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SEEKING AFTER GOD
A Personal Search

A Commentary by Constance Vanides

"O God, You are my God; early will I seek You; my soul thirsts for You; my flesh longs for You in a dry and thirsty land where there is no water."
(Psalm 63:1)


Occasionally my incoming email brings a call for help. Such was the case with someone I'll call, "Mary". Her cry was a hunger to have a "real heart for Christ" and that she would be filled with the Holy Spirit. A follow-through letter brought forth a deeper need, stemming from her past, to forgive the actions of the person who created the hurts in her life, making her mad at God and feeling worthless. Mary felt deceived by her "Christian" friends as well, unable to trust anyone.

Still, Mary was asking God to reveal Himself, break her and bring her to Himself. And she wanted me to pray for that "heart encounter" with Jesus just the way Paul and Peter were described as having had in the Book of Acts. Mary was asking for prayer, but did not want to "bug" me about it.

I began to pray for Mary and also asked my friend, Ruth, to pray. Ruth responded with this letter of her own, which can serve as a personal sermon to anyone who feels as Mary does:

"It is not 'bugging' to want to know Jesus in a deeper way. I have been praying every day for you, especially that God will reveal Himself to you. You can take comfort in this promise from scripture, that none of us can come to God unless He draws us to Himself. (John 12:32). Obviously God is drawing you to Him, or you could not have such deep feelings."

"I cannot pray for God to 'break you.' God does not hurt us. Many of us are broken by the things of this world; some break easier than others. Some have deep wounds and still do not break, but real wisdom is to understand when we do get close to the breaking point, turn to God and in simple words say, 'God, I have been broken by this world. I want you in my life. I want Jesus as my Savior. There is nothing else I can do for myself. I cannot even soften my own heart. Please God, accept me just as I am. I know that Jesus died for my sins and I accept that wonderful gift as my own.'"

"Please remember, Mary, God is sovereign. That means God does not have a boss. He is King. He does what He wants to do, when He wants to do it, and with whom He wants to do it. Also remember, He is a loving Father and He very much wants you as His lovely, loving child. We cannot expect God to reveal Himself to us individually as He has done to someone else. We are all very special in God's eyes. So, what He did for Paul might not work for you. What He did for Peter might not work for you. The salvation experience I had will be different than yours. Yours will be yours alone, created especially for you. It will include a healing balm for your many wounds. And, one thing more. God will never throw you out. He will never disown you. He will always be with you in everything you do, in every breath you take. (Deuteronomy 31:6, 8) (Joshua 1:5) (Hebrews 13:5)"

"Please do not judge God by people in this world. We call ourselves Christians, but we are all imperfect. We have many faults, and the best we can do is to ask God's forgiveness for the pain that we cause others. And, He forgives us and casts our sins into His sea of forgetfulness (Psalm 103:12) the forgiveness which was purchased on Calvary when Christ give His life for us. (Luke 23:34) So, we have free access to God through Christ, once we have opened our heart to His wonderful, obedient son, Jesus."

"You are wise, if you know that your heart is hard. God, and only God can soften it. He wants to give you good gifts (James 1:17); and a tender heart before God is a gift from God. (Ephesians 2:8) God reveals Himself in many ways. A very sure way to find God is to read about Him in His word. I would suggest that you begin with the Gospel of John. It is a very tender book and full of God's love for us."

"You have everything you need to know God in a personal way, yourself and the desire to know Him. You will succeed. God will help you."

Ruth

Have you decided you, too, need a personal touch from God, to know Him experientially? Go back to the Contemplation Page for February. You'll find it in the Archive with the title "Ask to Receive". Prepare yourself by forgiving others and God will forgive you. "For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you." (Matthew 6:14))

FORGIVE AND RELEASE
Are you continuing to carry
the pains and hurts of the past?
Leave them all behind
so that I may give you new life.
Forgive and release.
Then can I begin
to build a new you.

Constance Vanides
February 20, 2004

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