We Belong to Each Other

I’ve written recently on Why We Need to be More Interdenominational. Now more than ever, I’m convinced we must be more about building the Kingdom of God than our own denominations. In light of the increasing persecution around the world of Christians (read about the recent International Day of Pray), we can’t just focus on our local congregation. We must be mindful of those being hurt and killed for their faith around the world and especially in our own county. Being more concerned about the world-wide Church begins with building more  unity with local churches around us.

(If you know my story, you know that I am a Heinz 57 mutt of denominations…..so, I am not against denominations). So, I do believe building His Kingdom happens better when we are unified.

Roman 12:3-5 “Because of the privilege and authority God has given me, I give each of you this warning: Don’t think you are better than you really are. Be honest in your evaluation of yourselves, measuring yourselves by the faith God has given us. Just as our bodies have many parts and each part has a special function, so it is with Christ’s body. We are many parts of one body, and we all belong to each other.”

Sometimes, we get in our church box where it’s comfortable and familiar, and we might have the tendency to start comparing our brand of church to other churches….that’s like comparing apples to oranges. Instead we need to compare our fellowship by the faith that God has given us. Are we fulfilling the specific mission that God has called us to do?

The reason we shouldn’t compare each other’s churches is because we each have a special function and purpose within the Body of Christ. Each part has its own way of ministering to and reaching all different kinds of people. So, it’s ok for us to have our own functions and missions as long as we remember that these differences are meant to compliment each other instead of divide us.

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When we realize that we are all parts of One Body, then we’re going to see that “we all belong to each other.

 

See, Jesus doesn’t see us as separate parts. He sees us as One Body….His Body.

With this uplifting perspective, we don’t have to compare our ministries or fellowships. We can support and cheer for each other and work together because we are all working for the common goal of building His Kingdom!

If fact, Jesus prayed that we’d all be one:

John 17: 20 “I am praying not only for these disciples but also for all who will ever believe in me through their message. 21 I pray that they will all be one, just as you and I are one—as you are in me, Father, and I am in you. And may they be in us so that the world will believe you sent me.

22 “I have given them the glory you gave me, so they may be one as we are one. 23 I am in them and you are in me. May they experience such perfect unity that the world will know that you sent me and that you love them as much as you love me”

We belong to each other! If you believe in Jesus Christ, you are my sister and let’s be about the Father’s business building the Kingdom of God!

~Amy

PS….if you would like a study and some ideas on how you can build Unity in the Body of Christ, sign up for some *free* resources here.

 

 

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All of You…Together

1 Corinthians 3:16-23

16 Don’t you realize that all of you together are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God lives in[a] you? 17 God will destroy anyone who destroys this temple. For God’s temple is holy, and you are that temple.18 Stop deceiving yourselves. If you think you are wise by this world’s standards, you need to become a fool to be truly wise. 19 For the wisdom of this world is foolishness to God. As the Scriptures say,“He traps the wise    in the snare of their own cleverness.”[b20 And again,“The Lord knows the thoughts of the wise;    he knows they are worthless.”[c]

21 So don’t boast about following a particular human leader. For everything belongs to you— 22 whether Paul or Apollos or Peter,[d] or the world, or life and death, or the present and the future. Everything belongs to you, 23 and you belong to Christ, and Christ belongs to God.

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Women of the Way 2013

Why does Women of the Way gather to study and fellowship together?

All of you together are the Body of Christ.

All of you together are the Church of God.

All of you together are the Bride of Christ.

 We are stronger when we are unified. We are more effective when we work together.  We are One when we love each other.

Our theological and doctrinal differences are minor in light of the children going hungry, the women enslaved for their bodies, the missionaries enduring persecution, or the nations without the Scriptures in their native language…all of whom need a Savior.

So let us step out of our neat little boxes that we retreat to on Sundays. Let us break out of the comfort zones of our hymns, bulletins, and worship songs. Let us be the hands and feet of Jesus to the world outside beyond the particular sign over the door.

