I am so thrilled about this week's post! My 25 year old niece wrote it. Blessed to have her staying with me for a short season. Been a true joy to watch her spring up and unfold like a flower! If you have family that you've been praying for, let this post encourage you to persevere. Don't give up! I've been praying for many years for my family and to see her awaken is truly a reason for praise! Certainly I don't take credit for her; God deserves all glory. But prayer is joint venture with our Holy King; Him depositing his heart in ours and we pray accordingly. We rejoice in seeing resurrection life manifest in others! Be blessed in reading Amber's post! Be challenged to seek Him! ~ Gina
by Amber Williamson- For the last several years, the passion in this psalm has reverberated in my heart. The thought of a man longing for someone in such a way that the imagery of fainting was the best descriptor, struck me as profoundly beautiful. Meditating on that image opened a floodgate of questions: Why didn’t I have that longing for God? How could I make myself feel that way? Could I change how I felt about Him? Did He even want me to approach Him the way King David did? Did I have to earn His audience? And so on the questions continued. Irreversibly unsettled, I began my quest to answer the questions.
Night by night, I stayed up into the AM, mining through the seemingly endless theologies that were available online. My Amazon account became a monster to my monthly budget as I omnivorously purchased everything available on Kindle’s ”Christian Spiritual” bookshelf. I would take everything I read and compared it to the Bible. When I wasn’t reading I would fall asleep to the voice of a myriad of pastors and theologians on podcasts.
Day by day, I visited church after church, interacting with one denomination after another. I joined bible study groups, small groups, recovery groups, attended prayer meetings, volunteered my time at church functions and attended weekend services. I reached out to individuals for time outside of church. We shared the questions we had about God and brainstormed answers. I annoyed people by talking about God so much.
During this time, I encountered many earnest people who, like me, participated in the church programs and faithfully served as they were taught. I sensed the same aching hearts working hard to power smiles. Many of these friends bravely admitted that they were still slaves to addictions and insecure hearts. I knew they were earnest because I had my own share of brokenness that I was simultaneously striving to mend. We were all committed though, waiting for the breakthrough and the answers.
Something was missing.
I knew it had to be connected with God somehow, but my studies and Christian involvements weren’t giving me the answers. I felt like my quest had only brought more questions and I was terrified that I was missing the point. My growing list of questions and opinions of who he was only made me feel further from him.
Then one night, I heard a song. It was a Father’s Song by Steffany Gretzinger, titled “Out of Hiding.” As I listened, it released something and I began to weep. When the song ended, I realized that I was sick for intimacy.
I had left his audience to go find the answers when what I really needed was his company.
The year that followed that night became a season of recovery- a lot of resting in His presence. I remember driving home from work one day (a few months after I heard the song) having unknowingly relapsed into my fearful earn-His-favor ways, when I heard in my heart “You are sick.” It sounds strange to hear, but it was the best thing I could have acknowledged.
I was sick for him. I was malnourished and starving for time in his presence. I realized that this wasn’t just going to be a season of spending time with him. It was going to have to be a lifestyle. Since then, it’s been a full transformation of how I live. My endless purpose and desire is for deeper intimacy with him-I believe it’s what we are all made for. This means that I get to make scary sacrifices for that space. I get to let go of what makes sense. I get to give up efforts that other Christians would have me burn out for. I get to let go of having to know all the answers. I get to let go so that I can hold onto him.
And the reward?
God’s presence is the most desirably beautiful, sacred, sublime, lovely, and safe place I can be. He is literally my refuge.
As spend time in his presence I am healed. I leave his audience braver, stronger and more secure in my identity. I leave with sweet secrets and special nicknames. I leave with questions too, but now they are wrapped in wonder. I leave with him still with me. Since this has begun, I have continued to walk in increasing victory and joy. It’s easier to admit fault and let him remake me as I continue to experience his genuine interest in my freedom. My time with him never gets old. He continually shatters my expectations.
We are all made to know him like this.
Think about it.
What is the only thing we can truly give to the God who has everything-the Daddy who has all the tools and the toys? Ourselves. We can sit on His lap and tell him we love him. We can cry and sing to him. We can wrestle with him. We can dance with him. We can tell him thank you.
We are made to want to stay a little longer with him. John 4: 23-24, Matthew 4:4
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Into the Waters Ministry is a 501(C)3 public charity. Our mission is to inspire you to linger longer with God, to draw near and know Christ. For those willing, it is a place of supernatural hope and healing. I know this first hand. My name is Gina; and I'm the founder of the ministry. My 20+ year journey with God has been centered on immersing myself in the safe relationship God offers, learning about the power of surrender, and receiving His life in greater measure! I've experienced radical healing in mind, body, and spirit and believe God for more! I long for others to position themselves for the same! Into the Waters' resources help you spend quality time with God to enter His rest and receive His divine provision. Let us help you experience more of God! Read the blogs, try the exercises, participate in online sessions! His promises for life and wholeness are offered to all! But you have to say "Yes!"