If you are tired of living a life apart from God...
If you realize that you are a sinner in need of Divine grace...
If you want to accept Christ's free gift and follow Him...
pray this prayer with me...
It was a prayer I heard so often as a young Christian who went to church every week with my family. I knew the prayer. I knew the Gospel.
But something happened at that moment. While the speaker was asking us to accept Christ, my world shifted. In that moment, my soul yearned for something greater - greater than my mediocre, lazy Christian life. I knew of Him, but I didn't know Him. I loved Him, but my love for Him was shallow. The life that I lead as a Christian girl was dull.
At that moment my heart hurt. I wanted more. I wanted more of Him. I wanted to know Him better. To serve Him better. To love Him with all that I had.
A few minutes later, I found myself sitting between my sister and my youth group leader, weeping. I was literally crying out to God. I wanted the God of the universe, the Almighty, to fall on me, take over my life and rule my heart.
My life was forever changed at that moment. Although I had many times of falling back into a lazy Christian life - when I became content in the knowledge of God and not His heart - when I was satisfied with living half for Him... But God always took a hold of me. Whether it was during times witnessing to Joel before he got saved, or when an initial positive result for cancer came back negative the next day... or the moment I held my daughters for the first time, or even last spring, when God started peeling away the layers of my heart. I yearn for God's transcendence, for eternity. You do, too.
Ecclesiastes 3:11 says that "he has put eternity into man's heart". It's in all of us - we long for a God that cannot be measured.
James MacDonald discusses this further in chapter one, and perfectly sums up where my struggles have been with my relationship with God:
The dilemma of the human race is not that we are unaware of God but that when push comes to shove, we value ourselves more highly than we value God. The core of humanity's sin problem is not a horizontal behavior to be corrected, but a Vertical relationship to be restored... All are aware of a God, but most do not acknowledge His rightful place. (pg. 56)
When I struggle with how I see God, my relationship with Him shifts. And always for the worse.
A Longing in Our Church
The thing I'm most excited for with our new church is seeing lives changed. I can't wait to see what happens when our Eternal God changes the hearts of men, women and children in our church.
When God shows up, lives are changed.