“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind.”
I have walked with the Lord for the last thirteen years. Throughout this time, there have been seasons where I am so closely knit to God’s heart and others where I have strayed. I have noticed that it is when I stray, that God seems so distant – too distant to feel and too distant to hear. It is in these seasons of drought that I find myself not pursuing Him, not leaning on Him, not reading His word, and barely lifting my voice for an arrow prayer. Yes, these seasons break His heart and my spirit. I love Jesus with all my heart, I know exactly what He saved me from, so why is it so hard to stay in His presence sometimes? What is wrong with me?
The answer is, nothing, I am perfectly imperfect.
I have spent too much time trying to figure out why I sometimes move out of obligation, rather than desire, in my pursuit of Christ. In my earlier “saved” days, I would even question whether or not I had really given my heart to Christ- after all, if I really gave it to Him, I’d want nothing more than to praise Him, read my Bible and pray, right?
This life is a struggle, everything in this life will be a struggle, especially walking with Christ. There is so much to pull us away from spending time with Him: our schedules, our commitments, our jobs, our children, our families, our pets, our problems, our health or lack of it, our desires, our dreams, and the list goes on. Once we choose Christ, our walk with Him is not a stroll in a park. In fact, it’s more like training for climbing Mount Everest. We have to train our bodies, our minds, and our hearts to be constantly positioned toward Him. As we climb the hills and the valleys of life with God, we have to choose to trust Him for our next move, communicate with Him as our life depended on it and listen to Him, even when it doesn’t make sense.
There will be times where we don’t want to draw near to God- not because we don’t love Him, but because our minds and our hearts are not properly positioned toward Him. Maybe we are in sin, or perhaps we are set on getting what we want, how we want. God revealed something to me during my last fast, when I want things done my way, my heart is in no position do to them God’s way. Isn’t that the truth?
When we are set on getting our to-do lists accomplished, making sure our schedules are followed and ensuring our every responsibility is completed- we have missed the entire purpose of the given day. Instead of placing our focus on God, we have placed it on ourselves, our will, our way, our intentions, our desires, and our perceptions.
What I have come to realize, is that this marathon with God isn’t always fun, isn’t always easy, doesn’t always feel good, and isn’t always self-motivated. I’m not always going to want to pursue Him as I should, but I need to discipline my heart, mind, and spirit to pursue Him- knowing it is what is best. Someone once said to me, “an undisciplined life leads to unprincipled choices”; that has always stuck with me.
We must choose to discipline ourselves in pursuing Christ, and that starts with prayer.
Prayer positions our hearts to proceed in God’s way. Prayer positions us for greatness- God’s greatness in our lives. God will be our strength in this journey.
Ladies, don’t feel bad for your lack of desire to pursue Christ, do something about it! Discipline yourself to pursue Christ – no matter how you feel. Every day I have to DITOSE (DIe TO SElf). Make prayer your first response, not your last resort; when you are feeling spiritually exhausted. There is nothing wrong with living life on a song and a prayer – doing just that will position you for greatness!