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Spiritual Growth

Meeting God on His Terms

Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

There is a way in which we design the stories of our lives – giving insight to who we are and what we value. Our dreams interconnect with our hopes as we set out to build lives that bring us joy and happiness. Yet there is a way in which God designs the purpose of our lives. And just like in the case of Jonah, knowing God’s direction doesn’t mean that we’re always interested in complying.

Should we choose to engage with Him, our stories can begin to feel unpredictable. The loss of control can feel overwhelming because we are no longer the writers of our stories. In moments when we don’t agree with God’s direction, it’s important to remember the following:

“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts.

(Isaiah 55:8-9)

Submitting to God means submitting to His will. Meeting God on His terms can feel incredibly difficult when it seems like His will isn’t bringing to life our wants and desires.

Meeting Us on Our Terms

Instead, it’s easier to ask God to meet us where we are – at a location and in a microcosm we know. In fact, we’ve been told that is what’s amazing about God; He comes to us, no matter where we are in our journey. In Revelation 3:20 God says: “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.” There are so many examples throughout the Bible of God finding us, making Himself known, and reasoning with us.

In another example found in Exodus 19:17, when it was time for the Israelites to meet God, we read that “Moses brought the people out of the camp to meet with God, and they stood at the foot of the mountain.” God provided instructions to prepare the people for thier meeting. And as a father would with a child, He met them where they were. He came down to Mount Sinai.

Meeting God on His terms

Nevertheless, only 3 verses later we read “And the Lord called Moses to the top of the mountain, and Moses went up.” (Exodus 19:20). There will be points in our journey when we are called to ascend. God asks us to rise to the top of the mountain and commune with Him in deeper ways. It’s not that He isn’t already close to us, He’s asking us to draw even closer. This type of growth requires that we journey outside the blueprints that we have set for ourselves. Instead, we submit to God’s architecture.

Should we decide to limit how we interact with God, we begin to limit our experiences. If we only believe that God should meet us where we are, then we have to be prepared if God leaves us where we are.  In order to fulfill God’s purpose in its entirety, we must first learn the lessons of trust, love, faith and submission. With the Holy Spirit dwelling in our souls, we begin to master self-control so that we continue to turn our hearts towards God.

True Ascension

There is a purity of character that allows us to recognize the call of God. That’s not to say we’re perfect – instead we become active participants in the change required for growth. Change in character requires that we die daily (I Corinthians 15:31). We find courage in facing our stumbling blocks, and with God, we overcome them.

It takes perseverance to work through life’s challenges as we learn to wait upon the Lord. Meeting God on His terms isn’t always easy, and sometimes, it can feel lonely. In our darkest moments, know that God is here encouraging us and asking us to dive deeper with Him. The roads He asks us to take, make not always be the ones we’ve chosen, but they’re the ones we need. Stay focused and be encouraged, greater is yet to come.

What are the stumbling blocks that stand in the way of your growth? Leave your comments below.
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