When Jesus looked out and saw that a large crowd had arrived, he said to Philip, “Where can we buy bread to feed these people?” He said this to stretch Philip’s faith. He (Jesus) already knew what he was going to do.
John 6:5-6 (MSG)
It’s funny how often we find ourselves feeling insufficient enough to meet the needs around us. There’s never enough of ‘me’ to go around, kind of like the five barley loaves and two fish, a food supply totally inadequate to meet the needs of thousands of hungry people.
But what are they among so many?” Andrew asked ( John 6:9), and the answer is, “Of themselves, they are nothing.”
Until we place ourselves in Gods hands, we are inadequate. He has the resources to take our little bit, and make it much. My October Masterpiece has done just that, overcoming her fear of inadequacy and doubt over her little bit by trusting God to make much of her offering. May it bless you as it has me.
As I was attempting to write this post, all I could think about was my to do list … The things I needed to add to my lists, and the things I needed to do to mark off my lists. My mind was racing and I couldn’t focus, until I was reminded that I needed to be still and listen for God to lead me to what it was I was supposed to share. All I could say in response was, “I can’t hear Him. My brain is running a hundred miles a minute.”
The follow-up question ensued.
Is He still there?
Even when you can’t hear Him?
See His fingerprints?
Is He still there?
Without hesitation, my response came.
Of course He is.
My reply was followed by the “but.” You know, that word we use that erases everything that comes before it.
To acknowledge that God is there in the storms and trials and seasons in my life is the easy part. The hard part is taking the time to sit down, share my heart, and wait for His instructions and peace to follow. One thing I’ve learned is that it’s in the times of complete chaos and utter turmoil that God has the most to show us.
The older I get the more I realize my life is insanely full …
Full of doing and full of myself. So full, in fact, that I often forget what my real purpose is.
As I embark on a new chapter in my life, my thoughts are consumed by those lists I first mentioned, and I’m reminded how desperately I need my time with God. Sometimes I get so busy and so consumed with my tasks and doing that I don’t make the CHOICE to make time for growing in and strengthening my relationship with GOD. This makes for a hard time hearing and recognizing His voice and discerning His instructions.
I read a story one time, about a man who had this amazing relationship with God. He would sit at his kitchen table to have coffee with Him every morning. This man loved his time with the Lord, but slowly his life got busy and those times became shorter and shorter, until one morning, he skipped it altogether. As he raced down the stairs towards the door, Jesus called out to him and gestured to a chair, but the man looked at Jesus and hastily said, “I’m sorry, but I just don’t have enough time today.”
That evening, when the man returned home, Jesus was still sitting at the table waiting for him. He called out to the man again and gestured towards the chair. This time the man replied, “I’m so exhausted from the day that I just don’t have enough energy to talk right now.” Still, every morning Jesus would sit at the kitchen table waiting, and each evening He would be there when the man came home. The man continually made excuses as to why he didn’t have time to sit and talk with his Friend. Nevertheless, Jesus waited every morning and every evening, just to have a relationship with the man.
Sadly, this has been my life for quite some time. Rushing in and rushing out, to and fro, trying to mark as many things off my list for the day, all while Jesus sits waiting on me to take the time to sit with Him and really invest myself into falling back in love with Him. This is true of so many Christians. We forget all that was sacrificed so that we can have the privilege of experiencing a relationship with our amazing Creator and Savior. We fall into the lie that this world has something to really offer us that hasn’t already been given.
I’ve been in that place; the one where having a relationship with Jesus is exciting and fulfilling and I can’t get enough….
So deeply, madly, desperately in love with the Creator, Savior, Father, Husband, and Best Friend I had so desperately needed but until that point never known. I was hungry for time with Him and His word. As a senior in college, I woke up early in the morning to pray and read the Word and get to know Him. I raced home between classes just to do it again, and then again before I went to sleep. I couldn’t get enough. I told everyone about Him and His amazing love. I was different. I smiled all the time. Nothing bothered me. It was a spiritual high. But because of sin that has been on repeat in my life, I left my first and only true love for the lies of the world.
Some time ago, my heart was pricked over the sin in my life. I had once again believed the lies that Satan had been whispering for so long.
You have failed too many times.
You don’t deserve His love.
You will never overcome that sin that keeps repeating itself in your life.
You’re just like Esau, full of tears but no real repentance.
I remember crying out to God as I lay in bed, begging for Him to show me how to be in love with Him again, and begging for Him not to leave me where I was. Then I felt God speak to my heart. He brought to my mind a scripture from I John.
Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us, and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
1 John 4:10
Whether or not God loves us has nothing to do with us loving Him. Before we could ever attempt to love Him, He had to love us first, and His word tells us how to show Him that we love Him, and that we have victory over sin.
For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments: and His commandments are not grievous. For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?
1 John 5: 3-5
God was using this scripture to tell me things that I needed to hear and remember.
His love is not dependent on my performance or love for Him.
I do not have to listen to the lies of Satan or repeat those sins, because I was given the ability to overcome it all when I became a child of God.
He told me how to love him again, by keeping His commands… and not just keeping them, but wanting to keep them.
But I have this against you, that you have left your first love.
Revelation 2:4 (NASB)
Jesus tells the church of Ephesus that they left their first love … Him. He instructed them to remember where they fell from, repent, and do the first works. Those first works in my life are returning to a relationship with God. I can’t tackle my to do lists or begin to do good works in His name without knowing Him in a personal and intimate way, and that only comes from spending time in His Word and in prayer.
Danielle Lee, affectionately known as Dani by her friends and family, is currently pursuing a master’s degree in professional counseling at Liberty University. Her hope is that someday God would allow her to use her education in ways she cannot imagine to minister to the hurting, including her dream to be involved in women’s ministry.
Saved at the age of 8, Dani really didn’t experience what it was like to have a relationship with God until her senior year of college, where God showed her what it was like to fully know Him and love Him without reservation. Although there have been bumps along the way, she continues to learn and grow from the life God has blessed her with. She is currently embracing her singleness and seeking God’s perfect path for her life.