What is your goal in your relationship with God? Most people say that it is to please God, then add on something like this: But I am far from being perfect. That’s why it is so hard for people to feel loved by God. What if God has something else in mind? What if I told you that God’s first and foremost desire in His relationship with us is that we trust Him? That ultimately, when we trust Him we can please Him.
Hebrews 11:6 says, “Without faith it is impossible to please God.”
Several years ago, I came across an article by Andy Stanley where he shared about five catalysts that God uses to build, develop, and ignite our faith.I have used this as a tool also, as part of my spiritual journey and relationship with my heavenly Father.
1. Practical Teaching: Reveals where we are and where we need to go.
Are we just learning or are we applying the truth we hear and learn?
Do you know more than you are obeying? This stunts our faith and makes us judgmental.
2. Providential Relationships: Allow us to hear from God through others.
Are you living in true biblical community, receiving and giving feedback on your life?
Are there people who know you well enough and love you enough to tell you the truth?
Remember, your relationships determine the depth and quality of your life and your faith in God.
3. Private Disciplines: Tune our hearts toward God.
Here are some disciplines to consider:
· Bible reading and studying (Psalm 1)
· Prayer(Mathew 6:5-13)
· Giving (Proverbs 3:9-10)
· Fasting (Mathew 6:16-18)
· Solitude (Isaiah 40:28-31)
· Journaling (Jeremiah 30:2)
Two Key Questions:
Are your finances in order or a mess?
Are you taking time for God, daily?
Remember, our desire for money does more to compete with our relationship with God than anything else. Every healthy relationship, whether it is a marriage, family, or a team, is held together partly by disciplined actions and routines.
4. Personal Ministry: Enables us to experience God’s power.
Are you relying on your gifts and ability, or trusting God?
What would you have to stop doing if God would die?
We do what we can do, and trust God to do what only He can do.
5. Pivotal Circumstances: Force us to look to God.
Are you getting bitter or better because of where you find yourself in ministry and life?
"God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: It is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world.” – C.S. Lewis
God is so honored by our trust that He will leverage anything and everything to grow our faith.
Spiritual growth or development is not primarily about becoming smarter or even more obedient. That would just make us proud and judgmental. Spiritual growth is about a relationship with our heavenly Father through His Son, Jesus. Consequently, spiritual growth is about faith growth. The bigger your faith, the deeper the relationship. When this happens, our Father is honored, our lives will be richer, our family and friends will be challenged, and people will ask questions.