Hi everyone, Rob here.
In The Message paraphrase the final verse of Philippians says this:
Receive and experience the amazing grace of the Master, Jesus Christ, deep, deep within yourselves.
This speaks to the ache in my heart that I’m experiencing at the moment. Life is actually going quite well at the moment. I have a wonderful, supportive, loving and life-giving family. My role as church pastor is going well and the church is in a good space and radiating grace to many. My thesis is gaining clarity and I’m starting to enjoy it again! I have good friends, a comfortable lifestyle, good health and life is good. I am immensely grateful for this season in my life.
But there’s an ache.
Maybe you know this ache. It’s inherent to the human condition. It’s the ache of eternity; the ache for God; the ache to know the grace of Christ deep, deep within ourselves. It’s an ache that a good, peaceful and prosperous life can’t remedy. The question is, what do we do with this ache, this ‘groaning that word’s cannot express.’
Earlier in the year I asked God if he had a word for me this year. “Deeper” is the word I heard most clearly. Go deeper Rob. Go deeper into me, deeper into your heart, deeper into your calling, deeper into your marriage and deeper into your desire. Yes please! My ache is simply that I want more. More of God, more of his kingdom and more of his love. Yes please! So that’s step one. Name it! Name the ache. Name the inexpressible groans. It’s a desire for more of God so tell God that and lay the desire before him.
Next comes the prayer; teach me how? Teach me how to go deeper into you Jesus. It’s amazing how he provides. I know that part of my learning this year is prayer; learning how to sharpen my hearing of God and learning how to pray with my authority as a son of the Father and ally of the King. Last week John Eldredge (one of our heroes of the faith here at Brand New Heart) released a book called Moving Mountains that addresses those very issues. I also knew that I needed a retreat/adventure where I was able to ‘get away with Jesus’ and I head to Colorado and California in May for that purpose. I also felt that there is more to work through in my relationship with my Mum, that her passing last November has awakened. One of the recent additions to the Ransomed Heart Boot Camp in Colorado is “The Mother Wound”.
You see, God knows our hearts and prepares the way for us to receive what our hearts need. Learning to trust him with that eternal ache in our hearts is the best thing we can ever do because we have made some terrible choices in response to that ache. We learn far too slowly that food, drugs, drink, sex, gossip, success, money and so on cannot fill that eternal longing. They are not big enough gods. The enemy also likes to blind us to God’s immense goodness because trust is the issue. That’s step three. Trust God enough so that you can receive gladly what he has to give you. The journey of the heart is not easy and, in fact, is deeply uncomfortable and even painful at times. This is why trust is necessary. If it is easy you don’t need to trust; you don’t need a guide; you don’t need faith. But it’s hard. We need God. We need his grace and we need to trust him.
Blessings everyone. Grace and peace.