You really don't realize the importance of Godly influences in your life until you either go through a 'wilderness' or until you take a step back to evaluate your life. Recently, I've taken a step back. I quit volunteering for so much stuff, both in my church and among my friends. I cut many things out of my life, such as exercising, to try to make room for more one on one time with God. As I mentioned in the previous post, I'm still not where I want to be, but I'm getting there.
Last week, Jeremy and I went to Chattanooga to visit friends and family. During the very busy two days we were there, I was able to carve out a few hours to spend with a dear friend of mine. She and I became close during college. We are complete opposites in almost everything- except for our passion for God and for knowledge. (Granted, she is SOOOO much more intelligent than I, but I feel so much smarter around her.) During those precious few hours, I was able to discuss God in a way that only happens when she and I get together. Since then, I've made it my prayer to develop this habit in more friendships. I want to be able to have more frequent conversations like that and be the reason someone else wants to spend more time getting to know God.
Also as I've blogged before, I've been going with my friend to her church on Wednesday nights for bible study. It has been such an AMAZING blessing to me to study and fellowship with other ladies who are as excited to learn more about God as I am. We are currently doing another Priscilla Shirer bible study, One in a Million.
It has really forced me to evaluate my life, the things I do and say, the people I hang out with, etc. One day of week one really spoke to me. Here are several key points. (I've paraphrased and copied word for word.)
* God wants us to expect and anticipate more out of our walk with Him which is why He placed a gnawing hunger in our hearts to encounter Him.
* A narrow view of God could prevent us from doing just that. It creates a boundary that limits our experience with Him.
Oh and I LOVED this next point- (little background- Priscilla's father is an amazing pastor in Texas, and she has a strong Biblical upbringing)
* The teaching I have received isn't biblically incorrect (its solid and effective), but what I learned through knowledge.... GOD WANTED TO EXPAND THROUGH EXPERIENCE.
*We must be willing to move out of our comfort zones and church routines if we are to break through to the abundant life Christ offers.
*Pray that God will offer you something different in your relationship with Him than what you've previously known- something that forces you to dig deeper in the Word, have a deeper prayer life, or even search for a supplemental body of believers with which to grow!