Meet Your Personal Mentor - Part II
- 2005 28 Mar
Get Quiet and Listen
When you’re ready to watch a movie at home, you gather all the things you need to make the event enjoyable and comfortable: the big-screen television, the gourmet popcorn, the ten-thousand-calorie pizza, and the oversized chairs. In a similar fashion, when you want to have a serious talk with someone, you’re likely to choose a quiet place where you won’t be distracted, and you might even bring notes to make sure you talk coherently about whatever is on your mind.
It works the same way to cultivate your relationship with the Holy Spirit. The time you spend with Him is the most important meeting of your entire day, so do what is needed to make it successful. You need commitment in getting to know Him, consistency in meeting with Him, and honesty in talking to Him. Take time out of every day to wait in His presence, compliment Him, thank Him, ask Him questions, and wait for His answers. Keep doing it until your time together becomes a habit that you just can’t live without.
You hear from Him because you belong to Him. seeJohn10:27
Do you believe this? Examine any issues you may have
with this statement and take them to God.
Establish an ongoing dialogue with God; let your PM speak to you in your quiet times and throughout the day. Remember that God wants to talk to us; we do not have to assault the throne to get Him to chat. The book of Revelation tells us that He stands at the door and knocks, like a polite houseguest.seeRev3:20 He will not barge into our busy lives, break down the door, grab us by the shoulders, and make us listen to Him. So if we want to hear Him, we have to pay attention and listen carefully. James tells us we should be swift to hear, slow to speak.1:19 God speaks in a still small voice.1Kings19:12 But with persistence and practice, we can strengthen our listening skills. (Good listening skills will also come in handy with your future mate, as we discuss in Rule 15.)
If you are not sure that you can recognize or hear God’s still small voice, get to know Him better and learn of Him until you are.seeMatt11:29 Here are some specific ways you can strengthen your relationship with God:
- Get your praise on. Praise is when you reach up to kiss God and thank Him for who He is and what He’s done for you. It is the precursor to worship, which is a deeper intimacy with Him. In the University of praising God, where do you stand? Will you graduate cum laude: praising Him on Sunday mornings and when everything in your life is spiffy? Magna cum laude: praising Him even when things are just so-so? Or summa cum laude: able to praise Him though life’s killing you (like the apostle Paul in the dungeonseeActs16:25-27)? Perhaps you’re not close to graduating yet. That’s okay; get going today! The level of your praise will reveal the level of your relationship with God.
- Make true confessions. Jesus taught us to pray and ask His forgiveness for our ugly actions each day and to pray for those who hurt us each day. Don’t even think about asking Him for something if you are harboring unconfessed sins or grudges. Confess sins of omission (things you didn’t do, but should have) and commission (things you did do, but shouldn’t have).
- Make His Book your favorite book. My (Chris’s) relationship with God deepened when I committed to reading through the entire Bible, book by book. (We call it our Sixty-Six-Book Love Letter.) I chose a version of the Bible I knew I could understand easily, The Living Bible translation, and as a naturally early riser, I was up at dawn rummaging through it.
On the other hand, I (Pam) use several translations and a concordance when I’m reading the Bible so I can better capture the nuances and principles. I highlight in yellow any scriptures that God brings alive to me, and then I memorize them. You might need another approach entirely — find your own groove. We pray the Bible becomes the best-read Book on your bookshelf!
Suggestion: Read a psalm in the morning and a chapter of either the Old Testament or the New at night — or vice versa if you have more time in the morning. This strategy breaks the text down into bite-sized morsels you can chew on without cracking your teeth. After a while, you’ll end up reading much more than you planned. (Fortunately, you can’t OD on God’s Word!)
- Have fireside chats. During your time with God, thank Him and make requests of Him based on what He just showed you in the Word. Talk about whatever He brings up in your spirit. God will often use a scripture you’ve read to tell you something personal (that’s called rhema). Conclude your time with more thanks.
If your PM tells you something that you need to do during your quiet time, submit to it.
Submit has become a dirty word both inside and outside of church circles due to its misuse. We hope that it will enjoy a revival as it is critical to our relationship with God and to our ability to maintain a lifelong love relationship. Remember, Jesus was able to submit to the torture of dying on the cross because of the Holy Spirit’s power. He lives in us and gives us that same power.