“We are One in the Spirit, We are One in the Lord, and they’ll know we are Christians by our love”bodyofChrist

 

~Amy

PS…..How can we build Unity in the Body of Christ? If you want some ideas, I’ve got some good stuff to share with you on how to do just that! Sign up for Building Unity and other resources to help you! Sign up here.

When I’m shaken loose from my self-induced delusion that I have it so tough…..

I am so surprised at how easily and over the silliest things I can turn into a grumbling complainer spewing discontent and criticizing everything around me that doesn’t go my way. I feel so “burdened” with having to be at work early or the can opener isn’t working right or the dryer is giving me fits. Heaven forbid…..I get behind a slow driver who can’t drive in the rain! Some days, it seems like the least little thing can bump me and nothing good spills out.

I feel so persecuted (insert whiney tone)…….But then, I am set straight by a day like today……

International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church.

I hear just a drop of the true suffering going on in the world. Suffering for bearing the name of Christ. True persecution for bringing Light into darkness and Hope into hopeless situations.

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I am shaken loose of my self-induced delusion that I have it so tough. I realize that my present “troubles” are nothing compared to the life-threatening, dyer situations of many around me and of those around the world.

God, help me to be thankful in every circumstance. Help me to lift up believers, both near and far. Help me to care for the Body of Christ rather than just looking our for myself. Amen

In light of all the tragedy going on around us, what can we do? We can become more unified as the Body of Christ. If you want some ideas on how you can accomplish this, I’ve got some resources for you! Sign up for “How to be More Interdenominational” and other good stuff here.

~Amy

Love Where you Live

Would you rather be working somewhere else? Would you rather be living somewhere else? Are you wishing your ministry was not this and more like that?

Are you praying “God, Anything. But. This!”

I know how you feel. Yes, Sister, I know. Sometimes life just doesn’t turn out the way you had planned.

Rewind, with me, back to 2008.

Everything was going as planned. I had my children. I was staying home doing the mom thing because I had quit work when I was pregnant. It wasn’t easy. In fact, it was WAY harder than I ever thought it would be. Yes, there were many, many days it was all I could do to survive. But it was what I always dreamed I would do.Everything was going great.

And then it wasn’t.

The week the triplets turned 1 year old, my husband lost his job. We had one 3 year old and three 1 year old babies. Say what?? For over a year, he applied for 90+ jobs. Try as he may, he was not able to land a one of them! We managed to survive. It was actually a huge blessing for both of us to be home with all those babies, but that’s another story for another day.

With little other options in 2009, my boss welcomed me back to my old position at work.  In fact, she carved out a space for me so that I could work. So, I packed my lunch and headed off to school while my husband took over the mini-van, the diapers, and the sippy cups.

I went kicking and screaming the whole way. I was so mad and hurt and disappointed and frustrated…….and mad. Did I say I was mad?

Fast forward to about 2012.  I’m doing my job, we are surviving, hubby is a great daddy. On the outside, I’m doing pretty good with my job. I do really like what I do, and I feel I’m pretty good at it. On the inside though, I’m whining and still stamping my foot when I pray to God. I wish I were doing something different….smh! Not only do I wish I were at home with the kids, but I still had other dreams I wished I were doing….dreams of music and ministry…doing ‘big things’ for God. But those dreams were not happening. I was doing my day job because that’s what my family needed me to do.

I realized it’s very likely that my circumstances were not going to change any time soon. But, the one thing I could change was my attitude about my circumstances. I decided I was going to be more thankful to God for where I was than to resent Him for where I was not. I decided to see my job as the ministry in which God had placed me for this season of life rather than pining away for the life I wish I had. I was going to recognize the HUGE blessings I had right before me

It didn’t happen immediately. It didn’t happen overnight. But slowly, ever so slowly, I began to appreciate the opportunities in my life. I began to thank Him for the blessings and provision He had given us. I began to enjoy this work where I was placed.

