I want to experience Your presence. Be bowled over by Your love. Grow closer to You in unexpected ways. Encounter You in places I never expected. And see You do things I can only dream about.
That’s why I long for You to help me look beyond what I see at first glance, so I can see what You have done, are doing and will do. See possibilities where I only see pain, so I can see what You have done, are doing and will do. And love You with every bit of my being, so I can see what You have done, are doing and will do.
I pray like this for one simple reason.
I want to be ‘all in’ for You. All the time. In all my life.
Faith is not merely having the right beliefs, being religious, becoming perfect or merely following rules. The very heart of faith is being so caught up in God’s love in Jesus that it simply becomes the defining factor in your life. This love is unconditional – a gift God freely shares with you. It is transformational – enabling you to become a new creation in Christ. And it is invitational – inviting you to participate fully in God’s life both now and forever. But the best thing of all about God’s love in Jesus is that it just keeps coming and coming and coming.
Problems in the 21st century seem so massive that you may feel as if you can’t make a positive difference in the world. But is that really true? After all, you can allow Jesus’ love to change you – that makes a positive difference. You can live with hope because you believe in the power of Jesus’ resurrection – that makes a positive difference. And you can sign up to mentor a child, pray for someone or look people in the eye and say, ‘God bless you’ – that makes a positive difference. But there’s more. God will always use what you do – and that really makes a positive difference.
God loves you. You love God. This means everything will always work out, right? Absolutely! Just not always exactly the way you want. This can lead to a huge crisis of faith – unless you’re willing to stop insisting God do things the way you think God should do them and instead start dealing with God on God’s terms. When you do, you’ll experience God’s love in all its glory. Which is exactly what you’ve been looking for all along – even if you didn’t know it.
You may spend too much of your life struggling. You may hear ‘You’re no good’ until you believe it. And you may always seem to end up with the short end of the step. But in sharp contrast to what you may be going through, God longs for you to experience God’s take-the-initiative, it-doesn’t-matter-what’s-going-on, never-give-up eternal love that frees you to experience the life God longs you to have. Is this what you want? Are you ready? Are you willing to do things in a new way to experience it? If so, do what you always need to do. Trust God this much.