I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness,~Jeremiah 31:3.
I love reading the stories of people’s relationships with God in His word. One of my favorite passages is actually Hebrews 11. It is called the hall of faith. The passage is long so I won’t post it, yet you can read it here: Hebrews 11.
The people listed in Hebrews 11 have incredible stories with God. They overcame seemingly insurmountable obstacles with God. God delivered some from and others through. He drew His people with loving kindness. He established a covenant with His people; one He upheld by His power, love, and provision.
I’ve said this many times and will state again, there are things we can only learn about God through experience.
Have you ever done missions? Or a team building exercise? Or gone through a struggle with someone? It knits you together. You learn things about them you would not learn by just reading their bio or even meeting with them for an hour or so once a week.
God longs to be known by us.
I was in a Bible study fellowship for a few years with a group of passionate young adults. Many of us ended up on a mission in the Amazon Jungle together in Brazil. I thought I knew the people on the team. We met weekly for Bible study.
I learned so much about my team and myself those few weeks of traveling in a truck, hiking in 100F weather, handling heat stress, living under banana leaf huts, sleeping in hammocks, bathing in the Amazon River, and being in close proximity. Stories were written down, stories told, intimacy built, laughs had, tears shed, prayers offered, and bonding occurred.
I learned new things about God on that trip. He wrote some great things into my story…
One that I could preach. I could hear from God in an instant for a perfect stranger. I could survive flying home with a partially dislocated hip. I could lead worship in Portguese. Spanish is my second language, Portuguese is my third (so much to learn). I grew in sharing deep parts of my heart with people on my team. It grew me. I had to rely on God fully. It’s a part of my story with God that’s marked with miracles and wonder.
God is writing our story with Him.
He longs for the closest promximity and highest priority in our lives. You see, in heaven it’s all about the Kingdom. There’s no marriage, kids to be had, PTA meetings, bills to pay, singles events…it’s His Kingdom. This life, though it’s not marketed as such, is preparation for what’s to come. The relationship built with God on earth will continue on into eternity. Time on earth is the shortest time we will ever live. The greatest covenant and relationship is with God.
What will be the theme of your story?
Will it be faith?
Will it be love?
Will it be overcoming?
Will it be the power of Jesus?
Will you be known as one who walked closely with God like Enoch? Will you get to heaven and realize many people came to know Jesus because of your faithfulness on earth?
Will you encounter God not only as Father as a best friend?
We can learn from others stories and history with God, yet we build our own history with God.
I love the way God communicated with Moses. I love God. I love who He is. I love being with Him more than anyone else. I desired greatly as a youth to have continual communication with God. At one point in my walk I told Him, “I want to be like Moses. He met with you face to face (intimately)-Exodus 33:11. Your glory passed over him. You spoke to him through a burning bush.” God’s reply to me was, “I meet with you heart to heart.”
We each have our own story with God.
You see, I am not Moses. We certainly have a better covenant than Moses and the indwelling of the Spirit. My story is my story with God. We meet heart to heart. I’m not a feeler. I’m a thinker. I’m prone to logical/analytical thought patterns and do not rely on feelings for processing. Yet God supernaturally deposits His heart for people into mine. I feel what they feel. I feel what He feels. He moves me through my heart, though my personality is driven to be led by my brain.
He’s writing a story marked with His radical, passionate, compassionate, and profound love. It’s also a story marked with His power. I’m alive because of His great power to heal, protect, and perform miracles.
We each have a unique and divine purpose. We are carved out of the heart and imagination of God. The good times matter, the challenges matter, the struggles matter, the joy matters. We are a part of a greater story, His story. We join the story of God and champion our King!
We learn the Book (His word) and allow it to lead us into an encounter with Him. Our greatest need is to know the Author.
Every situation an opportunity to deepen intimacy with God. What is He doing? What is He saying? Who in His word has experienced something similar? What is God teaching us? How can we cling to Him and grow to know Him better?
Sweet friends, you are so loved, valued, appreciated, significant, and your story matters! You matter to God. Don’t worry about anything. Pray about everything (talk to and listen to God). One day you’ll look back and smile. Your heart will say, “What a testimony of God’s love, power, and provision.”
Whether we believe it or not, God is always working things together for the eventual good of those who love Him and are called according to His purposes (Romans 8:28).
Praying for you!
Love in Christ,