Welcome P31 subscribers! Im so glad you dropped by today and hope you will visit again soon.
Todays devotion touched on the topic of spiritual curfew, in other words, learning to understand and believe that when God guides us to do things, or not to do things, that He truly does have our best interest at heart.
I think that many non believers of Jesus, or new Christians, think that being a Christian is too much sacrifice and not enough fun – but its so not true! I have learned over the years that what I used to think was fun, even if I knew it was not the right thing to do, is really not fun anymore. My idea of what is fun, pleasurable, exciting and memorable has changed completely.
How did this change of perspective take place? I began to see my heavenly Father as someone who truly loved me, not someone who judged me or punished me or was ashamed of me.
I believe it all boils down to our self guided impression of who God really is. If we visualize Him as a hard-faced, stern, judgemental and punishing God, then it will be hard to accept His discipline or guidance in our lives. But on the other hand, if we see Him as a kind, patient, loving, generous and wonderful Dad, who disciplines us when we need it and sweetly speaks to our hearts when we need some conviction about something, then we are more likely to heed to His work in our life, and even be thankful for it.
This past weekend while we were doing some traveling, I read the book The Shack, by WM. Paul Young. All I can say is….. wow. I shed many tears while reading it, and my heart is changed after reading this book. My view of God has changed. My vision of what He looks like has changed. My idea of how He intervenes in our life, what heaven looks like, what love looks like, and how much God truly loves me, has changed. Not because of some fictional writing, but because of what God spoke to my heart while I was reading it.
Now please dont misunderstand me – nothing could ever replace Gods Word, or come anywhere close to its importance in our lives, but this book The Shack put Gods love for us in a perspective that we can all relate to, through the telling of a powerful story of a man who experienced unspeakable tragedy, blamed God and lost his relationship with Him as a result… but then found His Father in a way He never thought possible.
Whether you are a believer or not, I want to encourage you to make a commitment to read this book in the new year. It is a fiction book, but it was so amazingly written, that I felt like I was witnessing the events in Macks (the main character) life with my own eyes. The author so vividly describes each and every scene that Mack experiences with God, that in my memory, it seems as if I had seen it myself. I especially recall the chapter when God allowed Mack to see a glimpse of heaven, through the way God sees it – not pearly gates, but astonishing beauty and beautiful swarms of color illuminating from angels who were formerly here on earth. That is all I am going to say – because you need to read it for yourself!
Would you like to see God in a whole new light this coming year?
Do you wish you could find the passion to begin delving into The Bible, and maybe even read it through its entirety this year?
Do you long to feel overwhelmingly love by God, but you have been hurt and just do not know to see how your circumstance could be used to His glory or for some higher purpose?
Are you mad at God for something bad that has happened in your life?
Do you desire to see God as your loving daddy, but have a hard time doing so because your earthly daddy did not meet your expectations?
Do you want to take the first step of healing, and start seeing God for the amazing Father that He truly is?
Go get your copy of The Shack this week. When you are finished, if you are anything like me, you will find yourself empowered, motivated and excited to pick up the real book, The Holy Bible, and discover all the truths that the most important book of all holds for you.
But whether you pick up The Shack or not, I pray for God to impress upon your heart a desire to know Him better this year, and a desire to read His Word for guidance each day.
If you are not interested in fiction books, you could also check out my book, Reinventing Your Rainbow, which shares my testimony of redemption and how I found God again after allowing myself to drift away from a relationship with Him due to the shame and regret of sins in my past. Maybe that is why The Shack speaks so much to my heart, because in many ways, I can relate to what the character was feeling and thinking.
So there you go – two choices for great reading to kick off a brand new year! But no matter what you choose to devote your time to in reading during this coming year, I pray God will guide your heart and peak your interest in the books that will most speak to your heart, and that God can mold you and guide you. But most of all, I pray you will find time to spend with God each day, reading His Holy Word, and discovering who your God, your heavenly Daddy, really is.
Have a safe and happy New Year!