Have you ever wondered how people can enjoy their devotional time with God? Like have you heard someone speak of it as this beautiful, exhilarating experience of connection and relationship only to go alone to pray and read your Word and it feel, well, less than how they described it?
Like somehow the beauty of it is reserved for the “chosen” ones or the people who can spend “hours” in their prayer closets, or maybe it’s just supposed to feel special for someone else, but not for you?
I want to encourage you today that your time with God can be better than it is right now. That you can sense His presence stronger, hear His voice louder, feel His leading deeper, understand His Word better! You absolutely can. I think this verse is a key to just that!
“For the fountain of life pours into you every time that you find me, and this is the secret of growing in the delight and the favor of the Lord.” Proverbs 8:35
First, our awesome Papa (Father God) gives us a license to GROW! We can grow in the delight and favor of God. Much like when we hear older couples endearingly say to each other, “I love you more today than when I first met you.” This is the beauty of relationship. Every couple has had their moments of awkward silence, T.M.I. (too much information) honesty, embarrassing trips and miss-spoken words. But that didn’t mean they just stopped talking to each other. No, they grew past those and into a richer and fuller relationship. This is what God desires with you.
But we’ve got to find Him first.
I think this is where it gets tricky because many of us have lost our wonder of seeking. With instant-gratification we have become impatient. We feel that if it doesn’t happen right away, we get disappointed and move on or frustrated and give up.
But God can only be found by those who seek Him with their whole hearts. He can’t be found in the quick glance, much like we come accustomed to with Google search.
We will find what we truly seek. I pray that you are seeking Him, because we always have two options. And “not choosing” isn’t one of them. Because God “can’t stand the stubborn heart bent toward evil (11:20) because when we ignore what He has to say, it brings harm to our souls (8:36). But he treasures those whose ways are pure (11:20).”
So if your heart is bent (determined, set, resolved) towards anything not found in Him, you’ll be trapped by it and held captive by your own sinful desires (11:6). Then you’ll fall and keep falling because of the wickedness in your own heart (11:5). You may even experience short-term pleasure or satisfaction, but only those who sow seeds of righteousness will gain a true and lasting reward (11:18) where our souls are truly satisfied.
I think we get trapped like this more often than we realize because our culture has gotten good at calling good-evil and evil-good. So we end up drowning in the grey areas sincerely seeking a better relationship with God, but unable to find Him because we are blocked off by sin.
God designed you to have a flourishing life, full of joy, and walking on the path to life but so long as you cave to the cravings of your flesh to give in to things God calls evil you’re only guaranteed to go astray. It’s in following His ways, being obedient, ready to receive correction that you can receive an understanding heart that will change your inner being (12:12, 8:32, 10:17, 8:5). Compromise is a heart issue. He’s not trying to fix you from the outside-in, but heal you from the heart-out.
Wisdom will “pour into you when you begin to hate every form of evil in your life (8:13).” When we begin to call good-good and evil-evil, when we stop trying to shade areas with grey to justify or excuse, when we actually seek Him and what He has to say about the issues of our lives, a fountain of life begins to flood in (8:35). If you “keep an open mind”, to hear what God has to say, “you will receive revelation-knowledge (8:9).”
But sometimes we don’t have an open mind because we love having our own opinion, because we don’t want to accept that we’re wrong, or because changing would cost us something.
But everything God says is unquestionably true. He will not endure the lies of sinful living (you can’t “get one over on Him.”) Because He is 100% truth, we have no excuse to remain in our sinful state. His words will never lead you astray. All His declarations can be trusted; they contain no twisted logic or perversion of truth. We must possess spiritual understanding to hear His words clear and straightforward (8:7-9).
Spiritual understanding comes when we give up our own ways of doing things, seek Him and follow through on what He has to say when we hear Him speak. We’re a fool if we are set to listen to our own opinions about things (12:15), but if we’re teachable…this is when we live a life of loving God that bears lasting fruit (11:30).
“So you’d better be rich in righteousness, for that’s the only thing that can save you in death.” 11:4
Your time spent with God is like a fountain of life that pours into you, when you find Him. The more often you seek Him, the more you’ll grow in your delight and favor with Him. Whatever that cost is to change from living how we have to how He desires, is worth it! Not only will living in His righteousness save us in death (hell), it will also lead us into the flourishing, joy-filled, life of satisfaction and purpose He created us to walk in!
So go seek Him! Lay down the things that so easily trip you up on your way to a deeper walk with Him. Sin will never be worth it. But righteous living is a treasure you will reap from, without measure, your whole life through (8:21). We are promised that if we search and search continually for Him, we will find Him (8:17)
In this with you girl, Shelley