I had finally become content. I had finally learned to “love where I live”. Being content in and of itself is a gift because it brings peace.IMAG1189

Surprisingly, in the middle of my contentment, another unexpected turn. The opportunity to lead in ministry at my church became available to me. I wasn’t looking for it. I wasn’t trying to make it happen. I never thought I’d get to do something like this ever again. But it did, and I am so very, very thankful!

Learning to be content doesn’t mean you give up on dreams or desires. Contentment doesn’t mean you stop longing and praying. It doesn’t mean you give up. But contentment does mean choosing gratitude for your circumstances and trust in God’s Sovereignty for this season in life. While in the waiting and in the thanking and in the trusting, God, in His goodness, will often fulfill some of those other desires in the process in ways you wouldn’t have ever imagined!

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, lean not on your own understand. In all your ways, acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight” Prov 3:5-6

If you could some help examining your ministry, I’d LOVE to help. Try this *FREE* video Bible study course. In it, we discovered how to ReNew your relationship with God, your calling, your ministry, even your Sabbath rest! Sign up here: ReNew Bible Study

 

Love Where You Live,

~Amy

If I Don’t Have Love, Then, I’m This….

If I don’t have love, then I’m no better than a clanging cymbal.

A few weeks ago, I attended a community event. Praying after the event, I asked for God’s favor over some projects in which I am involved so they would be successful. I didn’t have any hesitation asking for this favor. I prayed confidently because I asked on behalf of the people whom these projects would benefit. But then, I heard this:

Do you love them?

Immediately, I knew my true motives were exposed. I wanted the projects to be successful so that I would be successful. Of course, I wanted those people to benefit, but what I really wanted was for this thing I’ve created to be successful in the eyes of the community.

My thoughts went back to 1 Corinthians 13:

If I could speak all the languages of earth and of angels, but didn’t love others, I would only be a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.  If I had the gift of prophecy, and if I understood all of God’s secret plans and possessed all knowledge, and if I had such faith that I could move mountains, but didn’t love others, I would be nothing. If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it; but if I didn’t love others, I would have gained nothing. 1 Cor 13:1-3

The famous chapter on love has always inspired me. This particular evening, the beloved chapter revealed fresh meaning. Here’s my fresh interpretation:

If I have the skills to organize, teach, speak, sing, and lead- to do all the tasks that I have trained for and learned to do…if I do all the things I have been given talent to do…but I don’t love the people I am doing it for….IT IS ALL FOR NOTHING.

I realized my participation in these community projects wasn’t purely out of love. Rather, my contribution was because I like it, I am capable of it, and I have the ability to get it done. Also, I enjoy it. Of course, I want the people to benefit, and I want to make a difference. But, at the heart of my motivation lies the truth- I want to be successful.

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Last week, I wrote about ministry not being about me and how I shouldn’t serve simply because I like it or I’m good at it or it makes me feel good. I should do all those things ultimately because I love the people I’m doing it for, not just because I like what I’m doing.

I’m not saying we shouldn’t enjoy our ministries. Our motivation, however, shouldn’t be because we like what we’re doing. If we’re not in it for the love of people, it’s just a clanging cymbal.

God’s final measurement of effectiveness is love. God’s definition of success is love.

That’s what the classic love chapter is trying to tell us. If we can accomplish all manner of spiritual feats but don’t have love, it’s just noise. If we give our entire lives to serving and volunteering at church or in the community, and don’t have love, we have gained nothing. 

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Only Love lasts forever!

What is the motivating force behind your ministry? Are you loving what you do more than loving the people that receive the ministry?

Father, forgive me for loving your gifts and talents and the things I do for You more than the people that benefit. Fill me to overflowing with love for others just as I have experienced Your Love for me! Let my effectiveness and success be measured in love! Amen

If you are interested in exploring your motivations in ministry, here’s a bible study where I ask three questions (I have asked myself these questions) about loving God and loving people more than ministry. I hope it’s helpful to you!

Sign up here to get the emails: “3 Signs You Need to ReNew Your Ministry” 

~Amy

 

Ministry is Not About Me

I’ve been doing church ministry most of my life in some form or another- about 30 years, give or take.

