While I haven't been a Christian for my entire life, I have been going on a strong 7 years walking with the Lord. Part of me looks back on old journals and longs for the time that I had an innumerable amount of unanswered questions.
Back in March, I heard God speak louder me than ever before. Not in a quiet leading whisper kind of way, but in a way that brought every cell in my bones to life. He was calling me to intern with Red Rocks Church. (Read more about my journey here).
However, since that moment my relationship with Jesus has been utterly silent. At first I didn't think much about it, but then with time I realized that His spirit wasn't speaking to me. I felt frustrated. I stopped writing. I spent all my time praying for Him to come back.
Side note: how selfish is that!? There are people all over the world who don't know the Lord, but I felt the need to spend time asking for His presence in MY life... not theirs. It makes my heart break for them all the more.
The hardest part about all of this is that a ton of huge life moments happened in this cold-shoulder period of my relationship with God.
I got engaged. GIANT life step... (especially for a commitment-phobe like me). And the insecurities that followed that little "yes, Alex" has been overwhelming. I began to think that God wasn't talking to me because I had done something wrong.
Over time, my Bible began to collect more dust than it ever had before. The girl who went through two journals a year didn't finish make a dent in the amount of pages in 8 months.
I poured myself into production in order to gain His attention again. It was tiring and not healthy and not biblical, but I did it anyways.
And then, two nights ago, He spoke to me. We were praying as a group and I found my eyes open and my mind wondering. That's when I felt my heart remember the word, constant.
My heart skipped a million beats and I was drenched in emotion. God is real. God is constant. And he is willing to speak to me.
I took His voice for granted before, but won't for a long time. I guess, I write all of this because I finally understand what it's like to go without Him. It has re-broke my heart for the lost and it's a reminder all the more that we have to share the Gospel because people don't know what they're missing.
Our hope. Our faith. Our peace. All comes from Jesus. And as badly as I missed His presence, I knew He was always with me and that's more than what most of the world can say.
Maybe it is just the season of life that I'm in. I feel like the whole world is saying,
"Oh, you're twenty now? Start making all these giant life decisions that will define you."
What really is that about? The biggest decision I've made thus far in life is what college to go to. Now I'm confirming my major, deciding my ideal career, contemplating marriage, and becoming more confident in who I want to be in Christ.
I find myself thinking... am I qualified for this?
The truth is, yes I am. Not because of anything I've ever done or anything I've ever thought of, but because the Holy Spirit lives in me. Why am I sitting around being worried about my life when my life isn't even mine?
“The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it, the world and all who live in it”
After reading (and re-reading) that verse it slowly started to sink in. God taught me something big through His word. I can stop feeling insecure about the decisions that I want because I should be picking the decisions that HE wants.
My life is not about me.
I couldn't figure out what I wanted to do with my life and now I have to figure out what the creator of the universe wants me to do with my life?
Then I was encouraged by John chapter 10.
2 But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. 3 To him the gatekeeper opens. The sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 4 When he has brought out all his own, he goes before them, and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice.
Wait a second. I know His voice? I know His voice.
The creator of the universe is going before me and I can be confident that when He speaks to me, in His perfect timing, that I will know His voice.
Then the chapter continues...
5 A stranger they will not follow, but they will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers.”
Not only do I know God's voice, but I know when something isn't God's voice. That's why the Father gave me (and you!) the Holy Spirit--so we can know His voice. So we can follow Him.
Don't make the mistake of asking "What do I want to do with my life? But live dangerously. Ask "God, what do YOU want me to do with MY life?"
Then, as hard as it is, be confident that you can hear His voice. Confess your sin. Yield your stress and anxiety. Ask questions and simply listen for His voice. He's got a plan for you--you've just got to go with it.
"You pore over Scriptures because you think you have eternal life in them, yet they testify about Me."
I've started to get more involved with my local church. Last week, I was volunteering for the production team for the youth ministry. The Youth Pastor was speaking on senior night (where they said goodbye to all the soon-to-be graduates).
The pastor said something that I really liked.
Can you guys tell the difference between a 60 year old veteran Christian who volunteered every Sunday (because he felt obligated) and a 17 year old kid who has sat at the feet of Jesus, in God's presence, for the last 8 months?
The kid looks more like Jesus.
Have you felt God's presence? Sat and been amazed by who He is--in awe of His goodness?
I'm not sure about you, but after feeling God's presence I would much rather be the 17 year old kid. But I also know what it is like to be busy and just check things off the list like the old man. I think I'm a little bit of both.
I remembered that story as I read John chapter 5 in my quiet time yesterday. I think that is kind of what Jesus was saying.
We can pore over scriptures, we can serve every Sunday, we can lead small groups, we can do all this stuff, but we're missing the mark if they don't point to HIM.
That's their only purpose--to point to Christ.
I think that if I'm not careful I will miss the mark. I will do stuff rather than do God's presence. Why seek to be Bible Geniuses if not to let Him minister to your heart to know Him better.
I love the way our Bible is timeless. In this verse, Jesus was speaking to the Jews, but today I read it as if He was speaking directly to me. Jesus was reminding us to not take him out of the equation.
My King, my Savior, my Friend, please help me keep you on the throne of my life. Reveal yourself to me, to anyone reading this, in a whole new way. Teach me how to sit in your presence. To have a passion for your Word in a way that lets me seek you, not seek knowledge. Without you at the center of my everything, everything that I do is pointless. Amen.