God has the perfect way of getting you what you need when you need it. We all know the saying, He may not come when you want it but He's right on time...well, I used to hate that saying. Now I understand it.
Lately I have been feeling very stagnant in my walk, very stale. Of course the first questions you get when you feel that way are "how much time have you been reading, how much time have you spent praying, and so on. Well that only added to my zombie like feeling with God because I hadn't been doing much of that and condemnation set in...bad. I felt bad for not devoting hours and hours to the Lord, or reading everyday. I let the enemy beat me down and I didn't care.
Well the Lord sent a Word to let me know all is well, He loves me, He understands and I have not lost my place in Him and most importantly, I am NOT doing anything wrong just because I'm not doing (that sounds bad but you will see what I mean)...and I want to encourage YOU because I know I am not alone. Now don't get me wrong, reading, praying, worshiping and spending time with God are all very important to our walk. That's how we learn and grow in Him BUT (this is the most freeing part) God does not love you or me anymore or any less if we do or don't do those things...let me repeat that...GOD DOES NOT LOVE YOU ANYMORE OR ANY-LESS IF YOU DO OR DON'T DO THOSE THINGS. That doesn't mean you should neglect them but God is not moved by your performance or in your eyes, your lack of performing.
I learned in that short conversation that what someone else's intimate growing time with God looks like will look different from mine and further more I shouldn't be comparing myself to anyone else. We can get so caught up in trying to keep a to do list for God that we lose Him in the process and it's not even about Him anymore. For some it may literally be in the prayer closet on their face for hours, for others it may be quiet time in the car....today for me it was 10 minutes with my head down on a pile of warm towels straight out the dryer, lol just resting in His presence...no talking, no declaring, no warring just resting. Someone may spend hours in their prayer closet and you may only be able to pray for 5 minutes...they may keep their face buried in their bibles while you can only read a scripture a day, some may fast for days and weeks and you can only do lunch...and THAT'S OK! God says He understands. What works for some doesn't work for everyone, we are all made different, have different life circumstances and GOD LOVES US ANYWAY....I will have to remember this with my own children because it can become so easy as they grow in God to try to dictate to them what I think they should be doing to grow instead of letting God have His way and letting His will be done in their lives.
Don't feel bad because your friend gets up at 5am every morning to pray and you can't do it. Don't let anyone make you feel like a weak Christian because you can't read a whole chapter a day or do what they do...that's not what it's about and we are missing the point! We have to stop striving to please God. Our society has become all about performance and success and we have regrettably brought that over into our walks with the Lord. STOP IT! Stop striving, stop toiling, stop trying to win God's affection by doing..STOP condemning yourself because you missed a day of prayer. STOP because the enemy will beat you down and try to keep you down with condemnation. Hold your head up because you are still His child. You have His heart, you have His affection.
I don't know if this helps anyone else, but it was a burden off of my shoulders and my heart. I felt like a failure in my walk because I thought I should be doing more...I've been saved for years so I should be praying for hours, reading chapters a day, casting demons out everyday, confessing the Word every hour and you get the point...We have made this thing work and rules instead of about RELATIONSHIP.
I also learned that we have periods of rest as well as periods of battle. God created rest for His people and it's OK to enjoy that. We have been taught in church that if things are quiet and you aren't rebuking the devil daily then you better watch out because satan has this sneak attack planned and is going to get you because you had your guards down....that's wrong. Its sad that God's people can't even enjoy their rest so when we do have to war we will be refreshed and prepared. Enjoy your quiet time, enjoy your rest. Enjoy YOUR relationship with YOUR Father.
I pray this helped someone, if not it surely blessed me and I appreciate God sending me this special Word on my birthday because it was indeed needed after all these years. It felt like the light bulb finally went off...it's one thing to read it in His Word that He loves you and He cares but when He sends a Rhema Word just for YOU that trumps everything! :-)
One last thing...don't live your life trying to live up to other people's expectations of what they think your relationship with God should look like, they are not your God. Only allow God and His Word to set the standard for your life. Let Him lead your life...