Even though I’ve been doing this all my life, I’ve been guilty of taking my eyes off the true purpose and goal of serving in the church. If I’m not careful, I can start to view ministry as this trophy that I’ve earned as a badge of honor. I’m tempted to take my trophy and put it up on a high shelf for all to see how much good I’m doing in my ministry.

Of course, I have sincere intentions. Yes, I want God to be glorified by my ministry. I want God to have the place of honor like the top of the trophy has a shiny star or golden statue. But, if I were really honest, I also want my ministry to be the be the pedestal on which that trophy is placed. My ministry grows out of proportion as my focus gets too big on myself and overshadows the real purpose of the trophy.

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Then, something doesn’t go right. Something doesn’t feel right.

I don’t feel as effective in my ministry. I don’t get recognized as doing a good job. Or, people don’t seem to be getting anything out of my serving or contribution. At least, that’s how it seems. Am I’m losing my touch?

This causes me to step back and ask some questions. Why am I doing ministry? Am I still called to serve in this way? Does God still want me in this ministry?

It’s time to get honest. It’s time to peel back the layers and discover the motivations for why I do ministry. It’s time to examine this trophy I’ve created to see what lies at the heart of it.

Prayerfully, I seek God for the answers. And, He graciously, lovingly gives them.

Ministry is not about me.

MinistryNotAboutMe2

First, Ministry is not about what I like to do.

The purpose of my serving in ministry shouldn’t be because it’s something I’m passionate about doing. True, one’s greatest ministry can take place where there is great passion. It’s totally ok to be passionate about serving, but it shouldn’t be the motivation for why I’m participating.

Take, for example, planning retreats and conferences for women. I LOVE it. I love all aspects of it- the planning, the details, shaping a schedule, bringing women together for a specially crafted time together…..all done by me!

I have to stop and ask myself this question: Do I love planning the event, and everyone telling it was great, and that I am great? OR Do I want these women to have a sincere encounter with God? The first makes my ministry the focus of the “trophy”, and the second makes the focus on God and His Glory.

Second, Ministry is not about my gifts, skills, or talents.

I love playing music and singing so I’ll do that for ministry. I love teaching, so I’ll teach. I love cooking, so I’ll cook as my ministry and so on. God has given me some wonderful talents and abilities. I have been given the opportunities to develop skills to be used for Him. But, ministry is not a venue for using my skills and talents. Ministry is not supposed to be a place to display my gifts on a platform. Again, the subtle trap I fall into is that using my gifts for others to see ends up being my goal. I may not say this out loud, but it’s in my heart. Again, God generously gives gifts and talents to equip me for ministry, but those gifts are not the primary purpose of ministry. They aren’t meant to be seen for their own sake. Those gifts, skills and talents are meant to be used as the vehicle for loving people and lighting their way to God’s Glory.

Women of the Way 2018

Finally, ministry is not about making me feel good or special or admired or accepted.

Somewhere deep down, if I’m really honest, I bring to light what I’m really thinking and feeling. If I do this ministry, I’ll feel good about myself. God will accept me. I’ll get accepted by all those people around me. This trap is the biggest and easiest of them all, because I want my ‘trophy’ to get the most attention. I do ministry because I want to feel better about myself. Sure, I want to do this for God, and I want to help people. But, I also want to be liked or admired for doing it. I want to feel successful and useful. I want people to cheer for me. Somehow, when they do this, it must mean that God approves!

In truth, all those benefits can and do happen. God is so gracious. He allows me to reap all the benefits of working for Him. But then, I forget what’s it supposed to be all about. I forget the goal of ministry is not to make me feel good. The goal is to bring people to God!

True ministry is an overflow from being with God.

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I spend time with God, and then He uses my gifts and talents as a vehicle to get His Love to other people. The cool bonus is that I really love it, and it makes me feel good doing it. The real payoff, though, is seeing God move and standing amazed at what He can accomplish through me. My true motivation, then,  for pursuing ministry is to see other people’s lives changed! When that happens, I don’t need for my ministry trophy to be seen! I push that trophy back to its proper place so that God gets all the glory and attention!

