Not an easy word, this week, I am afraid. But it’s one that’s been stirring in my heart as I see so many Christians caught up in deception.
The enemy would love for you to believe that if you received every spiritual gift out there, you would be more valuable to God and you would hold more influence over others than you are right now. The enemy’s aim is to distance you from God in whatever way he can. If that means distracting you from an intimate relationship with God by dangling the carrot of fame and recognition in front of your face, then he’ll do so. Our enemy will do everything in his power to place anything in our path that would draw our attention away from God’s heart.
If you are seeking God’s power so you can be known amongst your friends and your church as a maestro in the prophetic arts or the guy who can lead ANYONE to the Lord, you are headed toward deception.
If your goal is to gain entrance to the cool kid’s club in your church community by bragging about your spiritual giftings, you are disappointing God, and you are setting yourself up for a dramatic fall.
If you are seeking after God’s gifts just to raise your status amongst your friends or your church fellowship, you are destined to experience a whole lot of pain and a whole lot of rejection.
If you are more interested in feeling God’s power than abiding in His presence, you are missing the boat. Jesus didn’t die for us and rise from the dead just so we can play with His gifts. It’s all about relationship first.
Think of it this way. Imagine you invited someone you’ve known for years over to your house on several occasions so you could hang out with them and get to know them a little better and they could get to know you. However, it’s been an ongoing pattern that upon accepting your invitation, your friend heads straight to your game room. They take selfies of themselves with their favourite toys in hand, posts on Instagram and Facebook about the fun time they had, bragging about their friendship with you, but they rarely say anything to you beyond a quick hello and thank you. It appears your friend barely knows you and cares little about your heart.
Suppose they regularly raid your fridge but rebuff every attempt on your part to deepen your relationship with them. Suppose that friend refused to eat the meal you prepared for them and your other guests, and instead carried a snack or two down to the games room. Would you feel exploited? Would you feel disappointed?
God isn’t an emotionless vending machine in the sky. He wants our hearts, and above all else, He wants to make His heart known to us. Don’t be afraid to draw near to God, He lavishes His gifts upon us for no other reason than He desires to pour out His love in us and through us.
Ephesians 1:3-8 (MSG) – “How blessed is God! And what a blessing he is! He’s the Father of our Master, Jesus Christ, and takes us to the high places of blessing in him. Long before he laid down earth’s foundations, he had us in mind, had settled on us as the focus of his love, to be made whole and holy by his love. Long, long ago he decided to adopt us into his family through Jesus Christ. (What pleasure he took in planning this!) He wanted us to enter into the celebration of his lavish gift-giving by the hand of his beloved Son.”
James 4:8 – “Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you.”
If you’ve been guilty of any of the behaviour above, don’t be afraid to approach God in repentance, He’s eagerly awaiting you, with no condemnation! He’s crazy about you!
One of the best ways to bond with someone is to work alongside them. This week, deliberately begin each day by inviting the Lord to interrupt your routine. Ask Him for divine assignments that encourage you to lean more on Him than your natural talents or spiritual gifts.
Invite God to interact with you throughout your day. Then ask Holy Spirit to increase your capacity to feel His presence.
Cultivate a hunger for intimacy with God! Do so by inviting Him to show you His heart and stay determined not to move from that place of hunger!
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All Bible verses, unless otherwise attributed, are from the English Standard Version (ESV).
Until Next Week
©2017 Katherine Walden
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