Tag Archives: moving closer to god

Part Of God’s Heart

I was chatting with a friend at church recently. We were talking about the need for satellite churches around the city. As we were discussing locations that would be good, he brought up a certain area of town. He broke down and began to cry. He said, “We’ve got to get in there and take the Gospel to the people who live there.” I could tell his heart was breaking for that demographic. I believe God has given this man that burden and that’s why it bothered Him so much that there were so few churches in that area trying to reach them. His passion touched me, and it got me to thinking about the importance of anguish in a Christian’s life.

Several years ago, David Wilkerson preached a sermon called, “A Call to Anguish”. It’s one of those sermons I’ve listened to many times because it fires me up. In it, he says, “Anguish means extreme pain and distress. The emotions so stirred that it becomes painful. Acute deeply felt inner pain because of conditions about you, in you, or around you. Deep pain. Deep sorrow. The agony of God’s heart.“ That’s what was going on in my friend, and to be honest, I was a little jealous because I wanted to feel God’s anguish like that.

In 1 Samuel 1, Hannah wanted a son. Every day she was reminded of her barrenness. God put it in her heart to have a child so she went to the Tabernacle to pray. Verse 10 says, “Hannah was in deep anguish, crying bitterly as she prayed to the Lord” (NLT). I believe her anguish was born in her heart by God. I believe it’s something every one of us need. If you’re not feeling God’s anguish today for a brokenness in the world, ask God to share part of His heart with you. It’s time we wept in anguish for the things that break God’s heart so we can do something about it.

Take five minutes today to listen to these excerpts from David Wilkerson’s sermon “A Call to Anguish” and ask God to share part of His heart with you.

Photo by Diana Simumpande on Unsplash

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Spiritual Improvement

We’ve been doing some home improvement projects lately. Some are small and some are large. In either case, I’ve found that it costs money, time and effort. In some cases it requires the help of others to get the job done right. I look at what it takes to do the improvements sometimes and I try to convince my wife that everything is fine. She looks at them and wants to make them better. I’m learning that we will never be done improving and changing things because as time goes on, we have to keep updating to keep it from falling apart.

Our spiritual life is very similar. We must constantly be working on improving it. There is always room for improvement and growth. None of us are where we want to stay, but many of us don’t want to do the things necessary to improve. We make excuses as to why we can’t find time to go to church, read the Bible or pray. We know we need to, but we lack the drive to make those things happen. In doing nothing, we run the risk of falling apart. I’ve heard it said that a Bible that’s falling apart typically belongs to someone whose life isn’t.

Spiritual growth will cost you. It’s not cheap to improve. You’re going to have to invest in books and seminars. You’re going to have to get up earlier. Stay up later. You’re going to have to do things differently than you’ve always done them. If you want a different result in your spiritual life than you’ve been getting, you’re going to have to do things you’ve never done. You’re going to have to force yourself to get up early to pray and read the Bible. You’re going to have to turn off your phone in order to give God 100% of your attention. Growth always costs something. It just depends on how much your willing to improve.

Next, it requires time. Each of us only get 24 hours in a day, 1,440 minutes or 86,400 seconds in a day depending on how you look at it. How you invest your time says a lot about what’s important to you and also determines your future. How much time do you spend playing games, watching TV, following the lives of others, reading the Bible, praying, spending time with family and friends or surfing the internet? Just like anything else in life, where you invest (sow) your time determines what your return will be (reap). If you want a deeper, more meaningful time with God, invest more time in the relationship.

Growth will also require the help of others. You do not have to walk this road alone. There are others around you who have the skills you need for improving your spiritual life. They know the scriptures that will point you in the right direction. They know how to overcome the situation you’re facing because they’ve been there. It takes you being humble enough to say, “I’m struggling with this and I can’t do it. Can you help?” For some of us, that’s easy. For others, that’s the hardest thing in the world to do and accept. If we are going to grow, we are going to need the help of others.

Where do you fall in all of this? Are you content with where you are? Do you feel like you need to grow or improve, but aren’t willing to put in the work? Maybe you want to, but just aren’t sure where to start or who to ask. Start with getting up an hour earlier each day just to spend time with God. Look around at the people God has placed in your life. Who is it that is further along than you? Ask them to help hold you accountable as well as to help you grow. Ask them what works for them. Growth and improvement isn’t easy or cheap, but the rewards are incredible. Ask God for direction and He will show you.

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