What it means to follow the One

A lot of people go to a church service on Sunday morning. They go home, live their life, and go back the next Sunday.

Others go to a church service on Christmas and Easter.

Still others go to church every week, read their Bible every day, say grace, and do all the good they can.

Still others go to church every week, Bible study three nights a week, the Wednesday night service, volunteer as much as they can, and pray every day.

Still others do nothing.

Does going to church every week make you a Christian? Does reading your Bible all the time make you a Christ follower? Does praying make you a Christian?

No, no, and no.

What makes you a Christ follower is your love for Him. If you go to church every week but don’t love Him, you’re not a Christ follower. If you pray every day but don’t love Him, you’re not a Christ follower.

The very basic ground of following the One is to have a love for Him. Without a love for Jesus, none of those other things matter at all!

You find a love for Jesus and it will supersede all other things.

To follow the One is to have a love for Him that surpasses all else. It explains the passage in the Gospel of Luke (as much as I hate picking specific verses it’s Luke 14:26) that states we need to hate our mother and father and family and even our own lives if we want to follow the One.

We do not have to hate our mother and father and family and life. We need to love Jesus so much that all else seems like hate.

That is what it means to follow the One. We must fall in love with the One we choose to follow so desperately that He becomes our very lifeline. There is one other important thing though…I nor any other person alive can do it for you.

There is only one person who can make you fall desperately in love with Jesus, and that is Jesus Himself.

He will use other people, oh yes. He will use the Bible, He will all the world around you. But He is the only one who can make you fall in love with Jesus.

But if you fall in love with Jesus a whole new world will open up to you. The Scriptures will unfold for you. Your life will bloom in ways unexpected. A relationship of love with Jesus will change you forever. Permanently.

That type of change is exactly what following the One means. We fall in love with Jesus, and soon just His name brings us to tears. We desire Jesus to consume us entirely, and we cast our love at Him with everything we have. We let our love for Him consume us entirely and we truly begin to follow Him. He will lead us through things unknown, things unseen, but He will remain faithful.

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Coming with Expectation

If there’s one thing I’ve learned with God, it’s to not come with a lot of expectation.

Often times when people go to a conference or Sunday morning meeting, they approach God with something they want.

We tend to go through this “I’m expecting God to show me how to solve this problem” or “I want God to do this for me.”

I’ve done that before. And every time I’ve done that you could say I’ve almost been disappointed.

I have to be careful what I say here, hear me out though.

I think it’s wrong to approach God with an expectation.

Now before I lose you, when I say approach God with an expectation, I think it’s better to ask God and leave it there. I specifically talk about conferences and possibly Sunday morning meetings.

What happens when you approach God wanting him to do something, and he doesn’t. We get flustered, wonder if God is really listening, wonder if He cares.

It’s a tough situation. I think it’s better in certain situations to simply approach God expecting him to do something. If we approach God during these such times simply expecting God to do something, then we can simply appreciate that he did something.

I simply expect God to do something. When I have something specific I want God to do, I ask, but I let the result be up to God.

Let’s put it this way, when I expect God to do something specific I put a limit on what God can do. I put God in a box. I look for him to do what I want, and if he doesn’t I become disappointed. On the flip side though, if I simply let God do what he wants and come just expecting him to do something, that’s when I relax in Him.

I simply leave the results to God only expecting him to do something.

That’s not to say it’s wrong to approach God with a specific request, but it’s wrong to dwell solely on that. We have to realize that God does almost anything for us, often times though it won’t be what we expect. We simply have to realize that God works in our lives in ways we’ll never understand.

We come to God expecting him to do something whenever we ask, and we let Him do what He does best.

The Love That Came

There is a love that came for us. It’s a love far greater than anything we’ve known before, greater than anything we will ever know again.

This love, we will never understand. The moment that we begin to understand this love, we’ve put a limitation on it.

If you are ever capable of understanding the love of God, then you do not truly know about the love of God. We will never fully understand it. We can only accept the love.

It is an overwhelming love. A love from the heights of heaven. A love that surpasses understanding.

It is only by accepting and receiving the love that we can know what it feels like. And even then, we don’t know it truly.

There is a love, a love that existed before all else in the universe, that existed before the universe, that came for you.

This love is the only thing that can exist by itself.

Love can exist without hatred, but hatred cannot exist without love.

That’s important. Similarly good can exist without evil, but evil cannot exist without good.

What a love this must be! To be one of the only self-sufficient forces in the universe.

We can know this only to come to discover that this love isn’t really love, but a person.

A Person whose name rings true all over the world. When we know the name of this love, oh what a blessing.

To know the name of love. That is priceless in itself. What a blessing, what a gift, what a privilege!

This Love came that we might be able to know Love. That we might be able to touch eternity.

This Love, is an absurd love. A love that is unceasing. A love that is relentless. A love that is on the throne. A love that rules the very steps of the universe.

To know the name of Love is a privilege we have. To know the name of Jesus is to know Love. True love at that.

Be blessed and follow the true love. Follow the name of Jesus, follow the Way and your steps will always be blessed.

It’s Always a Difficult Time

It’s always a difficult time with God. I end up being taught lessons that I don’t want to learn.

The most difficult lesson is when something you want to happen doesn’t. You see there’s something that I want to happen very much. But deep down, in my heart of hearts, knowing it’s not going to happen is the worst. That’s the moment when it means something though.

Do I have enough faith to trust God? I mean that’s the real question right…is God trustworthy?

There’s one saying I’ve always stuck to. It applies to girls. Yeah I know, but hey a 21 year old guy eventually needs to start dating right? God’s taught me one thing about girls. It’s that I want it to be the right one.

When I finally find a girl, I want her to be THE girl. The one I end up dating, and eventually marrying. That’s who I want.

