“My determined purpose is that I may know Him—that I may progressively become more deeply & intimately acquainted with Him, perceiving & recognizing & understanding the wonders of His person more strongly & more clearly.” -Paul
There’s absolutely nothing more important than developing a friendship with God. Paul told Timothy: “Some of these people have missed the most important thing in life—they don’t know God”.
Have we been missing out on the most important thing in life? We can always do something about it, its our choice. We are as close to God as we choose to be.
Small steps to help us on our way:
We must choose to be honest with God. He doesn’t expect us to be perfect, but he does insist on perfect honesty. Bitterness is the greatest barrier to friendship with God. Releasing our resentment & revealing our feeling, is a step towards healing. Warren reminds us that God always acts in our best interest, even when its painful and we don’t understand it. God’s closest friends—Moses, David, Abraham, Job—had bouts of doubt and expressed it openly to Him. Expressing doubt is the first step towards the next level of intimacy with God.
I must choose to obey God in faith. Jesus made it clear that obedience is a condition of intimacy with God. Warren states just like “friends of the king” in a royal court had special privileges, they still were subject to the king & had to obey his commands.
True friendship acts—when Jesus asks us to love others, help the needy, share our resources, offer forgiveness, & bring others to him, love motivates us to obey immediately. We may be challenged to do “great things” for God in our lifetime, but small opportunities surround us every day. Simple acts as telling the truth, being kind & encouraging others bring a smile to God’s face.
I must choose to value what God values. As to our friends, we care about what’s most important to the other person. The more we become God’s friend, the more we will care about the things he cares about.
I must desire friendship with God more than anything else. Intimate friendship with God is a choice, we must intentionally seek it. Do we really want it, more than anything? What is it worth to us? Is it worth giving up other things? Is it worth the effort of developing the habits and skills required?
C.S.Lewis said, “Pain is God’s megaphone.” Our problems aren’t punishment, but wake up calls from a loving God. He will do whatever it takes to bring us back into fellowship with Him.
Warren suggests a way to reignite our passion for God: Start asking God to give it to you, & keep on asking til you have it. God told the captives in Babylon: “When you get serious about finding me and want it more than anything else, I’ll make sure you won’t be disappointed.”
Question to Consider: What practical choices will I make today in order to grow closer to God?
* Weekly we will be writing about what inspires us from each consecutive chapter of Warren’s Purpose Driven Life. If you read along with us, please share your inspirations. There’s no need to catch up, just jump right in.