On thinking deeply, following more closely and how His capturing my heart benefits my marriage…

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May you know more and more of grace and peace as your knowledge of God and Jesus our Lord grows deeper. He has by His own action given us everything that is necessary for living the truly good life, in allowing us to know the One who has called us to Him, through His own glorious goodness.
2 Peter 1:2-3

Often while it is yet dark and I sit still with my Father in the secret place reading the first chapter of 2 Peter, I find myself encouraged to live like Jesus to the best of my ability, hopefully becoming more like Him day by day.

This morning it was the phrase to know the One that jumped out at me.

And I continue digging deeper.

Over the years I acquired lots of knowledge about God but it is only in knowing the One who died for me that sets me free to truly follow Him.

Surrendered, submissive and obedient. In love!

Verse seven of this chapter ends in love. Agape. The highest love. Unconditional. Love, the Alpha and the Omega of all existence, for God is love.

And we were all created in love, even if our parents didn’t plan or want us.

We all have our sins covered with love never failing even when others may choose not to forgive us.

We all our blessed, even those who may not know yet, because Love hung on a tree all bloody to take away my sins, and yours.

This Love changes us, heals us, setting hearts free to be the people, spouses or parents He has created us to be.

And it is only as my heart is captured by the Son of Man who came to earth to reveal the Father’s heart that I can learn to love my husband like God does and in so doing bring Him glory.

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Getting back to Peter, it is love and the other qualities listed that render my life fruitful in the true knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

For this very reason you must do your utmost from your side, and see that your faith carries with it real goodness of life. Your goodness must be accompanied by knowledge, your knowledge by self-control, your self-control by the ability to endure. Your endurance too must always be accompanied by devotion to God; that in turn must have in it the quality of brotherliness, and your brotherliness must lead on to Christian love.
2 Peter 1: 5-7

My confession, and maybe yours too, is that for a very long time I didn’t have true knowledge.

Rather I had predigested tidbits regurgitated to me over and over, often blindly accepted without really wrestling with those whispers in my heart about words that evoke questions.

And so often in fear, ignorance or laziness I dismissed my questions, if I had even entertained them in the first place, telling myself that they know better than me.

But God wants me to think deep and be a Berean.

Since about 2009 God has me on an interesting and challenging quest of becoming who He has created me to be by knowing Him better and being more obedient than I ever have before. And my heart and mind have been opening in ways different than in the earlier years of my continually-growing faith. With deeper thinking for myself, not merely accepting all I’ve been traditionally taught along the way.

Yet it is a process of learning and growing in love one day at a time.

As I press in more, through the Gospels where Jesus reveals the Father, I come to know God’s Father Heart in a simpler, perhaps more real or child-like way that is expanding me in love.

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I believe that God has been stirring up my previous status quo approach to things like church and doctrines and forging in me a questioning, seeking disciple heart. Willing to read the four gospel accounts AS IF I had never been taught ANYTHING about God! And asking the Holy Spirit to reveal to me what He will about God. And I see Him stirring the hearts of others as well and through respectful, noble discourse we all learn. Perhaps we all begin to wake up?

Yet God is and always will be mysterious and big…and we have these finite little brains!

No one would deny that this religion of ours is a tremendous mystery, resting as it does on the One who appeared in human flesh, was vindicated in the spirit, seen by angels; proclaimed among the nations, believed in throughout the world, taken back to Heaven in glory.
1 Timothy 3:16

I am not suggesting rising against authority in anarchy or anything like that. I am urging, however, that each of us go deeper with our Lord.

As we do our lives will change.

For it is only when our heart is made free by His love that we are released from being the world’s captive. We may be saved the moment we come to our Lord but it can take many moments over decades before we truly surrender our hearts and love like He does.

Freely.

And in His great love for us He patiently waits as we dance around the issue of submitting ourselves to His lordship and following hard after the One who followed the way to the Cross, His heart crying out take this from me if you will, but not my will but Yours be done.

Us needing to learn to surrender: Thy will, not mine. And maybe even us needing to unlearn certain things?

Can you cry that from the innermost part of your heart? Can I?

Can you give yourself so completely to this Son of Man and Son of God that you are willing to follow Him wherever He leads, trusting Him regardless of what you see or feel, exploring areas that might make you a bit uncomfortable, resting in Father’s great love even though you do not know what your future holds?

This is my prayer.

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And recently I read that the Greek word oida means to have seen or perceived, appreciate, aware, become learned, having knowledge, become conscious.

Father, I want to be fully awake and alert, highly conscious of You in truth with a heart that accepts that You are limitless and I have much to learn.

This is what I seek, before being a good wife or writer or anything else. This above all to know, love and best serve my Lord all the days of my life. So I ask Him to keep my mind and my heart open. To make me unafraid to ask Him questions on subjects I have learned to accept and maybe even take for granted.

To go forward with Him ever deeper into His heart.

And this quest is humbling. I once thought I had a handle on God. {YIKES!} And years ago when I was younger and foolish-er I would spout {read that demand} that others accept what I said because I accepted without question what others had told me. Before God ever made it real to my own heart. Prior to understanding how great is the Father’s love for us.

