go for the Bahamas. Why that decision? Because I know it's the better choice! Likewise, if we're to choose time with God over something put forward by the enemy, we need to know in our hearts that time with spent with God is so much more valuable & worthwhile than whiling away our free time doing something else.
Enough of my thinking there I think, but I guess that's simply it; if I'm to choose time with God over the fleeting wasted time the enemy'd have me indulge in, I need to cherish the gloriousness of God, his surpassing greatness, his goodness, his love for me & recognise afresh - each and every day - that his plan for me is not boring or monotonous in the slightest. No! Each day holds fresh teaching & challenges straight from him. But am I willing to take them? I hope & pray so. And I hope and pray you do also.
weird is just your own personal brand of normal