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January 19, 2009

Devotional Journey--Day 14

For the final day of our Devotional Journey, Laurie McIntyre writes that what growing Christians need is not a new idea but a commitment to put into practice what we already know. This commitment, she writes, is similar to trying to lose weight. Laurie says,

"I liken it to the multi-billion dollar dieting industry?Those of us who struggle with unwanted pounds are always on the lookout for some new strategy, breakthrough method, or even the ever-hoped-for magic pill that will melt the pounds away and somehow eliminate the hard work of denying ourselves and hitting the gym. In truth, there is no easy way and no one can do it for us."

Her bottom line: There are no shortcuts to spiritual intimacy with God.

Get it?

The most common barrier to spiritual intimacy that we see on this blog is busyness and over-commitment. This isn't something that I personally struggle with (maybe because I don't have kids!) but I make plenty of other common mistakes. Sometimes I mistake acts of service or ministry for closeness to God. Then there's materialism, or entitlement (oy, that's a big one). And the list goes on. Laurie's right ? I need a spiritual kick in the pants. I know what I need to do be grow closer to the Lord, but I don't do it.

How about you? Are you willing to do the hard work needed to follow Jesus and grow in intimacy with him?


I loved this reading. It was convicting, but in a refreshing, "ah, yes!" kind of way.

I loved how she said that it’s not a fresh idea that we need; it’s a fresh start. This quote's my favorite: "We need to humble ourselves before God and admit that ministry not fueled by intimacy with him is self-serving and powerless."

This reminded me of how true it is that apart from Christ, I can do nothing (John 15:5). So yes, I’m committing to getting closer to him, no matter the cost. Thanks for this journey GFL!

Sometimes I surprise myself with this desire for an on-going, sustained intimacy with Jesus. Honestly, is there any relationship in my life that enjoys 24/7 intimacy? (Could I stand it, if there was?)

How realistic is it to expect to "stay fresh spiritually?" Even Jesus became exhausted by ministry and had to remove himself to a quiet place. He is God, and yet he had to make time to be alone with God, the Father. Try to get your mind around that!

I do agree that all ministry needs to flow from my relationship with God and is meaningless unless it is in response to his love. Yet, experience teaches me that even though I faithfully sit at his feet each morning, I will experience times of feeling disconnected.

For me, those times aren't a signal that I need a "kick in the pants," so much as a time of testing. Do I believe He is still with me, even when I don't feel His presence?

In those times, I press on. I continue to seek him through the Word and prayer, through quietness and listening; and in his own time, I begin to feel his presence again.

As for our experience in the poor country because we live in Madagascar. As I meditate your Devotional, I would like to share with you on what area hinder us to not have closest relationship to our Lord.The First thing is "poverty" when people are hungry and broke we are going to look for money, food first instead of seek God's face first. The worst thing is some people criticize God on their situation, and some blame others.
I am from a poor family but many years I seek God's face to ask help, salvation, to leave the curse of poverty. I prayed, fasted, to ask good job to the Lord so that I may live without financial problem. I was wrong.I was still hungry and struggling with material and money. The time that I realized that the problem is not money, or materials or even joy and peace; the thing that I need is the LORD HIMSELF HE IS THE RICHNESS, WEALTH, HE IS MY ALL THINGS.
From that moment I realized that there was many miracles happened into my life. I did not expect wealth but God provides them if I have closest relationship with HIm. I am married to Domoina we have two daughters Anaiah and Benaia, we are serving the Lord with the International Sports Outreach in Madagascar. Preaching the Gospel through basketball, we are feeling blessed both our personal life and ministry because of His grace and mercy.

I started by journey back to intimacy with God back in November of 2007...I had begun to feel really disconnected and I didn't like that. Let me tell you, for the first few months, I didn't "feel" anything...didn't "feel" closer to God...didn't "feel" any more spiritual than I did before I started. But I remained faithful, talking to God everyday, remaining committed to tithing, getting involved in our local church...and then about 6 months into it, BAM!! God really drew near to me...and I believe it is what someone mentioned in another comment...sometimes when we don't "feel" anything, it's somewhat of a test of our hearts to see if we can remain faithful even if we don't have an emotional experience. I started having a time like that this week too, where I wasn't feeling anything anymore...but I remained faithful...reading my scriptures, talking to God, and now I feel the closeness again. God knows that we are emotional people, and that we like to feel I think he will always give us a season where we feel really connected to Him. But even when we aren't in that season, know that He loves us, cares for us and has a plan for us.


I don't normally comment on blogs but your post was a real call to action. Thank you for a great read, I will be sure to bookmark your site and check in now and again.How long it took you to get so much info ?? Well ,I really appreciate your Hard Effort in gathering so info much for us.!!
Anyways thanks
Hanuman chalisa

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