Keys to Spiritual Growth
Developing Your Love Affair With God
This Page in German
The following assumes you have read You Can Find Love. That webpage explains how our deepest yearnings for love can be met only by a transformation that causes us to become spiritually one with our Maker. This on-going experience is so superior to any other relationship a human could enjoy that there are no adequate terms for it. When applied to God, terms like love affair and lover can have no sexual overtones. I have chosen them, however, to express the wonder and spontaneity of the thrillingly intimate and fulfilling love-relationship with the Person our heart cries out for. He is the One we were literally made for, the most important, exciting and fascinating Person in the entire universe.
Reading You Can Find Love is particularly important because it explains the basis for a dynamic encounter with the living God. I refer to a spiritual transformation so revolutionary that it is aptly termed being Ďborn again,í though overuse has sapped this term of its power.
You could walk down church aisles all your life without ever marrying. Everyone knows that. Yet, tragically, countless thousands have walked down a church aisle and falsely assumed that made them born again. Like marriage, it is a relationship, not a ritual that counts. Spiritual rebirth results from a life-changing union between two persons. You can mumble the sinnerís prayer, the saintsí prayer, any prayer you like; you can join the best church, get wet, slurp communion, look more godly than an archangel, and have not a throb of spiritual life. Your act can be so convincing that you even fool yourself, and remain unaware that your life has missed an entire dimension.
If you have not already done so, please read You Can Find Love now.
Constantly desire to know God more fully and more intimately
Make this your burning passion.
Probe too deeply into the personal life of any human and we have to brace ourselves for disappointment. We will inevitably find faults in the person. But we never have to fear discovering a flaw in God. He is the most wonderful person there is. His character is so beautiful that the more you know him the more you will fall in love with him.
Be convinced about Godís love for you
Above everything else, God is characterized by love. Even more exciting is the fact that God loves you.
Godís deeply personal and intimate love for you is greater than anything else you have ever experienced. Were you to combine every form of genuine human love, it would only give the vaguest glimpse of the intensity of Godís love for you.
You may feel deeply hurt because people have let you down, but God will never disappoint you.
Because genuine love is much deeper than mere feelings, you will not always be conscious of an inner feeling that Ďsaysí that God loves you. Our physical senses, intuition and emotions are all highly unreliable when it comes to detecting spiritual reality. Feelings are changeable, but Godís love is constant.
Your whole relationship with God hinges not on your emotions or your dependability but on rock-solid honesty of Almighty God. He is the most reliable source of information there is. If he says something, it is true, regardless of temporary and superficial appearances.
Your spiritual oneness with Jesus Christ allows God to see you as someone infinitely attractive, desirable and lovable. Because you are allowing God to do what he likes in your life, he is gradually changing you so that one day you will be completely Christ-like. When your Maker looks at you, he sees the perfect person that you will become when he completes his work in your life.
God is good!
We canít hope to enjoy the heights of intimacy with someone whose integrity we doubt. So if you have any uncertainties about Godís goodness, wisdom, justice, or whatever, I encourage you to bring these doubts into the open. Carefully examine them in the light of Scripture, and pray about them. Instead of vainly trying to suppress doubts, do your best to remove them by getting to know your loving Lord better.
Godís knowledge and wisdom are so far beyond us that it would be impossible for us to try to find fault with Godís actions. Our limited understanding often tempts up to blame the Creator for things he didnít do.
If those who hold a grudge against God knew the gravity of their own sin, and the mercy of God, they would (or should) be thoroughly ashamed of their attitude.
The Lord has the right to do whatever he likes with us because he owns us (due to the fact that he made us). But God is not some sort of arrogant tyrant.
The King of kings can not only be trusted with absolute power, he alone fully deserves that power.
Relax. Know that you are in Godís strong, capable hands.
Jesus longs to help you, but itís up to you whether you let him. ĎLeave your worries with him ...í says the Bible.
Faith is knowing that God is working out the perfect solution. It is believing that God not only can do a certain thing, but that he will do it for you. Trust (or faith) is one of the most crucial things in your ever-growing relationship with God. It is the key to forgiveness through Jesus and to receiving power to break the hold sin once had over us.
One of the biggest battles of faith will be in the area of sin. God, who now lives inside you, is stronger than every evil power and every longing for sin. God has promised that we need never again give in to sin.
The problem is that since we are now Godís friends, Godís enemy, the devil, has become our enemy. The devil has no hold over us, but he is a master at deception. Heíll try every trick he can think of to convince us that God no longer loves us, or that the devilís temptation is too strong.
Our mighty Lord has given us the power to put such distance between us and sin that sin need never again hurt us. Our Victor has not, however, given us his royal power so that we can play chicken with sin Ė to see how close we can get to sin without being swallowed up. To play games with sin is to make a mockery of what Christ endured on the cross to protect us from sin. Such disregard for Godís holiness causes us to move out of his protection.
All we need do for victory is to ignore the devilís lies and trust God. Believing God rather than the Deceiverís cunning lies can be quite a challenge, but God will make sure we make it. With God, youíre a winner!
The God who performed countless miracles in biblical times, and is just as powerful today, has taken up residence within you.
Recognize whoís boss!
Like the perfect leader he is, Jesus never asks us to do anything that he wouldnít do himself. God is not a cold-hearted perfectionist. He not only understands our human limitations, but he has experienced them.
