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Sunday’s Monday

I have witnessed several conversations recently about going deeper with God. It seems people feel secure in their knowledge of Jesus and think learning more of the God of the old testament will miraculously lead to that deeper relationship one seeks. It amazes me how easily confused I can become overthinking matters of spiritual wellbeing and then God shows me people seeking shortcuts. The old testament is simply that, “old,” it is a history book just like we studied in school. It has a goal of teaching us the past so that we might use it to have a better future. I’ve heard it said, it’s always better to learn from the mistakes of others when seeking success for yourself. The road is smoother, the path is straighter, and the journey is much more enjoyable. On that thought, I started to pray and ask God for understanding on the subject. After a time of prayer and meditating on the situation, I felt one of the main reasons for this discrepancy is misinformation. It seems we’re familiar with the two sides, #1 the extreme of milk and honey, where life is as good as it gets and #2 damnation by the enemy attacking us with enormous problems testing our faith for weaknesses. We live in a spiritual society where all is well, or you’re going to hell. Peter warns in 1 Peter 5:8 (NLT), Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.

However, there is a sad but humorous fact to be recognized here. As many are trying so hard to obey or ignore deep, some strive to find a comfortable place between the two extremes to live their lives on earth. They completely lose the first and most important commandment, Matthew 22:36-37 (NLT), 36 “Teacher, which is the most important commandment in the law of Moses?” 37 Jesus replied, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.” That’s it! Jesus, in just a few words, has removed all confusion, all excuses, no exceptions! Now, do we “really” want to go deeper or as some would say to the next level with God? If so, the key is spending more time with Him in His word, in prayer and meditation, and by the way, there is a difference. (Prayer is when we talk, meditation is where we listen). Then comes the obedient part, no matter what it is if God tells you something act upon it immediately!

Going deeper with God sounds great when hearing from someone who has moved to a new level in their relationship with Jesus. It can be a great motivator but with a double edge, as most people understand far too little about going deeper with God. First off, God is not a one-size-fits-all, Jesus is not out to get us, and the Holy Spirit is simply a guide to help us get through this life (for all intent and purpose, we are our “own” keeper). I believe Matthew 22:38-40 (NLT), 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments,” covers this. We are not robots.

The thing many people fail to realize is the next level doesn’t come without a cost. Life itself will continue to be filled with challenges, pain, sadness, disappointment, etc. which will increase with each level. However, the greater our depth with God the stronger our resistance to the attacks. I find the greatest tool my enemy has over me, is the ability to draw up my deepest secrets, memories, doubts, and fears. He is the master at showing me everything about me that I don’t like. However, I’m finding “it’s not the fact of getting to know God more, as much as it is getting to truly understand me the way God does.” God’s word, the church, and history gives me the dos and don’ts, but my deep relationship with Jesus gives me the WHY! I always try to examine my shortfalls through conversations with Jesus!” As is recorded in Ephesians 2:10 (NLT), For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago. To perform like Jesus, we first must personally know and love Him! And for your sake, don’t struggle to be any more than God ask of you, because you can’t! Re-read Matthew 22:36-40.

My prayer for us this week is found in Ephesians 1:15-17 (NLT), 15 Ever since I first heard of your strong faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for God’s people everywhere, 16 I have not stopped thanking God for you. I pray for you constantly, 17 asking God, the glorious Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, to give you spiritual wisdom and insight so that you might grow in your knowledge of God. Lord help us to know that following you is a struggle, but you have what is best for us always in your heart. I pray we spend our time learning to love you more and worrying less of the problems in this world. Amen


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