Probably in this blog I've told you dozens of changes God has made in my life since 1994. You regular readers could probably instantly list a few.
But there is one change which outshines all the rest. One change which began the avalanche of other changes which then led to nearly constant peace and joy during normal ol' days.
And that one major, major change comes from this verse:
"He that loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me." ... Matthew 10:37
See, I used to read that verse, hang my sorry head and think, "Wow. I greatly admire God and am grateful for Him, of course. But oh my. I think I love just about everybody more than I love Him!" And that brought guilt. And guilt! Guilt is like a wall which blocks out His light. We hide behind that wall because we are embarrassed that we mess-up. A lot.
And oh... how much we miss while crouching behind that wall.
Well, 1994 rolled around and God showed me the key to breaking down walls of guilt, to allowing His incredible light to shine upon me and to truly loving Him more than everybody else.
What's the key?
Wanting God. Wanting more of God. Wanting God more than anything or anyone else.
More than a larger house, lots of friends, nicer furniture. More than wanting people to think well of me, more than a job, a vacation, or more money, a healing, a godly family, great clothes, Bible memorization, or paying-off loans in the name of stewardship. More than even being viewed as a loving, giving person or having a greater ministry or being the most amazing, sold-out Christian who ever stepped upon the planet. (Yes, really, more than even that last one.)
Again, the key to continual peace and joy begins here:
Want to know Him, not just about Him.
More than anything else, want more of God.
And mean it.
What if you don't currently want Him like that? Well, just want to want it, then. Even the desire for more of Him comes from Him. All true, real, permanent things come from God. Nowhere does He say that we must spin around and try real, real hard and chant things over and over and strain and struggle to get what He's holding out to us in His opened hand.
All good gifts come from the Father. Our job, then, is to receive. Receive what He's aching to give us if only we'd stop trying to earn it. There is no earning God. There is only receiving.
He so wants to give us Himself. His presence. Oh, His life-altering presence! That is the key, too. It's within that presence where we'll know the fullness of joy. And it's with that joy that we find our strength to do all things. And acceptance--blessed, blessed acceptance as only a Father can accept His child, warts and mistakes and all. And it's in His presence where bondage is broken and we are freed to fly.
Want to want Him.
More than anything else.
And see what happens.
I dare you to begin this adventure.
"It may be said without qualification that every man is as holy and as full of the Spirit as he wants to be. He may not be as full as he wishes he were, but he is most certainly as full as he wants to be." ... A. W. Tozer
"... I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ,
And be found in him, not having my own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:
That I may know him..." ... Philippians 3:8-10
"For every one that asks, receives; and he that seeks, finds; and to him that knocks, it shall be opened." ... Luke 11:10