His unique familiarity with you.
Last night some people at church hosted a community worship night. There were beautiful carpets, Christmas lights and amazing musicians sharing their gifts. The aesthetic was set to create a safe place to invite the Holy Spirit to be present and active. This room is community. It is full of members who welcome in and authentically want to see God in the lives of people who enter the building. In times like these I find myself wanting to be a vessel for God to bring truth or peace or joy or whatever God wants to bring for others. I want to give, I want to help people see or hear or feel how God sees them.
As well intentioned as I thought I was being, I was hearing nothing. I was seeing nothing. Queue the negative self-talk spiral-- “Is my heart not in the right place?” “Do I just make up things I have seen or heard for people in the past?” “Do I want this to just show I am spiritual or in tune?” The questions went on and on.
Then I was reminded of something someone had said to me earlier that week. “Anne, I feel like God wants to remind you of that first love.” In a season of unwanted singleness, I couldn’t help but roll my eyes as I have heard all the “Christian” things people say to those of us that are single but don’t desire to be. But she further explained what she meant. God wants to remind me of that feeling of complete awe of Him, of being enamored by His character and His continual pursuit of me.
So I went there.
Continuing to worship, I set aside the feeling that I needed to speak insight to someone. Then there He was, this is what He wanted. People can feel God’s presence in different ways. For me, I get a heat or tingling in my chest that is either accompanied with a sense of peace or a sense of urgency to write or share. This time it was peace and amazement. God’s presence is always accompanied with peace or love or joy or understanding. If anger or judgement or confusion is your overarching emotion when you feel a presence, that is not Him. Keep inviting Jesus! He desires intimacy with each one of us; and when there is surely a time and place to spread His love to others He doesn’t want us to forget our one-on-one relationship with Him. He is my partner, my first love and will never stop pursuing a closer and more intimate relationship with me.
God wants to be a part of it all. However, there’s been many aspects of my life that I’ve kept separate from God. I felt heavy, thinking that I wasted time not inviting Him into those aspects. But what was revealed last night was that life is just better with the love of Jesus, the pursuit of God and the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
Could God also be inviting you into moments of experiencing Him to strengthen your knowledge of His character and your openness with Him?
If lately you've been feeling stagnant or stuck in growing closer to God, He might be inviting you into seeking these moments---to loosen the tight grip of control or people pleasing. Yes, appreciate the "doing" part of believing in a good God but also be expectant for His unique comfort and familiarity with you.
In any valuable relationship, there is invitation. Invitation to hang out or to ask questions. Just like any valuable relationship, God also wants to be invited! Invite Him into your day to day. Ask Him questions about who He is. Don’t stop praying and asking for insight for others but it is essential to want and pursue the same things for yourself!