Forgive me, Father, for presenting you in a way that was so much less than who you truly are.

And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge —that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
Ephesians 3:14-21

Lord, fill me up...

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17 thoughts on “On thinking deeply, following more closely and how His capturing my heart benefits my marriage…

  1. “And so often in fear, ignorance or laziness I dismissed my questions, if I had even entertained them in the first place, telling myself that they know better than me.” This was me, too, when I was growing up. I would ask questions but not always get satisfactory answers, and sometimes I just accepted what I was told. My husband and I throughout our marriage have referred to that verse about the Bereans. We wanted to make sure we didn’t just believe what was said in the pulpit, but we wanted to search the Scriptures ourselves to make sure that what was spoken was truth. This, too, is my prayer: “This is what I seek, before being a good wife or writer or anything else. This above all to know, love and best serve my Lord all the days of my life.” If we are putting God first, then the other areas will fall into place an we will be better at the other roles God has given us.

    • Thanks, Gayl, for adding your thoughts. Being a Berean is what we MUST be. When we TRULY put God first, and surrender in sacrifice to His will, then the other areas of our lives begin to line up 🙂 But, I think, we must put in effort in every realm of our being. Cooperating with Christ across the board. Blessings my friend…

  2. “Father, I want to be fully awake and alert…” Joining you in this prayer, Sheila. Yes, Lord, fill us up. You have a beautiful heart after God, and it shines in your writing. Glad to be joining you today via #DancewithJesusLinkUp

    • Thanks, Kristi, for stopping by. I am a little late in making the round at #DanceWithJesus but will catch up with you soon. And yes AWAKE and ALERT. NO more hitting the SNOOZE BUTTON!!! 🙂

  3. I’m going to re-read 2 Peter 1 tomorrow in my quiet time, Sheila. You’ve got my interest piqued. I share your interest in going deeper and following more closely. What an interesting thought to approach the gospels as if you’d never heard anything about Christ.

    • So what are your thoughts on 2 Peter 1? And that unique approach to the gospels, which my dear Michael suggested I do almost four years ago, has been quite literally changing my life and opening my heart. Digger deeper with you, friend!

  4. Sheila, such beautiful pictures and words in this post!

    This resounded with me especially, “Over the years I acquired lots of knowledge about God but it is only in knowing the One who died for me that sets me free to truly follow Him.”

    It is so important that we know Him intellectually, but we must never forget that we grow in Him by experiencing Him in our lives. It is usually, in my experience, that we learn to know Him best as we lean on Him in the hard times. Thanks for that reminder today.

    Blessings to you and yours.

    • Thank you so much, Heather, for your kind words. YES…hard times are some of the best teachers. The multiple dark chapters of my life have taught me much and drawn me ever closer to God! Blessings to you and yours as well. xxoo

  5. How complacent we become in our daily approach to life – why rock the boat if it is sailing smoothly. However, in order to deepen who we are in our relationship with Christ we need to dig deeper, listen more intently and let His will lead us on the path He has chosen. The need to fully surrender to God is the acknowledgement that His ways are now our own. Thank you for these beautiful words. Happy weekend!

    • We are dumb little sheeplings sometimes, easily forgetting all that is important! And that’s why our time with Him must be a daily practice. And the time together is such a gift, not a chore, as He scoops us into His lap and holds us against His chest so that we can hear the beating of His heart…for US!! Love and blessings, my friend. Thanks for stopping by…

  6. Oh my, this is deep, rich and resonant with a soul hunger I can so relate to! Experiencing God in relationship is mind-blowing, awesome, risky, thrilling and challenging all at the same time. He won’t let us settle. There is always so much more to discover. And if our discoveries bring us to this place:”This is what I seek, before being a good wife or writer or anything else. This above all to know, love and best serve my Lord all the days of my life.” then it is worthwhile and life transforming.
    Thank you, Sheila! I love your heart and your questioning mind. May you always seek after the Father’s heart, knowing you will always find a warm welcome there. xox 🙂

    • Awesome! Risky!! Thrilling!!! Love your choice of language. So apt!!And so true. He never lets us stay where we are. He is always bringing us into the best that is yet to be. And you know, I didn’t always have a questioning mind. I was a compliant child and a smart girl who was capable of memorizing facts that were taught. I have come a little later to the table with the rolling up of my sleeves and thinking DEEP for myself!! 🙂 Love and blessings, dear Joy…

  7. This is rich, my friend. This morning I was reading in I John where John said, “Continue in Him so that you will be confident and unashamed.” Just realizing the depth of that, the promise of it, the power of letting our minds mull on spiritual truth and of abiding in Christ. I’m afraid I’ve been content with predigested tidbits and accepted them as deep enough for much of my Christian life. I get what you are saying here and love the journey you are on with the Lord. Thanks for sharing and linking up with Grace and Truth.

    • Thank you, Arabah. I LOVE my journey with the Lord, too. My one word for 2015 (which I wasnt planning on doing until He said) is FREEDOM. This deeper thinking on and in HIM is all part of it. Many blessings and hugs!!