I kinda found one. But I’m honestly not sure what could happen. And so I’ve waited. And in waiting, I’ve come to the current conclusion that she may not be the one. Hence the second thing God’s taught me.

If I run into a girl that I believe is perfect for me and God says no, then God has someone even better for me.

Either way that makes me happy.

I don’t know how to really explain it. It’s just that I have a complete confidence in God.

I’m not really sure just how this confidence in God get’s established. It’s almost like it simply happens. God works in our life and builds this trust into us. We trust him initially due to the Holy Spirit’s influence in us, and he builds us into his trust even more.

The more we grow to know him, the more we begin to trust him.

It’s really a beautiful thing. I’m almost ecstatic sometimes because of it. It’s delightful.

There’s something about God working, that even though it may not be fun going through it, on the other side it’s pure bliss.

It reminds me of the song by Third Day I think, there’s a particular line in the chorus I think. “That I must go through the valley to stand upon the mountain of God.”

It’s a very true statement. There is always a valley we must travel through in order to find God. I think that there is another entire post in there though.

But when we leave the valley, we know God more than when we entered. That’s the beauty of it. This girl situation, when I come to the end of it, I will know God better no matter what the result is. That’s the blessing. Even in the difficult times, I will come to know God more.

A new adventure awaits, but another must end

Well, it’s come and gone. This afternoon I stood with a few hundred other people, some who I knew, many that I did not, and became an official college graduate.

I’m not really sure what I feel. Sometimes I feel like I’m sad it’s over, other times I feel relieved. But mostly I think I’m just going to miss my friends. I never expected to make the friends that I did. But I’m glad I did.

Four years ago I stood outside at 5am and prayed that God would guide me. Everything I knew was changing, and he was going to be the only constant I knew. A lot of things have changed now, but the same thing still stands.

Everything is once again changing. But God is still going to remain my constant. I just know that my God is who He is. Then I can simply continue to trust in Him.

It seems like many things have been building up to this moment. A lot of little events have tied in and culminated this weekend. And somehow I’ve pulled together. Everything has passed smoothly. And in just reading the posts that I read daily, I stumbled on a quote from Dr. Seuss. I didn’t expect it, but it fits perfectly.

“Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.”

I think that God works things together in a surprising way. And you know what, I will smile. I have no reason to cry. The friends that I’ve made are close friends. One’s that I will never truly let go. That’s what makes it exciting. That’s why I’ll smile. Like one of the honorary doctorates said today, true friendship is a dialogue between two people, a dialogue that will continue no matter how long you go without talking.

I’m happy. Sad yes, but happy. I’m ready to take on the next challenge that life has knowing that God is the one I follow.

And yes, it really did happen. I am an official graduate. Here’s the proof down below…

His Story in Me Part 17

Spring break came and went. My grandmother got sick one night and we feared the worst. But then doubt crept in. Was my grandmother letting her sugar drop on purpose? It’s possible. She may have lost all desire to live. We’ll never know. She was spotted quickly and rushed to the hospital. She had a lovely stay at Glens Falls Hospital for around 5 days I think.

After Spring Break ended, I was back at Clarkson for my last 5 weeks. They passed somewhat uneventful, although I’d had enough excitement in one semester to last me for a while.

During all of that I somehow managed to get into graduate school at SUNY Plattsburgh! I procured a summer job, received prophetic presbytery, and managed to finish my undergraduate career at Clarkson with the exception of finals.

I have only three finals this semester, a rarity, and on May 12, I will have a bachelors degree in mathematics. Today if I’ve planned out the posts correctly!

Now you know a rather large portion of His story and how it’s played out in my life. My God will continue to lead me and establish me in all his ways and paths, something I am very grateful for.

His Story in Me Part 16

Ben and I had begun leading a co-ed small group at the beginning of the semester. God was doing something incredible in the group. We asked each person in the group to simply come each week with a verse that God had been using in their life that week.

God brought together verses that otherwise no one would have known. Each week a theme emerged. One week it was about how God’s promises are true. Another week was something along the lines of God loves us.

God was truly beginning to move in our group and it was quite amazing. I had spent time convincing Ben to let go of planning, and in him doing so, God began to truly move. He began to sweep through our group each week. Everyone brought a verse and God seemed to weave them all together.

But where God moves the enemy will move also.

Not too far in we received a visitor. This visitor was interesting to say the least. He had a massive amount of head knowledge about the Bible. He shared what he knew and I think in at least the first meeting had a positive impact.

That’s when things began to get interesting…the next week he showed up I wasn’t there. But I heard about it from several people after and apparently it did not go over well at all. He was presumably interrupting people constantly, seemed to not really have anything to say that added to the discussion.

The following week though I was able to see some of this myself. That week we butted heads.

The visitor was becoming a stumbling block to the others who attended and I was not going to allow what God had established to crash down around us. We prayed and talked with others in the group, and those who knew more than us. We made the final decision to ask him not to return.

Note that this decision was made so that the group as a whole could continue to benefit from God meeting us. We did not make the decision simply because we didn’t like him or something similar. Both Ben and I had worked with abrasive personalities before.

This was a time when God taught me exactly how the elders functioned. They led and exercised authority when it was necessary for them to do so.

This semester was the first time when we realized it was absolutely necessary for us to exercise authority that was given to us.

Since asking him to leave we saw a rebound in the group. The group had been extremely open, closed down when he arrived, and after leaving it opened up again.

This also was our first encounter with an evil spirit. You see it was not the actual person who caused the issue. It was the enemy using that person as a vessel. Whether they knew it or not, I don’t know.

Community group this semester was exactly what I’d been looking for for nearly two years now. I’d finally found a community where people met to just meet God.