Are you willing to follow Jesus and seek a deeper relationship with God? Are you willing to give up what you want for what God wants for you? Do you realize that what you want is so conditioned by the culture and the world that it has nothing to do with who you were created to be? I see belief in Jesus Christ and God and the Holy Spirit at the entry point into our relationship with the Divine, but, if we stay with that belief—which is essential—we will miss out on what God has in store for us. There are burdens to be shed, changes in us to be celebrated, pure joy to be experienced, and a purpose that fulfills us as we decide to truly love God and to follow Jesus Christ into the life already designed for us, in us.
We can continue to just believe in God, but, if we do, we will miss out on the blessings and the rising of the fruit of the Spirit within us. Do we desire peace, joy, love, patience, goodness, kindness, faithfulness, gentleness and humility?(Galatians 5:22-23) As we follow Jesus, we find these surfacing in us and this is exactly what we are giving out to the world. We give up the ego’s needs for attention and a better position in this world, we give up our pain and grief, we give up “our way or the highway,” all the material cravings and so much more which never bring us lasting satisfaction. We give these things up so that we can truly be free, free to express who we really are, free to love as God loves, free to forgive others and ourselves as God does.
We, then, live in the truth, the truth about God, the truth about ourselves and others (John 8:31-32). We live in love, the love of God which we can truly take in, we come to love ourselves and even to forgive ourselves for all the sin we have done. So many burdens gone! So much anger, fear, anxiety and judgment gone! So much pain gone! So much uncertainty gone! Since we now own everything about ourselves, we are no longer projecting our sin onto others. We become a salve for those we meet who no longer see us as our ego-driven selves.
We live in faith, in trust that God will take care of us, no matter what comes. We live at peace even in the midst of uncertainty. We live without competition with others. We just are who we are. Challenges come and we adapt to them with God’s help. We may be temporarily thrown by the change, but we remember who we are in God and surrender to the change.
This has been my experience which I have grown into after giving my life to Christ some 40 years ago. It took quite a while for me to give up enough of the world’s hold on me to be able to clearly see what God wanted for me. I learned how to meditate, to quiet my mind, to be an observer of my thoughts, but not upset by them. Early on, I heard God’s quiet voice in my mind say this: “I have an agenda for my life.” I was happy being a wife and other of three kids, but this thought turned me into a different direction. I went from asking in everything I did, What should I be doing?” to “What do I really want to do?” And that changed everything in me. I went from being outer-oriented to being inner-oriented, always looking for the voice of the Indwelling Spirit of God.
There have been a few other times when God’s voice has spoken directly to me in my mind, but mostly He has led me by nudges in my mind and suggestions from others which resonate with me, simply pointing me in a different direction than what I had thought. He has led me to surrendering my life to Him, loving my mother, helping me deal with Hank’s cancer returning and supporting me through his death a few months later, and moving to Charlotte NC from CA. Since my husband died when I was 58, He has led me on two journeys which complement each other. First, through trips to Haiti and Mexico, then interviewing clients at Crisis Assistance Ministry, and the many books I’ve read written by African-Americans and more, I have really broadened my understanding of all human beings, each of us being created in the image of God (Genesis 1:27). I have seen my own whiteness as nothing that should gain me privilege above anyone else. I now see all human beings as created the same by God. Even science affirms this: human beings share 99.99% the same genes.
The second part of this journey was training to be a spiritual director and then a blogger and author now of four books. Everything I write is from the point of view of a spiritual director: how do I, how do we live this life in Christ? This has been an incredible journey for me, so fulfilling and so absolutely unexpected to me.
I am not in any way saying that your journey in Christ would look like mine. In fact, I am sure that it wouldn’t, for we were each created by God to fulfill different needs of His on this Earth. We each have talents and interests which, if pursued with the Holy Spirit, will bring us purpose, fulfillment and joy unmeasured. So, If you will take this as an invitation to you to follow Jesus, then I am so sure that your life will be so immeasurably blessed and purposeful.
Questions to ponder over the week: Am I comfortable just believing in Jesus Christ, the Son of God, or am I willing to grow and change into the person He created me to be? What would I have to give up in order to follow Christ? Am I willing to go all the way with Him?
Blessing for the week: May we be the people of God who believe in Jesus Christ, the Son of God, and follow Him, too, wherever He would take us. May we surrender what the world has taught us and take up what Christ wants to teach us.
See more blog posts and offerings at patsaidadams.com.
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- I am giving away a 10-week journaling guide to Jesus’s Two Great Commandments. If you are interested, email me at email@example.com and I will send it to you, free of charge.
- My latest books, “Called to Help the Poor and Needy” and “A Study Guide to the Beatitudes and the Sermon on the Mount” are now in bookstores and on line. The first is about the more than 2,000 verses in the Bible which detail God’s instructions for caring for those in need. The second is a journaling/pondering guide to Jesus’s most complete sermon.