Sometimes when I write new posts, I think to myself, “surely I won’t always have something to write about like I have the past couple weeks.” It feels like I should run out of things to say at some point! But honestly, every time I think that, the Lord shows me something new in some way, and then I feel such a strong urge to write about it. That happened today, so here we are.
I’ve talked before about how my relationship with the Lord has been strengthened through this season. It’s something I’m really thankful for — and looking back, it almost makes me wonder what things may have looked like for me if I was this consistent all along. That’s not to say that I’m assuming my current situation would be completely different, because I know this is all a part of God’s plan for me, but I do know that being in the word and making the Lord a top priority is so important and very powerful. (However, I know looking back is not going to help me move forward, so I am just going to be thankful for the lessons I’m learning along the way and apply those to the situation I’m in right now. 🙂 I know that God uses these times to draw us closer to him, so I realize that maybe I had to get to this point before my relationship with him could really blossom into what it’s been lately — another post for another day).
That being said, something specific I have been learning lately is the importance of seeking the Lord first. Not second, or last, and not waiting until something big happens before turning to him (@me). I have always struggled with being consistent in the time I spend with the Lord, but I can honestly say that since around December I have not missed a single day of being in communion with him. I’m definitely not saying that to try and make myself seem like a “good Christian” (because being consistent doesn’t necessarily determine the validity of our relationships with the Lord) — I say it to show that before I was not seeking the Lord the way I should have been all along, and I came to a point where I was so desperate to feel his presence that it started to become the first thing I thought of every day, and something that was constantly on my mind. Any time I have started to feel overwhelmed with anxiety or confusion or sadness, I’ve prayed. I’ve journaled. I’ve read my Bible. I can see how I’ve grown because of these things, and because of that I never want to go back to the way I was before.
It doesn’t always have to take a drastic circumstance to begin making the Lord a priority in our lives. But for some people (@me, again), those circumstances are what God uses to draw us to him and show us the importance of keeping him at the forefront of our entire lives — our futures, our jobs, our relationships, etc… basically all of the things that we like to try to control.
I’ve been reading a plan on the Bible app, and today it talked about the importance of seeking the Lord before expecting him to bless us. While reading, I realized that before experiencing the full severity of this hard season I’m in, I just asked God for the things that I wanted. I knew he was the one who could help me through the situation I was in, and I knew he was the one who could restore it if he chose to do so. However, instead of coming to him to be with him, I was coming to him so that he could give me something. I was turning to the right place, but with the wrong mindset. And the thing is, I didn’t even see this as an issue, because I thought that as long as I was turning to him then I was doing what I was supposed to be doing. As things got harder, I began turning to him more to be with him than to ask things of him, because I was in a place where I really just needed comfort and I didn’t know where else to turn. For me, getting to a hopeless place is what it took to make me realize that I needed to be seeking the Lord more than I sought answers or relief in other areas.
Since I have changed my mindset about the way I come to the Lord, I have had my eyes opened to so much, and I think that is a perfect example of how God blesses us when our hearts are in the right place. Before, I literally could not see that there was anything wrong with the way I approached the Lord, and I was wondering why things were still seeming so unclear.
Honestly, a lot of things still seem unclear to me. However, I have a new outlook on what the Lord is going to do because of the fact that I have been coming to him with everything — not just to ask him for things, but to seek him. I seek him for guidance, peace, comfort, love, and all the things I need right now. Things are still uncertain, but I feel like I can now look at this situation with new eyes because the Lord has been shaping me through my intentional time spent with him. I’ve stopped viewing God as just the one who can get me out of this situation, but instead as the one who can get me through it. Instead of coming to him just to ask him to take my pain away like I’ve done in the past, I come to him now to ask him to give me the strength I need to make it through the hurt I’m dealing with and for the peace to know that he has a purpose for it.
I’ve stopped putting God on a shelf and only taking him down when I think I need him. Because the reality is, I always need him. We all do — in the good times and bad. He is our source of life, and because of that he should always be front and center of every aspect. In order for us to receive whatever blessing he has for us next, we need to continuously put him first, just like Matthew 6:33 tells us.
“But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.“