Godís decisions are totally wise, good and unselfish. They can never be improved upon and they must be promptly obeyed. Anyone unwilling to have this attitude, has not turned from his/her sin. Such a person has therefore not been forgiven, and is still bound by sin.
Donít settle for a half-hearted love affair
If, for Jesusí sake, you would be willing to lose all your possessions, suffer pain, and even die, then God is truly your God. What we hold dearest sets the ceiling on how far we can go in life. If we let go of lesser things Ė such as fear, choosing an easy life and slavery to material things Ė we can soar with God.
Only God can remove sin from our lives, but now that he has we will want to do the little we can to reduce the pain our sin has caused other people. Now that we are new people we wonít want people continuing to believe a lie we have told so we will confess to them. We will seek to repay anyone we have stolen from, and so on.
Spend time alone with him
Expect your prayers to be answered but persistence is very important.
Itís good to offer hasty prayers as we go through our busy day, but your Lover deserves your undivided attention at least once a day. If you are too busy for this, you are too busy. Not only does giving God quality time delight your precious Lord, but it is vital to our spiritual welfare.
Praying is just chatting with God and sharing your heart. So thereís no need for archaic language, formal terms or lofty speech. Just relax and be yourself.
Try not to make prayer a one-sided conversation. Quietly wait for your Lord to speak to you. As you wait for the King of kings to respond, often nothing will seem to happen and thatís when I get restless. But you are honoring God by giving him to opportunity to speak to your heart and there is a good chance he is doing something within you at a deeper level than conscious thought. Sometimes God will give you an inner impression, or drop a thought into your mind. This will often be so gentle that you may have difficulty in distinguishing it from your own thoughts.
Wherever possible, donít rush into following an inner urge. Pray some more about it to make sure it is from God. Since our consciences are not divine, they are by no means infallible. Scripture is our ultimate authority, not our feelings. If ever the two are not in harmony, we should ignore other influences and adhere strictly to Godís Word.
Read his love letters
It might take millions of words to adequately describe how unique and fascinating the Bible really is, but the most exciting and crucial thing is the fact that the Bible is God revealing himself to you.
Bible-reading is essential nourishment for your soul.
Understanding the Scriptures is not primarily a matter of intelligence but the product of our relationship with God. It is therefore important to pray for understanding.
As time progresses, you may discover that Scripture is gradually becoming less interesting to you. This is a sure sign that you need to pray for God to increase your understanding. You may soon find it hard to put the Bible down! But even if the Bible seems dry, it is vital to resist the urge to reduce your Bible-reading.
Right from the beginning, you will benefit from Bible-reading but the more you read the more you will understand it. Sometimes when we read the Bible all that happens is that it is being stored in our minds so that it will click into place when we read another Scripture or have a particular experience perhaps years in the future.
By reading the Bible and putting it into practice, you will gradually grow in wisdom and spiritual strength. Like physical growth, however, you wonít always feel spiritual growth taking place. As you keep reading the Bible you will discover new truths that will make life much easier and more satisfying for you. Each new truth you discover, youíll wish you had learned years ago. So the sooner you discover them the better. Be like someone hunting for buried treasure!
The Bible is good and 100% reliable, but some parts of it you might find offensive, at first. The main reasons for this are:
1. Not reading with sufficient care
Our Heavenly Fatherís decisions are always right, but the same canít be said for our hasty conclusions!
For example, the Bible sometimes records an event without bothering to immediately point out that it was immoral, because it assumes the reader is familiar with the teachings of the rest of Scripture.
3. Your sense of morality is deficient
ĎAll Scripture is profitable (useful) ...í (2 Timothy 3:16). So, even if you find a passage that seems quite useless, donít let it spoil your appreciation of the Bible. The correct interpretation is not only morally acceptable but, locked somewhere within that passage, are precious truths.
There are many different Bible study methods and the choice of method depends largely upon your own preference and personality. However, the following hints should help:
If you average four chapters a day, you will complete the entire Bible in one year.
Mark your Bible (underline favorite parts and so on).
Choose an easy-to-read Bible version.
Especially at first, you should find the New Testament more helpful, and so I suggest you read the entire New Testament before starting the old. After this intersperse the New and Old.
What to do when you grieve your Divine Lover
1. ĎMake upí with God straight away
Unforgiven sin separates us from our Holy God. The sooner this rift is healed, the better. So if you happen to sin, return to God immediately, sincerely ask his forgiveness and trust him for the strength to overcome that sin, so that you will not commit it again. If you then donít forgive yourself, youíre implying your standards are holier than Godís!
2. Donít allow a failure to discourage you
Because Christ is now dwelling inside of you, you have so much power at your disposal that Satan is terrified of you. When it comes to a display of power, you will win every time. All the devil can do is to try psychological warfare. If he can trick you into giving up, he has nothing to fear. He will try to discourage you. So banish all thoughts that you are Ďno good,í Ďweak,í Ďhopeless,í etc. Such lies are from the pit of hell.
Not to be sold. © Copyright, Grantley Morris, 1980, 1999.
For much more by the same author, see www.net-burst.net
No part of these writings may copied without citing this entire paragraph. No part may be sold.
[Copy or Print Webpages]
[Bless & Be Blessed by Facebook] [Daily Quotes] [My Shame]