“And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:7 (NIV)
A friend and I were visiting the other day. We hadn’t had a chance to get together in person in months and so we had a lot of catching up to do. Our talk went from happy, catching-up type of things to sharing our hearts with each other. By the time our visit was over, we had prayed with each other, giving our deepest cares over to the One who will provide the answers and parted with hope and the reminder that He does have everything under control, even when we don’t see an answer humanly speaking.
After I left, my heart was burdened and I wanted to put action to my feelings. That evening, God impressed upon my heart what exactly He wanted done and so I immediately obeyed. I didn’t want to let time slip by but wanted to be His hands and feet. I contacted my friend and asked if I could drop by quickly some time next week, but then ended up being in the area that very same day and took the chance to drop in without invitation.
God’s timing is always perfect. I arrived as my friends were dealing with yet another crisis in what seemed to be an endless stream. I felt led by God to ask if I could pray with them, and so before I left we stood there and offered up our hearts and the burdens we felt to Him, knowing once again He had the answers even though we definitely couldn’t see them. I even remarked to my friends before I left that I was glad I had popped in so that I could offer encouragement on what was a very discouraging day.
I discovered another truth about being a Christ follower from the above experience. When I take the time to grow deeper in my relationship with Christ, it not only affects my spiritual walk and blesses my life, but it in turn blesses those around me. Beginning with my immediate family, it trickles out to extended family, close friends, acquaintances, co-workers and bosses, and even complete strangers. Because, when I allow myself to be filled with God’s love from spending consistent, quality time with Him, it can’t help but have a ripple effect on those around me. I will be seeking to rid my life of gossip, unforgiveness, anger, and other not so attractive characteristics and begin to model the type of attitude and behaviors Jesus reflected while He walked the Earth. Not only will I begin to show traits of patience, love, kindness, and grace, but my life will become one of servant hood to those in need. As I grow deeper in my relationship with God, it’s only natural I’ll be able to hear His voice more clearly and want to respond when He whispers a need, a prayer request, or a sacrifice to bless someone else.
What about you? Have you ever experienced that God’s voice becomes more clear the closer you grow to Him? Are you faster to selflessly respond to others’ needs in the areas that God brings to your attention? How do you feel afterwards? Do you have a feeling of pride of “look what I did” or are you just happy that God chose you to bless someone else?
© Cheri Swalwell 2014