Some worthy Goals for those on a path to find Jesus and for those who already do. :) Written years ago and revamped and modified here and there. You catch the drift :)
Coming to know Jesus is a JOURNEY. It’s not a “thing” to accomplish. It’s not a “subject” of life to understand. It’s not a “duty” you have to perform to make your parents happy. It’s not a set of rights and wrongs to perfect. It’s not haaaaardd and toilsome. Nah…none of that.
Coming to know Jesus is coming to know a Person you can give your heart to. He’s someone to come to adore—to appreciate in a real way, to admire. It’s crawling into Father’s lap and finding out what it is that tickles Him so much about His Son. You see the Love of God in other’s eyes, and you see the sparkle in people’s lives who love living for Him. He’s not far away. He is very near. Closer than you think, even. He’s one that—no matter where you are in the Journey of knowing Jesus—whether a believer for 30 years or a child just starting to Care…you can become more and more conscious of God’s Presence, every day. As Peter said, you can be “conscious of God.” That’s for YOU to experience—that you’d actually be “conscious of God.” Not just know things about Him, like you know about Abe Lincoln or some other historical person……but to really KNOW that He is Alive and aware of you…in your heart you KNOW He’s alive and watching and caring for You. And with that awareness…as you SEE Him and notice Him more and more…you’ll appreciate more, you’ll desire more and you’ll be less and less able to just blow Him off and the things He loves, so quickly. You’ll grow a little more sensitive to what you say, to how you treat people, to pride-filled attitudes…as you grow “conscious of God.” Even BEFORE He comes to live inside of you, He’ll start to provide a “care” inside of you for things that matter to God. You won’t WANT to keep hurting Him with your sin.
So how do you grow in understanding and being “conscious of God”? How to have your eyes and ears more “tuned in” to HIS world, instead of the shallow, stifling world of sin and self? Here are a few solid stones for beneath your feet. Probably several could be named, but here are a few….
1) Have it clearly fixed in your mind and heart, every day, and tell Jesus… “YES, I want to live for You who died for me. I am not my own and never was and never will be. It may feel that way at times, but God says He paid a high price to purchase me from burning in hell for my sin. Because He is God and i am not, i have decided that i want HIM and no other. I have decided and WILL follow the Lamb wherever He goes.” Be very clear in your heart that you want to forsake ALL for the King of Glory. You want to discover those things that keep you dull and blinded to His Love for You. You WANT to deal with the things people have been telling you about yourself—the things that grip your heart like a crushing clamp that make you miserable and alone. You want to be free and every day you ask…you keep re-visiting Him about your personal stuff and especially about Who He is and wants to be in you.
2) Decide, with no “take-backs” that you want to do His will and obey with no guarantees for what YOU will get out of it. This is not about YOU getting what YOU want, but about God getting what He deserves. Your desire for Jesus is not a desire for “warm fuzzy-wuzzies” in your emotions; it’s not about getting some fun pals to hang around with and you’ll get to do more fun things; you are not in it for your own expectations of entertainment or pleasure. You’re not in it to “be accepted” by others or to “feel like you belong.” You are not in it to be noticed, admired or appreciated or flattered by others. You decide from the start, that this is for HIM and HIM ALONE. It’s purely for Him for He is ohhh, sooo worthy. He is Beautiful, He is perfect. He is deserving of your life because He designed you perfectly to fit into His heart like a hand fits into a glove and like a garden needs the rain. And a pitcher needs a catcher (for all you baseball fans :) ). Made for Him. So examine your heart carefully about each of these temptations that snare you—false, mixed desires. Reject them as totally intolerable as motivation to know Jesus and be in the hearts of His people. It is not for YOU. It is for HIM. Getting this settled internally early on and keeping it clear in the Journey, usually takes care of being motivated wrongly by “doing the right thing.” When you do stuff because “it’s the right thing” there’s undoubtedly some impure motive in there somewhere. Like, we want to be liked or noticed. We want to be accepted by others. We are “competing” with others. We’re trying to establish our “acceptableness” to God by our good deeds. Or we desire to project an image somehow to manipulate how people feel about us…we want to be “spiritual.”
3) No matter what the cost, the pain, the price, the sacrifice, you settle it that you are ready to work hard and to endure hardship as discipline. You decide that you will Trust Him from the heart, come what may. Ever had “hard” things happen to you? Receive them as discipline, whether from the hands of an adult who loves you and is trying to help you, or some circumstantial thing that “hurts.” You’re not invited to do something. Someone gets something you want and you feel the poison of jealousy. You will be “conscious of God” and TALK WITH HIM about the pain, receiving it as God trying to get your attention.