What about you?

Do you love ministry? Do you love what you do in church? If you were honest, would it be possible that some of your motivations could be self serving and trying to promote your own trophy?

Would you like to pursue this self examination further?

Here’s a small study series called “3 Signs You Need to ReNew Your Ministry”. In it, I ask you 3 questions to help you reflect on why you are serving in the church. This study is an overflow of asking myself these same questions in order to put my ministry in its proper place. I hope it’s helpful to you! Sign up here: “3 Signs You Need to ReNew Your Ministry”

~Amy

 

 

 

Are you using God instead of getting to know God?

Sometimes, I find it hard to read the Gospels. I grew up hearing and reading all the stories of Jesus. They feel so familiar. I scim over the passages because I’ve heard them over and over again. I don’t see anything new, so I keep going to something else.

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Photo credit Julie Anna Johnson, WoW2013

I find, in recent years, I lean towards reading other passages of Scripture like the letters, proverbs and psalms. I asked myself this question. “Why do I have such a hard time reading the Gospels?”Here’s what came back to me:

Often, I’m reading Scripture to see what I can get out of it for myself.

As a “good” Christian disciple, I study the Bible looking for what’s going to help me be more Christ-like.  What can I apply to my life? What’s going to make me feel joy and live in peace? That’s what we’re supposed to do, right? The Bible is our guide, our road map, our instruction manual. We are supposed to be learning, absorbing, digesting the Word of God and living it out! I do. I love it!

When it comes to the Gospels, however, the focus is solely on Jesus. Yes, so much truth and teaching can be harvested and gathered for me to apply to my life. I’m not diminishing that at all. They show us who Jesus is, how he lived, his example for us to follow.

But sometimes, I need to simply read the Bible just to get to know Jesus- that’s it!

So, that makes me ask another question, “In other areas of Christian life, how much of what we do is for God, or is it for us?”

Music…do you listen to that Christian music because it makes you feel good or is it bringing you into God’s presence?

Church….do you go to church to see what you can get out of it or what the service can do for you? Or, do you prepare yourself for what you can give at church?

Bible studies, volunteering, attending classes, events, communion…do you do all those activities because of what it can do for you or how it makes you feel?

In ministry, are you studying, praying, searching for only what you can use in your sermon or your class? Do you consume Christian material only so you can have something to output?

If we’re not careful, those of us who live in a Christianized culture can fall into the rut of doing these good and right activities because that’s what is expected of us as “good Christians”. We can do these things out of obligation or “that’s just what we do” mentality. We might even be selfishly thinking ‘What’s in it for me?’ We can get too focused on what we’re doing and forget about Who or Why we’re do it. Sounds a bit like the religious Pharisees, doesn’t it? ouch.

I’m guilty of this……I’ll read an article and reference it for a blog post. I’ll hear something on the radio and think ‘I’ll use that in my Wed class’. I’ll hear somebody say something and I’ll think ‘that will be good for the next worship service’.

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Of course, all these activities, disciplines, and pursuits are what we’re supposed to be doing. Of course, we need these disciplines to keep us going in the right direction. We’re always going to be human, and we need these tangibles to help us develop a relationship with God. I’m not suggesting we throw out our studies, music, or activities. No! We need to do these things….yes God grows us and develops us. And YES, we are supposed to seek Him for what to say and do in life and in ministry. He uses all of these practices to communicate in us and through us. But be careful not to fall into the rut of using these things solely for your benefit.

If you find that you might be using God instead of knowing God, I’ve written a Bible study that could help:

3 Signs You Need to ReNew Your Ministry

3SignsYouNeedtoReNew

This short study sent to you by a series of emails will help you examine your relationship with God, your ministry, and those around you. It will give you some encouragement in knowing Jesus better.  You will have a better understanding of how your relationship with God is the driving force behind your ministry and how that ties into loving people.

I’d love for you to join me! Sign up here for this *free* Bible Study.

