I feel like our society is so focused on self – do what makes YOU happy; dress to express YOUR personality; spend your money on things to glorify YOURSELF. This focus on “me” is a distraction from our real purpose, which is to have a relationship with our creator where we can experience all of the amazing things in this world, and still keep God at the center of our lives. More than just praying when we find the time, or squeezing in a devotional on a lunch break, but making the decision to put myself and my desires second. But what does that look like?
Invite God Into Our Desires
“Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart”
“Ask and it will be given to you seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.”
“If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.”
God longs to be in our lives, to know our hearts, understand our fears and desires, and He genuinely wants to overflow our lives with blessings. Not to say that every Christian will have the perfect life, but everyone who invites God into their lives and into their desires will live a more full life. Inviting God into our desires also opens the door for Him to speak to us and reveal His perfect plan for our lives.
Include God in Our Discussions
I could spend all day talking about what trends I’m most looking forward to in the upcoming season, but often times feel awkward when someone in the group starts talking about what God is doing in their lives. Why? If God is truly at the center of my life, shouldn’t I be the most comfortable talking about how awesome He is?
This awkwardness is probably because I’m not used to it. Which is a problem. This should be the most natural conversation I can have with someone! After all, if I get awkward talking about God to my best friends, how am I supposed to go out and tell the world about Him?
(About to go on a tangent moment, but it relates, I promise!) A while ago I decided to cut down on my carb intake (which was extremely painful because I love bread. And pancakes. And pasta. And basically everything that can be considered “carby”). After the first week of fighting off carb cravings, I stopped wanting pancakes and pasta and naturally only wanted proteins and fruits. Pretty awesome. And it’s the same with God. Learning to include God in our everyday discussions (our struggles, how God is working in our lives, the verse you liked from a devotional…) might be awkward at first, but soon it will be the most natural part of your life.
Matthew 15:11 also states, “What goes into someone’s mouth does not defile them, but what comes out of their mouth, that is what defiles them.” This verse is an amazing reminder to be careful of the things that we say – aka keeping our discussions God focused is perfect!
Involve God in Our Decisions
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all our ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.”
“Stand at the crossroads and look; ASK for the ancient paths, ASK where the good way is and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls.”
“Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you saying, “This is the way; walk in it.”
You know what’s pretty cool that I often forget? We have the creator of the universe helping us get through life. Also, he has a perfect plan already laid out for us; we’re instructed to pray, to be patient and this plan will be revealed. Unfortunately, we’re human. We’re not patient; we get proud and begin to think that our agenda is the top priority. We start to listen to the voices of the world and slowly slip away from God and into a life of sin. Instead, make the conscious effort to involve God in every decision – pray that God would show you His plan, and (most importantly) learn to submit to His will and be OK with the fact that his plan is probably different than what you had in mind (but it will be much for fulfilling than anything you could have imagined).
Invite God into your desires, include God in your discussions, and involve God in your decisions.