Preparing for God’s Presence

The path which leads me through this world is a very tiny part of my journey, but it is a very important part that prepares me for God’s presence. This leg of my journey is about learning to love, and the lessons learned allow me to begin walking in His kingdom now.

The lessons in love this week have reminded me of the simple truth that God is love, and he who doesn’t love doesn’t know God. Sobering lessons indeed. Love isn’t complicated and is described beautifully in 1 Corinthians 13:4-8a

“Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails” NASB

Love never fails, but people often do because we are imperfect. Attempts at love keep us humble in that regard:) God knows the struggles we face when it comes to love, and He hears my heart as I struggle. I take love and make it what I want it to be, and that is as silly as taking God and making Him what I want Him to be. I’m guilty of that too.

God is patient and rejoices with the truth. He never fails and neither does true love. As God reveals Himself to me, I see love in a new light. Christ’s precious love is the life and the light behind love beautifully expressed. He is the heart of God’s Word and stands as the ultimate example when it comes to love.

When I drift off course, I turn to God’s Word. He shares His journey with me and invites me to come along and abide in Him. When I accept His invitation, He abides in me. That abiding becomes the most beautiful connection possible on this side of heaven, and I can have it with Him and those with whom I share His love.

The world tempts and tries to fill me with a variety of cheap imitations, but once I taste love in God’s light, my heart will not settle for anything less. My journey here presents a perfect path to prepare my heart for love. My path has been a convoluted one which has left me reeling at times, but it has led to a greater understanding of just who God is and who He wants me to be.

As a minister once told me, all we can do is nudge a little closer to God and help others do the same. Wise words that aptly describe this path which prepares us for God’s presence:)

Tedious Trudge or Joyful Journey?

What’s the first thing you seek when you awake? If you’re like most, it’s a cup of coffee or something to eat. I like to linger in bed and talk to God before I start the day. My day is much better when I start it with Him. If I am worrying or whining, our time together isn’t time together at all. Worry makes it all about me, and that ruins the moment. The day goes from bad to worse. If I seek Him first thing in the morning and thank Him last thing in the evening, I find myself walking in His kingdom throughout the day.

Yesterday was a perfect example of being in His presence all day. I didn’t worry once, and God showed me how beautifully that affects my journey. Anytime I end up doing the children’s story, I know there is a lesson God is trying, without success, to teach me. I have the story today, and it’s about worry:) I’ve read and prayed over the scriptures for two weeks, and Pastor John shared the message God gave him about the powerful passage on seeking. I finally get it, and it is a transforming lesson indeed!

I hadn’t thought of the connection between worrying and seeking until John shared the message with me. Worry and trust are closely connected. If I worry, I don’t trust. If I trust, I don’t worry. It’s a simple message, but one with which I’ve struggled my entire life. Christ knows that worry causes me to miss God’s kingdom, and that makes life a tedious trudge instead of a joyful journey. God lets me decide which path to take, but He prefers I let go of worry and embrace the joy God’s kingdom has for me. Holding on to worry keeps me from seeking God’s kingdom; that makes me let go of worry as if it were a hot coal and seek God in a whole new way:)

Last night, I was getting my sparrow and lily ready for the story this morning,  and I was struck by the notion that worrying forces me to live life in a backward way. If I focus upon food, shelter, clothes, taking, making, getting, and doing, I don’t have time to seek God. Can you imagine what God’s world would look like if we all sought Him first? It would be His world and not ours. It would be His life and not mine. It would truly be “His kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven:)” That was part of the powerful lesson this week.

So why do I worry? I worry because I don’t trust God. It’s as simple as that, and God will not let me add any ‘if’s, and’s or but’s to that lesson. I have been known to take a perfectly wonderful lesson God teaches and add a little something to it, and that’s worse than worrying. That’s playing God, and it gets me into more trouble than not trusting Him. I’m humbled when I think of His patience with me and very thankful He sees me as a child learning to walk in His kingdom. Otherwise, I’d be in big trouble.

There is nothing worse than worry. It causes the past and future to invade my present. It makes me old, wrinkles my face, sours my stomach, disrupts my sleep, ruins my health, and keeps me from God’s presence. Wow, do I need any more convincing? I finally got God’s message on Thanksgiving day, and that was perfect timing on His part. Seeing Ali after seven years was icing on the cake yesterday. I told her she was my sticker this week, and what a wonderful blessing it was to hug her tightly and reconnect beautifully.

Worry causes me to look at the clock, think about the cost, wonder if I’m able, etc… Thanksgiving 2012 will go down as the week God put worry in its proper place-behind me! I pray I will remember the lessons from Matthew 6:25-33 as long as I live. I know I will as I seek Him in prayer, look to His Word, and see His world as He desires. God certainly did His part in making the lesson this week memorable, and I know if I will put Him in His proper place-in front of me, the journey will be a joy-filled walk in His kingdom that will help me draw nearer to Him and those He places in my path:)