Some time in the last year I lost my focus. My priorities have gotten whack-a-doodle. I hadn’t realized this because we go to church every Sunday, I teach Children’s Bible Hour and do the lesson plans, we pray together, etc. It didn’t dawn on me until I recently read a young gentlemen’s blog post he had written to his future wife, whom he doesn’t know yet. After reading it I went back to reflect on some of my Bible study posts and I had to search back a whole year! I have become too busy for the one thing that kept me so grounded!
I have a young child who is quite needy, I have a new business that I want to thrive in, I struggle with trying to be the perfect pinterest room Mom, the best Proverbs Wife, a great Children’s Bible Hour teacher at my church, a good friend, blah, blah, blah. Somewhere along the line I forgot about the relationship I am supposed to have with my Father! When I think back on the times I had Jesus as my number one focus everything else fell into place.
Let me clear up a big misunderstanding among evangelical Christians. Many believe that when you become a Christian your main calling is to reach people for Christ. No, that is not the main calling. The main calling when you become a Christian is to follow Jesus. It’s a calling to a relationship. Your first priority is to submit your life to Jesus Christ, and to His authority. In that process of following Him, He will teach you what He wants you to do, which is to reach people for Jesus Christ. But don’t get it backwards! It begins with a focus on the relationship. ~Right From the Heart Ministries
As a young adult, it is hard to understand a true and real relationship with God. First we have to have faith He exists, but then you are telling me I need to have an intimate relationship with Him? Yes!! But it isn’t something that just happens automatically. Just like any relationship, it takes time and work. Once you start following Jesus, I mean truly following Him, the relationship develops on it’s own. I have learned that over time and still learn more day by day. Let me explain how and why my relationship with Jesus has come this far.
Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. 2 Corinthians 9:7
There is this rule that gets passed around Churches that Christians MUST give at least 10% of everything they make to their Church. While I do believe it is important to give back to the ONE reason we have what we have, I do not believe we are to give a set amount from each paycheck. If we are forced to give more than we can afford then we aren’t giving with a cheerful and willing heart! I never want to be reluctant when giving back to God! That being said, when I look back at the times we tithed on a regular basis I can see a pattern of ways God took care of us afterwards. Taking care of one another is a major part of a relationship, right?!?
The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned. 1 Corinthians 2:14
I have the worst memory in the world but if I remember correctly I was baptized when I was 14. The Holy Spirit started speaking to me then but I didn’t notice because I was too busy with life. I either ignored it or didn’t hear it. I didn’t start discerning God’s voice until I was in my 20s. But boy, when I did, I did!! He speaks to me all of the time! No, I don’t hear voices! I see signs, have dreams, and things other people would call a coincidence are clearly God speaking to me and showing me things! And just like He talks to me, I talk to Him in prayer. In fact, He talks to me because I talk to Him! Communication is a key part of a good relationship, right?!?
Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth. 2 Timothy 2:15
Things changed when I stopped worrying about looking like a Jesus freak. When I was no longer ashamed to let everyone know I was a Christian and that I wouldn’t partake in certain things because of that, I became a happier, more open person. I enjoyed life more. I made more friends because I was real and honest! I didn’t worry about what others thought of me because the ONLY thing that mattered was what He thought of me. I would go as far as to say this is the #1 thing that advanced my relationship with God. When I became PROUD to say I was a Christian and PROUD to praise Him, my life took a turn for the better. Everything started falling in place.
I would like to make sure I have my priorities straight from now on. I don’t want to let all these other things get in the way. Because if I make Him my first priority all of those other “things” fall right into place in my life exactly where they need to be. So in honor of that, I would like to start a new Bible study. After reading Discerning the Voice of God by Priscilla Shirer, I have yet to find another one that intrigues me as much as that one did. Any suggestions??