The brilliant leader of a community I’m part of recently asked us the question, “what aspect of the nature of God do you want to behold and become this year”?
My answer: I want to behold His burning heart, and become a carrier of the fire of His love to a greater measure. Pure and simple.
But considering my plan for pursuing that… now that takes a little more thought and intentionality. Growth isn’t just going to fall into my hands without my partnering with His plan for my life.
So I’ve pondered this; how does one behold His burning heart? How will I become a fire carrier in prayer, in every environment my feet are set upon, and in every realm both seen and unseen?
First up, anything I do is to be in co-operation with the Holy Spirit, from the place of already being fully accepted and loved by the Father. I’m a receiver, learning to become like Jesus from the place of already abiding in Him. It’s my job to remain in Him. I’m not to strive to get something that I already have in Christ. So intentionally engaging with His burning heart, is not based on my performance or on ticking the right boxes to earn His presence in my life. Rather, it all comes from partnering joyfully with Him, being yoked to Him, and living from a place of rest.
So here’s where I’m focusing:
- Upgrade my worship and rejoicing – I’m seeking to behold who He is as Majestic King, rejoicing in all things, and using my problems to fuel my heart towards Him. This is not about worshiping more often. But It’s considering who it is I’m beholding as I worship, and focusing on the nature of God that I desire to become like. It’s my desire, from the place of being seated on His throne with Him (Rev. 3:21, Eph. 2:6), that I will pray what He is interceding for at the right hand of the Father. Rejoicing is celebrating who God is to us – eternally unchanging, and worthy of all our praise and adoration.
- Upgrade my meditation and study of His Word – I don’t struggle with reading the bible – I love His word! My tendency towards being intellectually-minded means I have to be intentional about how I do so – that it doesn’t simply become for the purpose of greater knowledge and understanding that stays in my head. It has to take up resident in my heart, and lead me to encounter with the One who authored the Book. I love who I am, and I love that meditation, dwelling and thinking comes naturally to me! But I’m also aware of the potential weakness that exists in this and the vulnerability to slide into negative thinking. This year, I want to get better at on-going dialogue with the Holy Spirit, at asking questions of my ever-present companion at every step of the journey, and to seek out the gold that is waiting to be mined (Pro. 25:2).
- Upgrade my rest – It’s become apparent to me in recent months just how important this area of spirituality is, and just how much I need to press into learning the practice of rest. I’ll write on this another time, as I’m currently unpacking a lot in this area. But I’m confident that this is going to be one of, if not the greatest, keys to sustained growth and hearing the voice of God.
Fire also needs to be stoked, which is best done regularly! It also helps being in community with others who hold the same desire. Fire lights other fires.
As I’m writing this, I realise that my huge book pile has suddenly become more manageable, as now I know where I need to focus my priorities. I’m thinking of scriptures to pray to Him and worship through, as I encounter the One who I’m becoming like. What character do I want to see evident in my life by year end and beyond? What fruit of the Spirit do I need to grow in? What titles on my book shelf will be tools to stoke the fire that’s already burning? What will His burning heart expressed through my life start to look like? These are good questions, and I don’t have all the answers yet. But I’m on a journey of discovery and feel the wind of His Spirit in my sails, so to speak. The adventure is going to be unbelievable! I hope to chart new territory in my life and create pathways for others to walk in.
We become what or who we behold, and give power to that which we dwell on. What are you currently empowering in your life? How can you further co-operate with the work of the Holy Spirit in your life?
But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.”
2 Corinthians 3:18
Thanks for reading. I appreciate it.