When I chose to take a sabbatical from writing God led me to read my old journals. Those pages were laced with excitement, energy, love, and trust. I didn’t really even know God. I had just started my walk with Him. I had absolutely no knowledge of scripture. But, I was excited.
I went from one journal to the next and watched my excitement wane. I went from writing love letters to God to writing notes, bullet points, and “help me!”
I couldn’t help, but wonder…what happened? Shouldn’t my excitement, energy, love, and trust continue to increase as I grew in my relationship with God?
God helped me to realize that we endure distinct phases within our relationship with Him.
Listen. Learn. Obey.
Listen: We start to pay attention to God. We seek His voice. We become intentional about hearing from God.
Learn: We spend time within God’s word and we learn about Him. We learn about His nature, His promises, and His decrees.
Obey: We take all that we have heard and learned and walk it out in our day to day life.
As God calls us to new levels of spiritual maturity we repeat these phases.
There’s a sense of excitement when we start to hear from God in a new area. The learning stage can be disheartening because we see all that we don’t know. We become responsible for the knowledge we obtain. We can no longer use ignorance as an excuse and we are now held accountable for the wisdom that God has afforded us. It becomes increasingly harder to turn a blind-eye to sin. In many cases, the learning phase is where we experience the most conviction and pressure to change. The tests we endure are often designed to reveal whether or not we’ve actually listened to God and learned what He has sought to teach us. Within this, “season of application,” we must make the conscious decision to employ obedience.
“The righteous person faces many troubles, but the Lord comes to the rescue each time. For the Lord protects the bones of the righteous; not one of them is broken!”Psalm 34:20 (NLT)
So, today don’t lose sight of the joy that comes from having a relationship with God. Change hurts. It’s not easy. As with any relationship, our relationship with God, will endure challenging seasons where we must remain proactive in reigniting the love we have for Him. We must strive not to get frustrated with God and remember that He has promised to be an ever-present help as we go through each phase. God will not shine light on an area in your life that needs change until you are able to face it. The Holy Spirit doesn’t reveal everything at once. He is patience with us and knows what we can handle. We may not escape hard work, challenges, failures, disappointments, or growing pains, but God has promised to be close to us. Listen, learn, and obey, but never stop writing your love letters to God. Thank Him daily for being by your side and choose to fall in love with him all over again…every single day.
Ashley Ivery is a single mother of two brilliant children, Aiden and Devyn, with an overwhelming desire to empower women and help them to realize the importance of a relationship with God. Through her writing she hopes to encourage women to claim their strength and value in Christ. Ashley serves as the Residential Listing Partner for Team Harris Real Estate. She graduated from Fayetteville State University in 2012 with a BS in Psychology. Her motto is: “Be Authentic. Live Honestly. Dispel Light.”