Seeking God Wholeheartedly

seeking God

This verse in Jeremiah has been running through my head a lot lately. What does it mean to seek God with all of our heart? Not a fraction of our heart, not just a piece of our heart, but ALL of our heart.  How do we do that?

God’s greatest commandment is that we love Him.

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. ~Mark 12:30 (NIV)

He first loved us and He desires for us to love Him back. Part of how we love Him is by seeking time with Him. He wants to grow a relationship with us, and a key part of any relationship is spending some quality time together.

His second greatest commandment is that we love others.

Love your neighbor as yourself. ~Mark 12:31 (NIV)

Another part of how we love Him is by sharing His Love with other people. I don’t know about you, but anytime I’ve had the opportunity to share the Gospel truth with someone and I see that person “get it” for the first time, something indescribable happens within me. By spreading God’s love, we not only do Kingdom work and impact other lives, but our hearts are changed too—we grow closer to the God who set us free so that we may truly love.

So back to that question, what does it mean to seek God with all of our heart?

It means that we intentionally seek out quality time with Him everyday: We pray, we study His Word, we read devotionals, we read books that encourage us in our faith, and so on. Whether it’s five minutes or fifty minutes—some time is better than no time. For me, seeking some alone time with God isn’t always sitting in my room having a focused quite time. Sometimes it’s enjoying a run on a quiet trail outdoors in the beauty of God’s creation. God’s fingerprints are all over this world for us to soak in.

It means that we surrender all to Him: God wants the real us. He wants us to seek Him when our lives are messy and when our lives are calm. He wants us to seek Him on the days when we feel like it and on the days when we don’t feel like it. He wants to us to bring our pain, our fears, our worries, our hopes, our dreams…to Him. He wants us to surrender every part of our lives to Him so that He can be Lord over our lives.

It means that we spend time pouring into the lives of others: This could be at your job, at a ministry, at church, in your daily comings and goings, at home, by helping a friend or family member (or complete stranger), and so on. God wants us to share His love with others and we can do this anywhere we go. I spend a lot of time pouring into the life of my son right now, and it’s one of the most rewarding things in my life. As I do my best to love my boy, I often see glimpses of God’s love for me through the eyes of my child.

It means that we spend time in community: Going to church, being a part of a Bible study, spending time with family and friends that build us up, and so on. God doesn’t want us to be alone all the time. He wants us to experience the joy that comes from being around the body of Christ—it’s a part of how we grow closer to Him.

It means that we recognize that God is beyond time: Seeking Him is a lifelong journey, not a one time thing. There might be times where we have a quiet time and seek God, but it feels like He’s silent—like we don’t hear Him. The thing we need to realize is that God’s timetable is very different than ours. Rest assured, He’s listening. He hears you and He cares. His timing is perfect and He will reveal things to us when the time is right in His eyes. The verse doesn’t say seek me one time and then you’ll find me. The verse says nothing about time. God wants us to keep seeking Him and never stop. The more we learn how to give our whole heart to Him, the more we will find Him. It’s a process, not an event.

The more we seek God, the more we get to know Him. And the more we know Him, the richer our relationship with Him becomes. We get to fall in love with the Almighty King, who first fell in love with us.

What does it mean to you to seek God with all of your heart? What are some ways you have experienced the richness of seeking Him? I would love to hear!

hannah

(C) 2014 Pocketful of Motherhood

When Loneliness and Love Collide

Make me lonely
So I can be Yours
‘Til I want no one
More than You, Lord
‘Cause in the darkness
I know You will hold me
Make me lonely

‘Til You are my one desire
‘Til You are my one true love
‘Til You are my breath, my everything
Lord, please keep making me

~Lyrics from the song “Keep Making Me” by Sidewalk Prophets

~~~

Make me lonely.

Have you ever desired that? Have you ever cried out those words to God?

I cannot remember a time in my life where my desire was to be lonely, but I can remember times where I have wanted God to take my lonely feelings away.

As a teenager I experienced waves of loneliness. I didn’t like feeling alone. I didn’t like sleeping on a tear-soaked pillow.

As a teenager I also experienced moments of laughter and joy. Good memories and blessings to be grateful for. Yet something felt empty inside of me, and nothing in this world could quench that void I felt.

And then I started to wonder…

Could God be the answer? Was He the one who could transform my broken heart and fill the void in me?

So I started seeking God.

It’s as if my lonely feelings were the very thing leading me to discover the most important relationship that I would experience in my life.

My loneliness collided with the amazing, fulfilling, soul quenching LOVE of God.

And hope…began to shine.

God is love

The more I pursued God, the more I realized that He was already pursuing me. I was not alone. He was with me. He was always with me. I just had not taken the time to acknowledge His presence in my life—until then.

As I opened my heart to His truth, my burdens started to lighten. I began to realize why nothing else had even been able to fill that void in me.

Because nothing else could.

There was a place in me that only He could fill. He created me with a God-shaped-hole, and He created me with it because He desired to fill it.

His love started to fill that empty space in me and my life began to change. My life is still changing.

Make me lonely.

No, I never asked for that. It wasn’t my desire. But God allowed me to feel lonely for a season, because He knew where it would eventually lead me…

Straight into His loving arms.

My teenage years are well behind me and my understanding of God’s love for me continues to flourish. I am in awe that something so beautiful and Holy, could blossom from the most broken places in me.

Nothing is wasted with God.

There are still moments when loneliness creeps into my life. Right now I live and breath motherhood. I love being a mom and I have the most amazing little boy. But not every moment is easy. Sometimes I feel alone in the struggles I face as a parent, and I get discouraged.

When those feelings arise, I can either let them pull me down or I can lay them at the feet of Jesus. When I choose Jesus, He can use those lonely feelings for something good. Maybe it’s to refine me or maybe it’s to remind me how healing it is to simply rest in His love.

“Don’t be afraid, for I am with you.
Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you.
I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.”

~Isaiah 41:10 {NLT}

I am also reminded in the lonely times that this world is not our final home. So if it feels like something is missing, that’s because it is. We were created for something so much better than this world. Jesus conquered death with love, so that we can experience a better world with Him someday.

 “I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.”

~John 16:33 {NLT}

Loneliness is a gloomy road without God, but there is hope when we surrender our loneliness to God and fall into His loving arms. Our deepest needs can be satisfied by His great love.

hannah

(C) 2014 Pocketful of Motherhood