I’m looking forward to getting to know Jesus better. Hope you are too!

~Amy

How I learned not to need ministry more than God….

I don’t need ministry anymore, and I’ve never been more fulfilled!!

Stay with me…..

Early on in my 20’s, I was such a zealous thing. I grew up in a family where our lives revolved around ministry, and I loved it! I was the good-girl, preacher’s kid who didn’t rebel. I wanted more than anything to sing, teach, volunteer….anything! I genuinely wanted to serve God in a real and effective way.

Looking back, though, I was also striving. Hard. I wanted so badly to prove how much I loved and was dedicated to God. I sincerely thought that if I did all the right things…especially ministry, I’d make Him happy with me. I hoped to do enough, to be enough, so I could be accepted enough.

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Photo credit: Nancy Rutledge

As much as I loved ministry…I also needed it to prove myself acceptable. Somehow, people’s approval fueled my efforts and my need for affirmation. People’s approval equated God’s approval which also stirred the battle between insecurity and pride.

Slowly, but surely…..through years of learning how much God loves me and not needing to earn God’s approval, my perspective on ministry changed. I’ve grown into realizing that ministry is the fruit of what flows out of my relationship with God. Not the other way around! Ministry is the overflow of what God is doing in me, not what I can do to prove my faithfulness to Him.

I didn’t realize this maturing process was even happening. A few years ago, I was able to fill in for the worship leader at the church we had just began attending. She had experienced a personal tragedy and needed to take some time off from leading worship to recover. So, I was asked to fill in and was more than happy to do for her and the church. She was my friend, and I wanted to help her in any way I could. To my surprise, this temporary fill-in turned into a regular gig.

When this opportunity was laid before me, something very special became apparent….I didn’t need this ministry opportunity. I was excited and thrilled because I never thought I would get an opportunity like this! I thought my music days were over. But rather than this chance at ministry scratching some itch rooted in my ego or insecurity, or striving to make me more acceptable to God, it simply made me thankful to God that the door was open. Ministry could overflow because I didn’t need it anymore!!!

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Photo credit: Nancy Rutledge

Do you feel like you serve in your ministry out of need or out of overflow? Do you find that sometimes you love your ministry more than God?

Are you asking yourself, “Am I using God or getting to know God?”

If so, I have written a short Bible study to help you answer questions like this. This email study that comes right into your inbox, 3 Signs You Need to ReNew Your Ministry, will help you examine your relationship with God and how this affects your ministry and your relationship with people. It will help you reflect on your priorities and motivations in ministry and help you gain a clearer understanding for your purpose in ministry.

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If you feel you need your ministry a little too much, please join me on this journey together. Once you discover how you don’t need your ministry, then you’ll be effective than ever in the overflowing work God has invited you to do!

Sign up for 3 Signs You Need to ReNew Your Ministry here.

~Amy

What Keeps You From Intimacy with God?

What God wants most is your heart.

He is actively pursuing you. He has made a way for you to have an eternal relationship with Him. He knows you better than you know yourself.

So, what’s keeping you from intimacy with God?

In the name of being a good Christian, we do a lot of things for God. We do a lot of good things in the name of God. We somehow think if we check off all the right boxes of good behavior that God will be satisfied. At the very least, we do them because it’s what we’ve always done (if we’ve grown up in church or gone to church our whole lives).

Go to church. Check.

Pay tithes. Check.

Go to Bible study. Check.

Volunteer for Children’s Church. Check.

Cook meal for family. Check.

Read Bible. Check.

For a lot of people, they don’t even do everything that’s on this list, but that’s another issue for another day.

We do this Christian Checklist thinking this will make God happy. We’ve done our Christian duty, and we’re good to go.

But then something is missing deep in our souls which may even make us wonder if this Church thing is all there is. We long for more but can’t really put our fingers on it as to what’s missing.

Peter Scazzero calls this “Using God to run from God”- doing all the Christian things for the sake of God, all the while, not really having a deep relationship with God.

