Monday, October 28, 2019

Of Prime Importance

How do we get to know someone?
Not just superficially, but deeply?
It usually doesn't happen overnight.
And most often, it is very intentional.

Just as occurs with our human friendships, our closeness with the One who created us and who loves us so very deeply, doesn't usually happen overnight. There can be a sudden pulling of our hearts to Him, but over time, this relationship with God needs to be intentionally cared for.

What are the ways that God 
helps you to grow closer to Him? 

It may be different for each one of us. For me, some of the primary ways He has drawn my heart to know Him more deeply have been by experiencing His faithful love and care for me as I have gone through various trials. Hard, heart-breaking things that have brought me to depend on Him more deeply than ever before. Bringing me to a place where I am so lost and needy, and I desperately need Him.

Another of the main ways that He draws my heart closer, draws me to know Him more deeply, is through reading His Word. I need to spend time ... continued, intentional time in His Word. There is no shortcut to knowing someone unless we spend time with them. We must spend time listening carefully, listening deeply. It must be intentional, for there are so many things that pull us away, that distract us from what is most important. 

And in order to be able to hear from Him as I read His Word, I need to quiet my heart and mind, to intentionally pause, and listen. For how can we hear unless we truly listen?

Satisfy us each morning with Your unfailing love,
so we may sing for joy to the end of our lives.
(Psalm 90:14 NLT)

One of the tools that I've been using recently as I pause and read His Words is the Chronological Life Application Study Bible (NLT). I am loving this fresh approach of reading His Word chronologically. Also, with the added maps, diagrams, and notes in this Bible, the Old Testament is coming alive to me in deeper ways than ever before. I'm underlining and making notes in my main Bible, the (in)Courage Devotional Bible, but also using this Chronological Study Bible is opening my eyes and my heart to know Him in more ways than before. 

Whatever the tool or the avenue of getting to know God more intimately, our hearts are key.  Sharing our hearts with Him, and listening to His heart. A longing, a deep desire, and an intentional heart - all by the grace of God - will take us on an exciting, never-ending journey of knowing and walking with God. 

You're my place of quiet retreat;
I wait for Your Word to renew me.
(Psalm 119:114 MSG)

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