Friday, June 23, 2006

Guest Blogger--Meeting Your Need for Spiritual and Personal Growth

Meeting Your Need for Spiritual and Personal Growth
By Mary Byers

Growing with God

It’s through our relationship with God that we’re able to achieve [heavenly] intimacy—and it’s because of him that we have what we need (even when we don’t feel like it) to meet our obligations as wives and mothers. It’s a win/win situation. Time spent with God not only blesses us, it blesses those in our lives. That’s all the justification we need to set aside time for our own spiritual growth even in the midst of chaos and busyness.

It’s comforting to know that, despite our human failings, God places himself in each one of us when we believe in him, through the gift of the Holy Spirit. And I love how Jesus refers to the Spirit in John 16:7. He calls the Spirit “Counselor.” (Other words for this are “comforter,” “intercessor,” and “advocate.”) How reassuring to know that we have our very own comforter and counselor, especially since that’s what we are to our children. Not only can we draw on God to get what we need, but we can rely on him to give us what our children need. How do we know the Spirit dwells in us? All we have to do is ask.

In Luke 11:13, Jesus notes, “If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”

It’s not enough to ask that God dwell in you, however. Coexisting with God is one thing, but tapping into his power is quite another. It’s amazing what God will do when you allow: He will enable you to see a silver lining where none existed before, empower you with just enough energy to get through the day when you feel you can’t take one step more, allow you to withhold
your anger when you feel like you’re going to explode, and help you to laugh when you feel like crying. Perhaps most importantly, God makes it possible to hear and see and feel his guidance when you’re lost and need direction.

Tapping into God’s Power

Our earthly relationships benefit when we spend time with others. The same is true for our relationship with God. The more time we spend in his presence, the better we’ll know him.And the better we know him, the easier it is to communicate with him and to feel his presence in our lives.

Before we go any further together, there’s a myth about spiritual growth that needs to be dispelled. You do not have to wait until you have a chunk of time in order to benefit from time spent with God. I routinely take seconds to commune with him and benefit by feeling his presence in those moments, just as surely as I do when I have the luxury of an hour with him.“I don’t have the time” is a lame excuse for not seeking God.

Whenever you hear yourself speak those words, whether in your head or out loud, stop and redirect your thoughts. You may not have the time to sit down and do a full-fledged Bible study, but you always have the time to be in connection with God. Even a simple question like “Hi, how are you today?” leads to relationship, and that’s what life with God is all about: being connected.

Thankfully, making a connection is easy. There’s no telephone tag or voicemail. You won’t hear, “I’m sorry, God is out of the office this week.” You don’t have to make an appointment, and you don’t have to wait for God to get back with you. He’s on call and available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. And he doesn’t take holidays or weekends off.

Mary Byers is a professional speaker and freelance writer. She’s a frequent media guest on women’s topics and is a former advertising director and senior level association manager. She lives with her husband and their two youngest children in Illinois.

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