Perhaps, like me, you have sometimes felt very far away from God — like He really didn’t care about your life. I think we’ve all felt that way — I know I have.
Billy Graham, one of the most influential evangelists and preachers of the 20th century who went home to be with the Lord last week, once said, “God is more interested in your future and your relationships than you are.”
It’s hard to imagine the God of the universe can really care for each of us. We’ve all known how people that are much higher than us on any given ladder — career, life, even church — can’t really make time for us. You likely can’t make time for all the people in your life either. There just is not that kind of time and capability in humans.
But God is not human. He is constrained by neither time or scale. Because we are, it is hard to imagine his infinitude. And our many enemies don’t want us to believe that either.
God says “I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11 ESV
It’s hard to imagine because we don’t experience this with people and because there is so much that tries to rob us of this reality. This is way faith is important. Faith is about believing the truth in absence of seeing it. “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” Hebrews 11:1 NIV
How do we get this kind of faith?
Here are four REAL activities that will help you grow your faith and connect with God in ways you may never have before.
Reckon it to be true
The Apostle Paul told the believers at Rome to reckon themselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Romans 6:11 KJV. Sometimes, we equated our faith to religious activity, traditions, our upbringing and many other things. At some point, we need to move beyond all this and truly decide to believe that it is really true.
This is the beginning of faith — a faith that is beyond religion — that becomes core to our identity. It ceases to be a separate part of us at this point and begins to permeate all of our life.
Since Christ is our very life and identity, we have full access to God. If we really believe this, we begin to ask God what this reality means in every area of our life, and this new focus of mind begins to transform our life from the inside out.
Explore possibilities of true evidence
There are so many ways that God reveals himself to us and seeing them, especially the really unique ones, helps us to know he cares for us specifically. Start to focus your thinking on these things more than the noise that God doesn’t care about you.
Often times, that noise is caught up with negative things we’ve come to believe about ourselves. These negative things are not how our Heavenly Father sees us. Those things are coming from other voices. You can transform this thinking by asking God to reveal to you who you really are.
For each negative thing you tell yourself about yourself and how you are with others, reckon that God wants to show you another possibility. If you think you’re judgmental, maybe you just really value truth and courage. If you see yourself as negative, another possibility may be that you focus on risk and preventing bad outcomes. If you think you’re lazy, perhaps this is telling you that you’re not inspired by by what you’re doing and is really God leading you to honestly pursue your real heart. What other possibility is there for the negative in your thinking — because why would you or God treat you this way.
We overlook a lot of real evidence right in front of our eyes. For instance, you reading this post is evidence that God loves you and is reaching out to you uniquely. He had me write it for you. I didn’t have to write it — you didn’t have to stumble upon it and read it. Breathing is a miraculous gift even though we don’t hardly notice it. Opening your eyes to all this evidence we barely see will significantly grow your relationship with God and change your life.
Adore God for who He truly is
Just as the voices in our head that are not for us tell us confusing and misleading things about us, they also confuse us about God, His character and His purpose. If we’ve had difficulty with religious people or our earthly father, we may have a hard time seeing God rightly.
Even if we have a long and good experience in a particular religious institution — we may have limited perspectives about God if our training focuses on some of God’s attributes more than others. God is bigger than any particular institution or a single set of practices.
Exploring God attributes in detail as AW Tozer does in The Knowledge of the Holy empowers us by seeing His love and intention toward us clearly. It helps us catch His amazing vision for us — that He has made our story to be a part of His grand story. This is an incredible miracle and great news. He loves us always irrespective of our weaknesses and is always inviting us to have relationship with him and be a part of His purpose.
Learn to hear Him call you His child in whom he is well pleased
I grew up Catholic and can honestly say I have a few memories in which I truly felt God in my life. Still, I was near abandoning all belief in Him I when He revealed Himself to me in a highly unique way that caused me to fall in love with Him. I was able to begin to reckon Him to be true at this point and it radically improved my life.
Still, it was years later before I came to another event in my life that helped me really see that God saw me as His child and that He was well pleased with me. This brought my relationship with Him to a new level. I now saw I didn’t need to try to please Him because He was pleased — because He saw Christ in me — He saw me as He saw Christ.
This shifted my focus from doing to being — how to walk in the confidence of the truth of who I am in Christ. This is the truth for all His children. I’m still learning this truth — but it has made my faith even more real.
God cares for you intensely and uniquely — more than you know or can fathom. Your truest self is found in seeing this reality. I hope you will let it become REAL for you too.
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