God never meant for it to be this way. Even in the Garden of Eden, God longed to walk with Adam and Eve in the cool of the day. Then, the Fall happened, and they hid from God.  The whole epic story of the Bible has been how God intends to bring everything back to that initial state of intimacy.

How do you hide from God? How do you run from God? How do you keep God at arm’s length?

There are lots of reasons why someone would keep from God. Some deep questions that lie behind our arm’s length distance might be- “Can God be trusted?” “Is God good?” “Does God really want me?”

The answer to all those unspoken questions is YES!

But, I can’t convince you this is true. I can’t reason with you until the light bulb goes off in your head.

You’ve got to stop doing for God long enough to BE with God.

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(Don’t stop all those good things forever because they ARE good things, ok?)

I challenge you to get in a quiet place with no noise, no distractions, no interruptions and just sit before God. Do nothing but just think about God. Don’t ask for anything. Don’t pray about anything. It’s ok, you can do those things at another time. Just think about God’s Love, His Goodness, His Creation, His Character.

It won’t be easy at first, but it will be worth it.

If you need a some help, here’s a little thing I put together to help you with developing silence and solitude before God. After this week, the Summer Gardening Series will be tucked away until next summer since it’s now feeling like fall. I hope it helps.

Sign up here.

~Amy

What God wants most of all……

Remember when we talked about how much God delights in us? We also talked about how much God takes delight when we do what we were created to do.

We love to ‘do’ stuff. It makes us feel good when we ‘do’ something. We want to feel productive and successful and useful. It’s in our nature to ‘do’ stuff.

It’s no different when it comes to the worship of God.

We want to be about the business of doing something……so we sing, we serve, we give, we make.

In the process of all this doing, what is supposed to be worship of God becomes a whole lot of busyness. Somehow, a human being becomes a human ‘doing’.

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I’ve been guilty of this. I want so much to please God with all the good stuff I can do. I want Him to be happy with all the stuff I can produce as a good Christian should.

But God wants more than that. He wants my heart.

Yes, God wants me to do all those good things. In fact, He’s created me to do all those good things for His Glory. But, He doesn’t NEED me to do those things for Him.

What He wants is my heart. He wants me to just to be with Him. He wants intimacy. It’s hard to have intimacy with God when I’m busy running around doing all the time!

God wants intimacy with you like a husband and wife know each other. Does that seem a little weird? But, it’s true.

Well, how about God wants intimacy like a Father and a child. Yes, God wants that kind of closeness with you.

delight

Even still, God wants to be close to you like two brothers or two best friends.

There are a variety of ways that God describes His desire for intimacy with us, but the bottom line is He wants us to just ‘be’ with Him!

While I’m spending time with God, my mind can race with all the ideas of what I should be doing and all the things I need show accomplish. Even during my prayer, I talking out my plans with God.

But then I try to stop. “Hey Father God……I’m just going to stop and focus on You. You are all that matters right now.”

I have found that when I spend time just being with God it makes the things I do for God more effective. I feel more joyful and the doing flows more easily. It’s not an obligation or burden because being with Him overflows into the things I am doing.

Happy little girl
Getting up to the mountain to pray

One of my favorite worship songs says,

“I’ll bring you more than a song ‘

Cause a song in itself is not what you have required

You search much deeper within through the way things appear

You’re looking in my heart……

I’m coming back to the heart of worship cause it’s all about You,

It’s all about You, Jesus

Do you feel like God wants intimacy with you?

Do you get lost in a whirlwind of busyness and forget to spend time with God?

Are you a human ‘doing’ more than a human ‘being’?

Yes, God loves all those things you do. He made you to do those things to bring Him glory.

But what God wants MOST is to just be with you. What God wants MOST is your heart!

Take the time to be with God.

~Amy

If you need some ideas on how to be with God, try this little study guide I created. I know, summer is over, and it’s finally fall (yay!) So, this will be the last time I offer the Summer Gardening Series until next summer. It will help you discover some ways to practice being with God. Hope it helps. Sign up here!