1. Our spiritual life is a series of valleys, mountains, and middle ground in-between.
When you witness someone else taking big steps in their spiritual journey or hearing from God consistently, it could be that they are in a different life chapter than you are. Often, a long valley comes just before the breakthrough. It’s never a good idea to compare where we are in our faith to someone else, because each of us is unique and hears from God in different ways. God may speak to us through a friend or a song, and speak to someone else through nature. He may bring us a specific scripture to minister to someone else, but nudge our heart through a different passage.
The key is to keep coming to God, regardless of how we feel. Our feelings are not always indicative of the truth, but God’s Word is always true and is a solid foundation in every situation.
“Therefore everyone then who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock.” (Matthew 7:24 NIV)
If we rely on our feelings or our situation to tell us what’s true, our lives will be filled with chaos and anxiety. But if we look to God’s Word, we will find peace and rest that is not dependent on external circumstances.
2. Abiding in Christ is an active, day-by-day process, not a passive, one-and-done decision.
One of Jesus’ last teachings to the disciples is about abiding in the Vine. Jesus is the Vine, and he tells us in John 15 that apart from him we can do nothing.
“Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.” (John 15:4 NIV)
But often, when life gets busy and takes over, we forget about abiding. We forget that just like any other relationship, our relationship with God must be nourished in order to grow and flourish. When we see others who seem to be hearing from God like clockwork, it could be that they are simply spending more time with him. They may be getting into his Word regularly or praying on a more consistent basis.
No matter where we are or how long it’s been since we’ve made time with God a priority, he is always waiting for us to come to him. He delights in our prayers, and he answers them. If you are spending time with him consistently and are still having difficulty sensing his guidance, don’t give up. Even the one God called “a man after God’s own heart,” David, went through dry seasons where he questioned God’s presence. These feelings are just as integral to our faith walk as the mountaintop moments, and we can come to God with an honest admission of them.
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