You will put in the energy it requires, for the long haul to obey and stay close to Him, every day, no matter the price. You’ll be tenacious about it and a fighter. You won’t whine and whimper about pursuing Jesus that it is “too hard.” You approach it with a clear understanding that you are in boot camp and that’s no piece of cake. If you are looking for a quick, cheap change in your character, you’ll be sorely disappointed (and that’s just selfish anyway, because you’d be doing stuff because “I want to be different.” It’s not really for God’s glory that you want to change, but for your own relief because you are sick of yourself.)
You make it your goal to make your life a sweet aroma to Him and those around you if you never get a thing out of it. You will find a way to be one who ascends God’s Holy Hill with clean hands and a pure heart.
It won’t come easy. You have to choose to believe God. Boot camp is training for the battles that lie ahead. Make no mistake. There will be battles. It is a war!! But we do have the special advantage of knowing who wins. :) So, regardless of what your feelings, emotions, flesh, personality, cravings…are, He has already won. He has already made a “way out” for you. Your job is to fight to find the way out and take it when the battle is raging around you. Some circumstance or emotional flood or lies get screaming inside or outside of you…but you stand on: THIS is what Jesus said!!! That’s the time to find out and base your choices/responses on THAT—what HE says. It doesn’t matter if it looks futile, it doesn’t “feeeeeel” a certain way, it seems hopeless…you’ve messed up agggaainn…blah, blah…” if GOD said it, that’s good enough for me. Get into THAT kind of attitude and your Life will take you places you’d never in a million years dream up. You can start NOW to fight for solid thinking. “Let God be true and every man a liar.” What i think and feel has no place when making decisions in my responses. What He said has all the place.
Any person who wants to can a) choose to believe and b) beg God for the miracles of REAL eyes, and c) abandon our self-preservation so that God will hear our prayer. We then can become more “God conscious” rather than remaining a slave of “self-awareness” as a miserable and unnecessary way of life.
4) You will build on the Rock of Obedience to Jesus and His Word. You will make Jesus’ Word, His Truth, His perspectives about all areas of life, your Standard, your measuring rod, Your Answers for questions on how to think and feel and value things and for how to set your priorities. Your decisions, thought-life, choices, and your relationships and how you treat the Father will be an increasing reflection of what you see in the Scriptures. Along with that, you’ll be soft, moldable, teachable and change-able by Him and His Truth—especially when other people have something to say to you. You’ll listen to Him carefully and mold-ably through whatever means—His people, His Scriptures, teachings, songs and circumstances.
So it’d be a smart move (and stupid to ignore all this!) to spend some time with Jesus and work on getting these solid foundation stones beneath your feet. That would be a good place to start (or continue on!). As you start putting these things in place in your heart, with humility, you’ll then be in a great position to flourish and grow in knowing Him and becoming more “conscious of God.” Put these things into practice in your life, every day with ever-increasing glory! Begin by slowly, steadily walking towards Him as you deliberately pull out the weeds you come across. Take it one day at a time and make a habit of looking to Him, looking to Him…And you’ve got some great people around you who have been walking that Path for a while and know the terrain better than you do. :) That’s always comforting to know.
You’ll likely skin your knees and have good days and not so good days—but remember: it’s a journey, not a thing. And for a PERSON—HIM, not for you. If you fail or get overwhelmed or stray…simply humbly apologize to Him for your shortsightedness and sin, be real with others if needed and beg Him for the changed heart you need. Don’t stay long off the path!
As a recap:
1) Keep the path clearly before you, every day, simply. Keep Him in view as the Provider, Teacher, Cleanser, Friend, Master and King. He is drawing you to Himself and wants to complete the Good work He wants to begin in You! Entrust yourself totally to Him and His care for you.
2) Give Him full rights to every area, with no strings attached. Believe Him, Love Him, Worship Him, admire Him, be quiet with Him.
3) Decide you won’t be a quitter no matter what. This is your life’s pursuit and you’ll view discipline and difficulties as Good for you and part of the Journey to True Change—now and forever.
4) Obedience to Jesus will be the bedrock of your life. It’ll be demonstrated that that’s your goal…in your choices, attitudes, actions. No excuses, no loopholes.
Be Vertical. Be “conscious of GOD.” He’s Alive!!!