At 24 years old, I was out of school, looking for a full-time job in my field of biology, and getting involved in a new church. I wasn’t really sure who God was, even though I had been brought up in a Christian home.
I was confused.
I was told most of my life I had to be good, wear the right clothes, act godly, and watch my language. None of these helped me have a relationship with Jesus.
God sent the most amazing woman into my life who showed me who He is and how much He loves me. Her name is Marilyn. Although we don’t live close anymore and I don’t get to talk to her like I used to, she has been my spiritual mom and friend.
She has lived, breathed, and walked out the love of Jesus. She was exactly who I needed. She was so patient with me even when I showed up at her house entirely unexpected. She prayed with me and for me. She modeled how to be a follower of Jesus.
This is precisely what our world needs today as well. It’s what our teens, college kids, and young adults need. Like us, they desire to have someone love them for who they are, to come beside them, and walk out life with them.
No judgment, no criticism, just acceptance, and love.
I pray my children meet someone like Marilyn one day. Someone who will be Jesus to them.
I want to be like her to the college-aged and young-married people in our church.
Our children live in such a different world than we did. They need direction, love, and the truth of Jesus and His Word in their lives. In Matthew 28:19, Jesus commands us to go and make disciples of all the nations.
We may not be called to another country in our lifetime, but making disciples in our families and right in our own backyard is a great place to start.
If you are anything like me, you set goals and make plans for the new year.
Among those plans is a writing project I want to finish early this year, a vacation for later in the year, and because we have goats, I start planning for kids (babies) as well!
The Lord has plans for us too. He has promises and dreams to fulfill in us and through us. His plans are not like ours. They are carefully laid out to work towards our future and to give us hope. While the verses in Jeremiah are full of promises, there are several requirements that the Lord has of us.
The first one is to call on Him, the second is to come to Him, and the third is to pray to Him. He wants us to come to Him, and He wants us to pray. I don’t believe this kind of praying is while we stand in line somewhere or while fixing dinner or reading or watching TV. (There’s nothing wrong with any of this). The type of praying He refers to in this verse is coming to Him whether on your knees or in a quiet place. He wants our full attention on Him.
Then He promises to hear you! The God of Heaven and Earth promises to listen to you.
This is not the type of hearing we do…He does not listen to us the way we “listen” to others when we are on the internet or Facebook, or sitting on a pew Sunday morning. The kind of hearing God does means He will do something about what He hears.
Lastly, God wants us to SEEK Him!
Seeking Him is looking for Him in every situation, and seeking His will and His face. Seeking Him is pursuing Him like you pursue someone you really want to get to know or the way you might pursue a job or career.
He wants us to seek Him with our whole heart as well. Not half-hearted or until we get what we desire, but seek Him with all you have like your life depends on it.
Because it does, really.
The last promise is amazing. He promises us that when we seek Him with our whole heart HE WILL BE FOUND.
You will find God.
He is not hiding from you because He wants to be known.
Who doesn’t want to be known? We all want people to know us, to understand us, and to see our gifts or talents. That’s why shows like The Voice and American Idol are so popular. People seek to be known for who they are and what they can do.
God wants you to know who He is and what He can do, but mostly how much He cares for you.
Join me this new year in seeking God with your whole heart.
I can promise you, you will find Him.