In December I attended a conference on the Holy Spirit where I finally managed to trust that God knows me as his daughter. The intimacy that has come with that revelation has changed everything, allowing me to see the world through different eyes, dig into sealed places in my heart, open my life to nudges of the Spirit.
Of course, as with every mountaintop experience, there is the fear that I will forget what I learned and go back to life as usual, my default settings. Nothing would make Satan happier than for me to return to doubt and fear, for me to see God as angry and suspicious and not the Father who loves me and delights over me.
To keep this from happening, I’ve been looking at ways to spend more time with God, looking for ways to increase my intimacy with him. More time in the Bible, more time in prayer, being careful with my schedule so I don’t fill it with things that choke out my light, even emptying my house of extras that distract me from time with my family and friends and other blessings he gives.
Unfortunately, there are a lot of books and teachers out there who mix things together that shouldn’t be mixed, and sometimes I can be sucked into that. The idea that intimacy with God has to be a mystical thing filled with visions and new teachings and new truths; sometimes I fall for that. A little New Age mixed with some eastern religions, sprinkled liberally with talk of Jesus, and viola–a person has this new mess on her hands that’s just as bad as her lack of faith in God’s love.
Anyway, it has to boil down to truth, and that comes from one place. Yep, that would be the Bible. As I read about prayer, as I draw closer to God, as I look to add true spiritual disciplines to my life to increase my intimacy with the God who loves me, I have to guard the truths with everything I have. Every extra-biblical resource I read must faithfully stick to Scripture. And I find so very many of them don’t. There are no new truths. I don’t need new truths. I simply need to learn to live out the truths God already gave me. He says to pray without ceasing. He says to love him more than anything else. He says to turn my life over to him and follow him and take up my cross. Frankly, it’s easier to find books that say Hey, Jill, this is all about you. God loves you, so simply bask in that and get a big head and meditate on how awesome you are. Um, sure. Who doesn’t want to find some way to make herself the center of everything?
However, the truth is I am loved, and God delights in me, but he also put me here in enemy territory with a mission. I am a beloved warrior child. I am here to share Dad’s truths with a darkening world. I don’t have time to bask all day and be vain. He wants to love me, heal me, sing over me, and stick in a sword in my hand so I can fight for the other people he loves, heals, and sings over. Only a lot of them don’t know that yet. Head out, my daughter, and rescue your other siblings. My other children need to know what you know, so love them and guide them home.
As I dig through the good and the bad, I’ll share with you what I discover. I don’t want to default back to useless. But I don’t want to swing so far to the other side that I’m useless in new ways. I want to guard truths, breathe God with every breath, grow comfortable in the knowledge that I am loved with an everlasting love, and fight battles for my lost siblings. I want to love outwardly and not focus inward all the time. And I plan to listen to the Spirit as he leads me to true teachings, true teachers, and true friends, so I will not waver.