On Mother’s Day this year I preached a sermon titled “Could this be my real life or is it just a fantasy?” When God put that title in my mind it took me back to when I was pregnant with my oldest. I remembered being in the restroom at work and a coworker walked in and asked me what it was like to be pregnant. We were the same age and had been married roughly for the same amount of time. My response was that I told her that it felt “surreal.” It was a mix of fact and fantasy. Fact: My body was changing, there was life growing in me. Fantasy: What was my baby going to look like? Would I be a good mother? My baby would be a grown man in a short amount of time, would I be able to prepare him for his future?
When God asks us to take the next step in your life changing walk with Him, would you? Things are going to change. Child birth sure did not feel good while I was going through it, but the reward was so amazing!
What does a life look like that has come alive to God? It is not going to look the same. We all have a deep and earnest desire for something. The thing we desire was placed in us by God; and He has given us the choice to walk in it, but without His Son we cannot be full in it.
John 14:16 (NIV) Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
What is it that of our heart’s desire? Could it be found in the first commandment? Matthew 22:37-38 tells us: Jesus replied, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment.”
I like how it is stated in Deuteronomy especially. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and will all your strength (Deut. 6:5 NIV). Very much like how it is stated in Matthew, but the next few verses gives us a deeper understanding of what it looks like. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on doorframes of your houses and on your gates (Deut. 6:6-9).
We do the first part, but lack confidence in the second part. What if that was not a dream? What would it look life if this was a reality in my life? It was not always like that for us. When we first accept Christ we could not wait to tell other’s about Him. This deep passionate love that God desires for us to have takes effort. It takes building within a relationship. That was why Jesus was not liked by the religious leaders of the time. These relationship that He modeled for us to have with His Father took us out of just doing a ritual into an ever growing, maturing relationship. The way I look at it is that religion is wrapped up in fear (refusing to move). Relationship takes faith, because relationships grow and change.
The way I look at it is that religion is wrapped up in fear (refusing to move). Relationship takes faith, because relationships grow and change.
Matthew 13:44 NLT The Kingdom of Heaven is like a treasure that a man discovered hidden in a field. In his excitement, he hid it again and sold everything he owned to get enough money to buy the field.
I am not telling you to sell your belongings, but what do we have that stands in the way of us going deeper into the relationship that Jesus desires for us.
Philippians 3:7-16 NKJV But what things were to gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ. Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith; that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed in His death, if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection of the dead. Not that I have already attained or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid of me. Brethren, I do not count myself as apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God is Christ Jesus. Therefore let us, as many as are mature, have this mind; and if anything you thing otherwise, God will reveal this to you. Nevertheless, to the degree that we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us be of the same mind.
Like Paul, I have not gotten everything that God desires for me, but I press on! I know that I have said this before, but I am not the same person I was a year ago. I am not the same person I was five years ago. As I write this and by the time it will be published it will be nine years since I stood up in front of my church and spoke for the very first time. There have been discouragements along the way. Not everything that I speak or write about will be received with an open heart. However, I press on. There is a prize to be awarded. I cannot see it and I will not receive it until I pass from this life until the next. We cannot let the circumstances of this world to keep us from attaining such things.
My oldest is now sixteen years old. I have made some mistakes while raising him. My perspective had to change because of the way that God designed him. One thing he does understand is that his mom loves God with all of her heart, mind and soul. I have put His Word before him (not beat him with it), but built him up in it. At sixteen he still kisses me before he leaves the house. He will nuzzle me with his head at random parts of the day. It is far better than I could have ever imagined or dreamed. It is a relationship that will forever grow and change.