Do you long to walk closer to God? Not just to go to church or be “good?”
You have seen others who seem to have this down. Maybe they had someone show them or they grew up in a church that taught them well. That can make you feel like you are the only one who feels this way.
You are not the only one, I promise.
I remember standing on the precipice of faith and having a ton of questions. I didn’t know who to ask or how to get there. As I walked in my faith early on, I began to understood that God was real and I believed that He loved me. But I knew there was more. I just didn’t know what that “more” was.
Now, so many years later I know what it’s like to walk with Jesus, but there are times I still have questions. I’m still growing in my faith. I realized that this was not a one-and-done event, but came from daily growing in my faith. I also found comfort as I read about Jesus and how He interacted with His followers early on. They had tons of questions too, and asked those questions more than once. Jesus was patient with them. He sat with them and taught them. He showed them by example what faith and relationship looked like. When we look at the relationship with Jesus and the disciples, we find these truths:
We begin where we are
Maybe you think you are behind the curve because you made past mistakes. Perhaps you don’t know the Bible like someone else. Jesus didn’t look for the perfect person, or a prototype of what a believer should look like. He walked by ordinary people like you and me and asked them to follow Him, right where they were. He saw their flaws but also the possibilities. Saying yes to His invitation was the beginning of transformation.
We learn as we go
Jesus asked them to follow Him. Day by day they encountered new and different circumstances. He showed them how to deal with difficult people. He showed them the power of prayer and “filling back up” after ministry. He showed them by example how to serve, love, cross dividing lines, and the beauty of gentle humility.
You and I learn the same way. Consider your faith as cumulative. It was never intended to be stagnant — say a prayer of salvation, stay where you are are. Instead, we learn about His character. We learn about who we are. We grow. Jesus didn’t lead the early church into more religion, and He won’t lead you there either. Instead, walking daily with Jesus leads into relationship, discovering the heart of what God wants and being a part of that.
Church was not a place to go, but a thing to be.
Does prayer and Bible study matter? Yes, but not as a rule or to-do. It’s a way of discovering the heart of God, and listening for His voice. We are challenged to grow spiritually as we read and study and talk to Him. We discover more about the Word, and how it applies to our daily life, to our thoughts, and to the way we live. It speaks to our broken places and it speaks to the warrior within.
We grow as we gather with others
We also come to know God as we join in with other believers who are seeking Him too. For right now, that’s really hard for a lot of us. Online church is one option and it’s a good one. Meeting with others online who have a healthy view of faith and who are seeking the heart of God is another. Talking with a good friend who may be one or two steps ahead in their spiritual growth is also a great option.
If you see in others the character traits and heart for God that you want, that’s a good sign that it’s a healthy community. It won’t be perfect because it’s filled with people just like ourselves, but it will offer growth.
If you are feel like you’ve been the only one wanting to stretch in your faith, and aren’t sure how, you are in good company. We’ve all been there. Knowing God is a life time of discovering and encountering Him — over and over again. He longs to know you just as much as you long to know Him.
May I pray with you today?
Father, thank you for the woman reading this. Lord, she wants to know you more, and you love her. You always have. She is yours. Let her know the love of a Father who will never leave her, never turn away from her, and who sees her exactly as she is today, but also cheers her on as she grows closer and closer to you. In your powerful name, Amen.
I have some great resources for you today.
- Let’s grow togetHER: Join me in a 3-week TogetHER study beginning February 1st: Finding Freedom Through Forgiveness
This study will be hosted in the TogetHER Community and Bible Study group on Facebook. It’s a private group so no one but those in the group can see the conversation.
- Listen to this week’s More Than Small Talk podcast episode titled: You are not the only one.
Holley, Jennifer and I talk about the beliefs we hold that we are “the only one,” and what to do about that.