What does it mean, Striving Toward God?
What is your schedule like every day? What takes up most of your thought processes? When was the last time you can remember struggling to hear God in your life? I remember clearly when God was first calling me, the struggle I was feeling to understand scripture. I had a willing heart, but the words were foreign to me. Of course I was new to this life of Christ but it was more than that. I was not content to just go to church, find new friends there or to "just have my teeth cleaned" so to speak. What I mean is that of course one understands "Do not steal, Do not lie, Do not commit adultery, etc." This is cleaning my teeth concepts. But the scriptures held more.
A deeper understanding and I would not be satisfied just reading and not really comprehending.
At one point I was reading some passages and I kept re-reading and re-reading. Nothing! I fell to my knees and I CRIED OUT to GOD , "I CAN NOT UNDERSTAND THIS" Tears where in my eyes. I kept praying and then as I read it again.............. It was like someone turned on the light to understand! Whatever verses it was I KNEW what it meant. I KNEW!
This is Striving toward God. To everything He is, What is His plan for mankind, What is His Joy and What makes Him who He is. How do I walk according to a life of Give and Love like Jesus did. Why walk according to His way of life, Why indeed!
This was the whole point of the children of God in their walk toward the promised land after being Redeemed from Egypt! Their walk was no stroll in the park for one afternoon. They had to strive hard to the next days destination. It was hard work. God made them walk in the hot desert. They even had to take the long route.(Ex13:18) Not the short one. They had lack of water and food that they could not fill themselves. But GOD did! How did they react time and time again? What do you think they saw about themselves during this time? God had a purpose in mind. Not just for them but for the character building of each person. It is the same for us today. We can learn from the past. We can study and show ourselves approved if we have a willing heart.
Def. of Strive:
strived; past participle striven |strivən| orstrived) [ no obj. ]make great efforts to achieve or obtain something: national movements were striving forindependence | [ with infinitive ] : we must strive to secure steady growth.• struggle or fight vigorously:
I remember another intense time of my life where I had just been rejected by my husband for another younger woman. I call this period my "wilderness training". For months I Strove to find Gods purpose and will in it. I was praying day and night. Many nights I was up praying and studying, I was working , struggling to hear from God and I DID! Time after time I heard God in word, in dreams, in the speeches of pastors, and thought. He was with me as I fought to be so close to God that peace and purpose would return. In time it did. For a time I was at peace and quiet until the next season of trial came upon me. Trials are not a loathsome event or time. Yes they are painful and Yes they are discouraging, and tiring. But when you can internalize the FACT that they are the Love of God working in you His Good Will you will be able to endure, overcome and Grow. You will fall to the act of giving up if you do not Strive toward God at these times and even in the peaceful rest times.
Unless you are really working at understanding the word of God and seeking HIM to open your mind you will not digest even but the most simple of things. If most of your thoughts are not on God or most of your time is not on God you will struggle with a lackluster belief. You may know the commandments, you may go to church every week, but unless God is opening your mind you are just in kindergarten yet. That is not a bad thing but you sure do not want to be in kindergarten for the rest of your life. IF you truly understood the mystery of God's True Purpose for calling you TODAY then it will not be a motivator for you. We strive but GOD is the only one who can open your mind to understand fully.
SEEK and you shall find,
KNOCK and the door will be open. If you are seeking you are striving, if you are Knocking you are actively doing something more then taking up a pew. God wants those who not only have a willing heart He wants those who will STRIVE to receive what He has to offer you. You will never be sorry you did once you start hearing from God and understanding what He will show you.
In closing, Even though we have to strive do not mis-understand. You are NOT saved by your own efforts. Your efforts and/or brain power are nothing to God. It is the intent of the heart He is concerned with. How BAD do you want to receive the Greatest Gift of all? The gift of Knowing God and His Will for You! And of course the results of His full time care, Providence, teaching, healing, and whole life after death thing! Re-read the parable of the sower and the seeds.
1. Never Give up
2. Strive to Understand
3. Pray Always
4. Believe He will give this understanding to you and it SHALL happen. Trust God.
|Like this photo of a policeman stopping traffic to let a mother duck and babies cross, so we need God to direct our paths and protect your crossing the roads of life. Photo by ©R.G.Bauer|