Submission is the residue of true love. When we know that God loves us unconditionally and totally, we won’t find submission to Him difficult. (Love is the quality that’s often missing in marriages where there’s “trouble with submission.”) The prefix sub means to “come under.” A subway runs under the ground, a subcutaneous wound is one that is under the skin, and so on. Webster says that submit means “to yield to governance or authority.” We tap into the power of our PM when we submit to His authority and guidance in our life. It’s essential to cultivate this ability to yield to the Holy Spirit if we want to grow spiritually — and to have a healthy relationship with Mr. or Mrs. Right.
Here are some examples of things your PM might ask you to submit to:
- Stop telling “little white lies.”
- Keep your mouth shut when you really want to give someone a piece of your mind.
- Call someone with whom you are estranged and be the one to restart communication.
- Attend a midweek Bible study, even though you are a faithful Sunday church attendee and are tired after work.
- Get involved in church activities and submit to someone (who you might not feel is as smart as you are).
- Quit watching a certain television show or attending a particular social gathering, even though it may not be explicitly immoral.
Marriage provides you with a constant traveling mirror and a person to hold it up (sometimes when we least want to see ourselves). The marriage union presents a controlled environment in which God can use your mate to help you develop character. But a mate cannot, should not, and will never be your savior — only God can play this role in your life effectively. People with savior complexes get tired because they are operating in their own limited strength. Your PM is all-powerful and never tires. Submit to Him now so that you can enter into marriage whole. (If you need the Savior, turn to the Lordship Prayer on page 69.)
If we don’t submit to the work of our PM, our inner portrait will remain marred, and we will subconsciously attract the type of person our damaged self-portrait says we deserve. (Sadly, this is not even the real you; it’s just the you that you refused to submit for cleaning.) Don’t let this happen. It takes years to recover from the pain of a broken marriage, and you don’t have that kind of time, right? Right!
When you allow your PM to guide you, your life will become characterized by the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding.Phil4:7 You will experience a freedom from any anxiety you may have had. (Although the issue that was a catalyst for the anxiety may not change immediately or at all, you will change). God’s peace surpasses any sight, sense, or circumstance you are facing — it goes beyond our natural understanding. Armed with this deep-down peace, you can trust God about your future, even when the clock is ticking and no one you like is giving you the time of day…yet.
Kill the “Maybe I’s”
Perhaps as you read this you’re thinking:
- Maybe I just don’t have the time for this process; I need to cut
to the chase.
- Maybe I am not good enough to have a relationship with God.
- Maybe I won’t hear anything from God.
- Maybe I am not doing it right.
- Maybe I deserve the mess I’m in anyway.
If any of these thoughts resonate with you, we urge you to kill them right now. First of all, God is never in a mad rush. He wants things done right, for our own benefit. He will show you that you do have the time. In fact, you don’t have time not to have the time with Him! Satan always drives from behind and is always negative and condemning. God always draws from the front and is always positive and encouraging, even when He chastises.
You will never regret the time you spend getting to know your PM. He will be your Friend and Relationship Counselor for life.
Click here to read Part I.
From "His Rules: God's Practical Road Map for Becoming and Attracting Mr. or Mrs. Right." Copyright © 2005 by Christopher Burge and Pamela Toussaint. Used by permission of WaterBrook Press, Colorado Springs, Colo. All rights reserved.
Christopher L. Burge leads Chris Burge Ministries, Inc., and has facilitated a dynamic young adult Bible study in New York City for the past twelve years. After stellar academic and athletic performances at Brown University, Christ went on to enjoy a successful career on Wall Street before he heard the call to ministry. He is a graduate of Rhema Bible Training Center, where he received three years of biblical and pastoral instruction. Chris administers "tough love and straight talk" to singles young and old, imbuing biblical principles with twenty-first century pizzazz, which has become his trademark.
Pamela Toussaint is the acclaimed coauthor of such books as "Mama's Little Baby", "Boys into Men", and "I Call You Friend." A popular speaker, she began her career as a magazine editor and has published articles in various Christian and secular magazine. She has also made numerous television appearances and was featured in a one-hour ABC/Lifetime television special. Pamela is a graduate of New York City's Fordham University, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts in communications.