There's nothing that means more to me than feeling a closeness to God. It's what we were born to know!
But how do we get there? How do we cultivate a deeper relationship with Him and maintain it? What things hinder that closeness with Him?
You Reflect What You Focus On
There's a spiritual principle that says we are "near" to whatever we are focused on. We also begin to resemble (look like, reflect) what we are focused on.
Since we are made in God's image, our lives are designed to be focused on Him, getting what we need from Him, walking in relationship with Him as He transforms us.
It's His job, as we walk with Him, to change us more and more into the image of Christ. In other words, our lives are made whole!
Things that Hinder Our Closeness to God
What things hinder our closeness to God? Begin to notice what's happening in life when you feel a disconnect...
That Kitchen Floor.
I remember when it was normal for me to follow whatever thoughts came into my mind. I lived in a static state of fear - and honestly, so much had happened in my life that was threatening mentally, emotionally, and physically that it was hard to think positively and live above it.
I did my best to maintain a positive outlook and I kept praying. But there were days where I would lie on my face on the kitchen floor in tears.
God's help would come when I would pray and especially when I would sing. Old hymns I'd learned as a child like "The Solid Rock" or "Great Is Thy Faithfulness" and "What A Friend We Have in Jesus."
The words would slowly drip into my mind and as they saturated my thoughts and rolled off my lips, my focus would return to God and my heart would begin to feel His peace.
It was in that kitchen that I first became aware of choosing my thoughts and the difference it would make.
Ever have something happen that seemed to rock your world and leave you spinning?
My world's been rocked so many times, I wonder how the earth is still properly balanced.
My response to a "world-rocking" event would begin with fear. That usually developed into anger or self-defensiveness or self-pity. One of those "self" things. It was miserable.
I bet you know that feeling.
And finally, my eyes would turn back to God. Every time I turned back to Him, I could feel my unbalanced world beginning to right itself.
Maybe my circumstances didn't change right away, but as my perspective did, so did my mind and heart.
Maybe I still didn't have the answer, but I was looking at the One who had it. As my faith and focus returned to its rightful place, my heart once again became steady (or steady-er).
When things happen... like a bad diagnosis from the doctor, a betrayal by a spouse or friend, or just when the whole month or year has been challenging...
...that's when we...
When I heard it, I knew it was true.
I had been doing my best to "keep the peace" intact around me and keep everyone okay, but I was sacrificing my soul. My entire motivation had been based in raw fear.
It was fear that had been growing unchecked for some time. And to describe it - I felt like it was a vine that had climbed up, wrapped around my neck, and was shutting off my voice.
I didn't know what to do.
And then a friend told me that she knew I was just afraid.
And rightly so! I mean, my situation was abusive in many ways, but what power did I have?
That's the thing with ungodly fear - it takes your power every time.
A counselor I would see later on asked, "Robin, when did you realize your voice had been stolen?" (Wow, huh?)
It would be years of learning to speak up and stand my ground. Of getting freed from fear and codependency, healing from abuse, and finding the real me that God had created.
I realized that the peace I...
With all the demands on time and the number of things we're each responsible for, do you sometimes neglect yourself?
I know I am certainly guilty of that at times. As a full-time life coach, I'm also "do-er" / type A / professional multi-tasker, so I love helping others achieve and accomplishing goals that I've set for myself. In other words...
I love making a difference!
Am I neglecting myself in the process?
Recently, I realized that a thought was trying to make its way to my frontal lobe. When that happens, I have learned to stop and listen to what is asking to be heard.
Sometimes it's a great idea, a reminder, or a solution to a problem.
When I stopped to listen...
...I realized that most of my shoes were worn out and that my feet were hurting some every night.
Wow! I needed new shoes!
So yesterday, I blocked off some time, drove to the outlet mall, and came home with 4 beautiful pairs of Clarks Shoes - different styles to...
Dear friend - If you are in Christ, if you know Him as your Savior and Lord, then whatever He calls you to do is significant.
We, humans, have a tendency to compare ourselves with others - and that includes believers!
If we are a stay-at-home parent or caregiver, we tend to think that's not as important or significant as someone who owns a business or leads a ministry.
If we are a factory worker, we tend to think our job is not as important as the supervisor's role.
The truth is that each of us carries far more significance than we realize!
What seems to be the simplest kind of calling on someone's life can actually be the hardest to perform because it requires the same submission to the Holy Spirit and the Lordship of Jesus as any other calling or purpose.
This past week, my husband caught a terrible sore throat virus that kept us both up in broken sleep most nights. And while I am called as a life coach, teacher, and minister, I am also...
Do you struggle with forgiving others? Most people do. When we've been hurt, it just hurts! But the key is in knowing how to set yourself free.
Many of us don't experience the healing of forgiveness and the freedom it brings because we don't understand the power of forgiveness. Many times we either don't realize the powerful key we've been given by God, or we don't know how to use the key.
Unforgiveness keeps people chained to the past.
Last fall, I released my first book, The Guts & Glory of Forgiveness - Living Healed. In my book I share the process I went through to be released from things like abuse, manipulation, theft, grief, and betrayal.
I was recently interviewed by Barbara Hitching about forgiveness. We had a very honest conversation about the struggle and the process. In this interview, you will hear much of my own story of forgiveness and how I struggled - until I obtained the keys to freedom!
"As a man thinketh, so is he or so does he become" (Proverbs 23:7). This verse in the Bible tells us very plainly that the way we think is important.
But even more, the way we think about our life has the power to CREATE our very life!
Mindsets are very important: set your mind on higher things, on right things!
"Be transformed by the entire renewal of your mind" (Romans 12:1-2).
We must put off the old way of thinking and believing and train our minds to agree with God's Word!
We need to constantly have a FRESH mental attitude. What goes on inside you - in your thoughts, expectations, and spoken words has the POWER to determine how long you will be in the wilderness.
Choose to be a person of purpose! And watch out for these 5 common obstacles...
1) Wrong beliefs about what is possible.
2) Wrong thinking and negativity.
3) Satan will tell you lies.
4) No positive vision.
5) Not seeing with eyes of faith.
The same old thinking will always produce the same old results. To...