‘Father, help me learn how to open my heart to you. Thank you for showing me that it is not my strength that does anything, but Your calm peaceful timing.’
1 Be quiet.
Listening is passive. I am actively doing something which is paying attention but I am not talking and not doing anything physically like running away.
Ephesians 1:18 (NIV) “18 I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people,”
NRSV so that, with the eyes of your heart enlightened, you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance among the saints,
Do I think my thoughts will help me understand better than God’s direction?
My goal is to receive God’s grace. Sometimes just breathing helps. This is taking in oxygen. Similarly, I must take in Jesus’ grace.
2 Be thankful.
Start knowing my own heart by examining what I am truly thankful for from Jesus.
Luke 17:16 (NET) ” 16 He fell with his face to the ground at Jesus’ feet and thanked him. (Now he was a Samaritan.) ”
When God shows up meaning when I have turned my eye toward Him. I can thank Him. This puts me in a better place. It reminds me of the proper position to have towards Him. He is my parent and my provider. He is God and I am thankful for every tiny bit of who I am. He made everything and He is making me. He sustains me and gives me all I need.
3 Be repentant
Recall where I went wrong. Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal offenses.
This is a powerful and beautiful thing. God never refuses such requests as ‘please, give me Your Holy Spirit’ and ‘reveal sin and deception that I must confess and turn away from.’
Ps 4:4 (NET) ” 4 Tremble with fear and do not sin! Meditate as you lie in bed, and repent of your ways! (Selah) ”
Ps 4:4 (KJ2000) ” 4 Stand in awe, and sin not: commune with your own heart upon your bed, and be still. Selah. ”
Again i need to adjust my position toward Him to be aligned. There are things between us that are not supposed to be there.
I recall the first time I repented when I gave my life to Him originally. There were tears. I felt His love. He was not trying to badger me or belittle me. He was trying to free me.
‘God, build my trust in you to keep repenting.’
I must dig deep to be sincerely sorry and then commit to changing. i no longer want to engage in the wrong ways of living. I am dedicated to doing better by His might. I zealously trust Him.
4 Be humble
I am not god. No matter how good I feel which I do feel really really good in His presence. I must commit to knowing it is He who is good not me.
Resist pride and it will flee.
Isa 66:2 (KJ2000) ” 2 For all those things has my hand made, and all those things have been, says the LORD: but to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembles at my word. ”
This is about keeping my eye on Him. The goal is to completely loose any consciousness of myself and to be utterly consumed with Him. Think about being in love. Was I concerned about what would happen to me? Or was I all obsessed with the one I was in love with?
5 Be believing/trusting
Read the bible. Grab onto some tidbits that pique my interests and keep reading as the word washes over me things will be revealed.
Mark 4:40 (KJ2000) ” 40 And he said unto them, Why are you so fearful? how is it that you have no faith? ”
It is not so hard to trust Jesus when i am in the middle of tasting and seeing how good He is. But when i am struggling and falling down and doubting it is hard.
There is absolute truths. Jesus saves. Start making statements that I believe.
Start small. God created everything. Then move onto more difficult to accept things like He created people and saw that they were very good.
6 Be honest
Sometimes this is the hardest one. I want to hide by pretending I have it all together. I don’t.
I need God desperately. I can only come to the real revelation of this by being honest with myself. I can only be honest through His grace. He reveals. I don’t present something that is comfortable. Real honesty is usually quite uncomfortable.
This is where sincerity meets truth which means I start by admitting my real current state. He reveals what is underneath that. I agree with Him. and so on.
2Cor 2:17 (KJ2000) ” 17 For we are not as many, who corrupt the word of God: but as of sincerity, but as of God, in the sight of God speak we in Christ. ”
1Cor 15:53 (KJ2000) ” 53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. ”
Sometimes, I am afraid that I am not good enough to follow Jesus. When I look closely at Thomas and Peter I realize that Jesus knew their faults and He loved them anyway. Jesus’ saving grace is amazing because He is perfect and still loves imperfect people like me.
Prov 14:10 (KJ2000) ” 10 The heart knows its own bitterness; and a stranger does not share its joy. ”
7 Be loving
Set my eye on Jesus.
Want to know Him more. He is the thing I want most.
John 15:13 (KJ2000) ” 13 Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. ”
Now I must decide to lay down my life for His life in me.
I think the second commandment to love people is only possible if the first commandment to love God is fulfilled. It is an ‘if only’ thing. I have felt much human love and there is a tremendous void in it. It is selfish and deceitful. I have experienced a tiny small bit of Jesus’ love and it is overflowing. It always extends outward.
‘Jesus, thank you for loving me. Let me be a malleable vessel and pour the living water that you are out on those around me.’
8 Be faithful
Don’t give up. Repeat the process and wait on Jesus. He will come. He is already here. Examine what I am believing again. Do I really believe He is here?
Prov 14:5 (KJ2000) ” 5 A faithful witness will not lie: but a false witness will utter lies. ”
The goal is to continue the journey daily and through out the day. Not to be the turtle who retracts its head back into its shell although this will happen. But to keep bringing my heart out so that the world can trample on it.
I guess I have to decide if I think its worth it. And to the extent that I believe so, I will be a better follower of Him. The anti-climax is that I will end up crucified. What comes next though is resurrection. I get to stand up again with Him in the end and daily. He restores me (my soul)
John 16:33 (KJ2000) ” 33 These things I have spoken unto you, that in me you might have peace. In the world you shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world. ”
‘Father, thank you for speaking. Help me point to you. Jesus, you are my savior.’