Our First Date

26 06 2009

As we focus on each of us getting to our very own “For Such a Time as this” moment (Esther 4:14) there are 6 targets that will have us move in this direction. (see our Theme for 2009 tab above for more information on all 6) Here we start our look at Target 3 – “Focus on Faith”.

As we begin to explore this thing called faith, we begin by looking at the keys to any good relationship; for this one we will use that old tried and true first point of contact, which for most would be that first date. You know how we do it; we put on our best self trying to get to know the other person. We ask questions and really are trying to figure out who they are. So when we are looking at developing our own personal relationship with God this is indeed the same place we start. But even before we start here, you may be asking, why do I even need a personal relationship with God in the first place? Well as we just discussed in our last target “Don’t Stay Stuck” let me start at a point that will easily transition us from that discussion into this one…..

“That is why you need to put on God’s full armor. Then on the day of evil you will be able to stand strong. And when you have finished the whole fight, you will still be standing. So stand strong, with the belt of truth tied around your waist and the protection of right living on your chest. On your feet wear the Good News of peace to help you stand strong. And also use the shield of faith with which you can stop all the burning arrows of the Evil One. Accept God’s salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Pray in the Spirit at all times with all kinds of prayers, asking for everything you need. To do this you must always be ready and never give up” —Ephesians 6:13-18

We each have our very own piece of God’s armor which was tailor made just for YOU however in order for it to be effective, we have to put it on. Putting it on will help us to fight against those things that come that will try and keep us stuck and putting it on is what we do when we establish a relationship with God. So to put on the full armor or to embark on this relationship, or to initiate the first date for that matter, what better way to do this than by hearing the stories others have told about Him. You all know before or right after the first date, you are asking folks all about the guy…LOL…so why not take this same approach and get to know who God is for yourself. Stop listening to others stories and YOU find out about him and what He has done.

Let me share with you a personal story. In 1994 I set out on a journey to get to know Nicole, to date NO ONE but me! Yes after one too many bad break ups I figured it was time for me to let go of trying to find a man and to actually find NICOLE! It was REALLY weird at first as I took myself to dinner, yes dinner alone for the first time. Eating at a restaurant alone, I must say it felt like everyone was staring at me…LOL…but after I got over that and in time (you see I did this a few times) I began to enjoy being with just me. I would say that it was in this place that I first discovered God inside of me. No REALLY discovered GOD. Yes I had gone to church for as long as I can remember but I would venture to say that before this moment in 1994 I was having a relationship with God through my mommy and I remember my Pastor at this time saying … “ya know friends don’t fly free” .. and I think that kicked it in for me. What that meant to me is that it was time for me to seek out my own personal relationship with God instead of having a relationship with God through my mother. So what I share with you is based on my own experiences. NO I am not a preacher but a woman who has seen overtime how having a relationship with God has transformed my own life. It has changed how I treat people and talk to people. It has changed my viewpoint on life and really has changed me from a negative person to a positive person. Can you believe that I used to be NEGATIVE!!! Well, God really can be a trusted friend and an advisor, His best advice, as the old time church folk would say, is right in the good book! It is amazing to me how easy it is to get to know God….just by exploring the Bible …. And in 1994 that is exactly what jump kicked my wonderful new friendship with God. Ya know I sure wish I had a book on some of the men I dated before I met my husband as HONEY… they would not have even gotten the time of day …LOL So, as you explore dating the Lord, yes I said dating the Lord, after all what do you do on that first date but begin to really get to know this person. Even if you feel like you already have a relationship, it never hurts to renew your connection. So let’s all explore this relationship concept together as we begin with communication and looking at what is said about God …..Here are some to jump kick this process for you that you may explore during this first date.

BELT OF TRUTH – get to know who God is by looking at Proverbs 3: 5 & 6; Deuteronomy 32:4; Psalm 33:4; Psalm 111:7; Psalm 146:6.
BREASTPLATE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS, get to know what living a good life really means by looking at Matthew 5: 1 -14, Romans 4:2; Philippians 3:12 & 13; Proverbs 12:17.
GOOD NEWS OF PEACE, understand what it means to have inner peace by looking at Isaiah 26:3; John 14:27, John 16:33.
SHIELD OF FAITH, which really is living where you can believe even when you can’t see. Check out Romans 4: 20 & 21; Hebrews 11:1; 1 Peter 1:6-7 – these 3 are related one to the other so read 3 – Genesis 22:1-19; Hebrews 11:17; James 2:21
HELMET OF SALVATION – which REALLY is to understand why Jesus died = to save us from harm, destruction, difficulty, or failure, check out Psalms 23
SWORD OF THE SPIRIT = GOD’S WORD. How do you use God’s word to fight for ya….. Hebrews 4:12; Matthew 4:2-11;

I know sometimes it is hard to deceiver what each verse may mean, so if you don’t understand something type it in the search engine on the web, there are all kinds of commentaries that can help make the bible come to life. What I am aiming to share with you by exploring this relationship is that it REALLY is this holy armor that has given me the strength to stand up against those things in my past that have tried to hold me at who I used to be. It is the holy armor that keeps me safe when I am being attacked by a hater, so that I can stay focused on my own purpose and the promises of God. It is the holy armor that gives me peace when chaos may be happening all around me. It helps me to stay clear and see beyond my currents storm to see the rainbow. So I no longer run from problems or hard situations but instead run to God, knowing that all things work together for the good…if I can JUST stand still and see the salvation of the Lord. Today, some 14 years after I got to know God for myself, I would definitely call God my homey as I walk and talk and hang out with Him everyday! So this week, I encourage you to explore and begin to get to know or renew your relationship with God as I leave you with these quotes to ponder…

“Faith is like radar that sees through the fog – the reality of things at a distance that the human eye cannot see.” – Corrie ten Boom

“Faith sees the invisible, believes the incredible and received the impossible.” – Anon

“Without faith, nothing is possible. With it, nothing is impossible.” – Mary McLeod Bethune

“Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.

“Faith is a living, daring confidence in God’s grace, so sure and certain that a man could stake his life on it a thousand times.” .” – Martin Luther King, Jr.




One response

26 06 2009
JC Conrad-Ellis

I always go to Eph 6:10-18 before I have to do something where my stomach has butterflies…It’s always calmed me and reminded me that whatever battle I’m about to enter is the Lord’s and he has my back! I remember the 1st time I supped solo and went to a movie by myself. At first I felt like a 1st class LOSER, like everyone was staring at me like I’d been stood up, but now I’m a pro at it and enjoy my own company like nobody’s business! Sometimes I prefer it! :>) If you don’t like yourself, ain’t nobody else gonna like you let alone love you!

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