|God is good and His love endures forever.|
I have been listening to One Thing Remains by Jesus Culture continuously for the past two hours and enjoying the private worship I seldom get to enjoy lately.
For the past year or so, I have been feeling more the tug to return to the basics - simple worship, simple prayer times, simply spending a lot of time with God.
It's true that I tend to accomplish an incredible amount of things on a daily basis. However, despite all my successes, I felt like something was amiss - like the ever ominous feeling that comes over people when something in the back of our mind is telling us that we're forgetting something or that there is something urgent we need to do.
Sure I maintain my prayer life somewhat and retains most of the Bible from the several times I've read it cover to cover. However, it's nowhere near the intensity of when I was falling in love with God.
Back then, I spent hours on a daily basis simply worshipping God, reading the Bible, praying, and listening to God, all on my own.
Over the years, various responsibilities, obligations, and "higher" priorities eroded that time and my worship is delegated to when I'm driving, my prayer brief and sporadic throughout the day, and reading the Bible an exercise of willpopwer. And though I still spent time listening to God, it's... Different.
Today I started reading The Circle Maker by Mark Batterson. Reading about the examples of prayers reminded me of the many times God came through miraculously on my prayers, and what that was like for me. It reminded me of what it means to intercede without doubting, without getting tired or fed up.
If you ever met someone who truly knows the will of God for them in their lives, who are called to intercede for others, you would see something different. Their eyes would be clear, lucid, more than other people you've ever met. You'd see conviction and a confidence different than you've ever seen before. You may be confused by this confidence - where does it come from? Are they really that self-confident? Who do they think they are?
However, if you spend some time talking to them, you would quickly find out that they are not at all confident in themselves, but rather, they are confident that their prayer is aligned with God's will, as if God Himself has told them that what they are praying for will come to pass. It's the confidence of a prophet, of an intercessor.
And if they should look at you with knowing eyes, and you feel as if they know you better than you know yourself, you may try to put up a wall or run away. However, if that happens, it would be both unnecessary and in vain. Unnecessary because such knowledge would come from God, given to them so they may intercede and pray for you with love and conviction, not to judge you. And in vain because even if you do not know it and even if you avoid it, they will pray for you anyway, with love and conviction, not with judgment.
This is because those who truly listens to God can do no less than be humbled by Him who is Holy and pure above all things. When you stand before pure, unadulterated love, you realize how selfish you are, how flawed you are, and how you really don't understand what love is, only that it is more wonderful than you ever thought it is or can ever fully comprehend. And you can't help but realize that before such love there is no judgment.
There will come a day of judgment, of that we know for sure. However, this is not the time. There will also still be consequences for our actions, but love covers all sins.
For the first time in a long time, I was moved to intercede and not merely pray, for my wife, my son, and my unborn son. The words came flowing out like a gushing river, like something that my soul has yearned to do and say for a long time but was never given the opportunity to do. Prayers with the kind of conviction that led Moses to pray and tell God that without Him, they will not go anywhere - that He will only go where God wants him to go.
Through all the busy-ness of life, life is actually really short. Those of us with high-paced intense work knows this very well. A day feels like a week because of the sheer amount of things that are accomplished. And yet a year passes with the blink of an eye because we don't have the luxury to be bored or slack off. Thus, in this short life of ours, let's not lose sight of the goal: What is our purpose in this life, and what happens after?
For me, generally, it is to glorify God as best as I know how, and to spend eternity with Him who knows me and Loves me before I even existed.
Soapbox message: Life is short. Don't lose sight of your true self: your true goals, your true dreams, and your true purpose while you are still in this world.