i can’t remember a time that i didn’t know about GOD.
As i child, i remember many well-meaning adults painting a picture of a “Lightning Bolt” GOD who was demanding and difficult to please. i grew to fear HIM — perhaps more than i loved HIM.
Over the years, i placed barriers in my heart to keep a safe distance from what i often (unconsciously) perceived to be HIS penetrating, ever-disapproving stare.
Over the last couple of years, i finally ran out of energy for performance-based faith. For chasing results and outcomes.
i was desperate for a new way to live and at the beginning of 2017. i was begging GOD to show me.
Struck by lightning
And then, out of the blue, on the morning of April 9, 2017, GOD really did hit me like a lightning bolt.
Just not the one i’d envisioned.
As i opened my Bible that morning — as i had so many mornings before —i suddenly saw Scripture with new eyes.
And the GOD who was revealing Himself to me was beautifully, irresistibly, shockingly unfamiliar.
In dramatic fashion, as i read words i’d read many times before, GOD sifted truth from lies and began the process of downloading my head knowledge of His love into my heart.
i felt GOD’s overwhelming, personal love for me in a way that literally took my breath away.
After four incredibly life-changing hours, i closed my Bible and thought, “Whatever i just experienced i want more of that. If that’s who You really are, GOD, i want more of YOU.”
And i believe God said to me, “If you want more of Me, you have to start consuming less of other things.”
It didn’t feel like a harsh command. It felt like a loving invitation.
i knew immediately that i had to quit consuming so much media.
At first it was difficult.
Dozens of times a day, i fought impulses to pick up my iPhone or jump onto Facebook at every idle moment.
This was uncharted territory for me.
My mind was far more used to racing to the next “to-do,” the next text, the next email, the next project, the next news story.
For the first time in forever, i began to allow my mind to just be (gasp!) still.
A remarkable thing began to happen.
i saw GOD.
No, not the Person of GOD, but His activity, HIS little messages of love, confirmations of things i was praying about …GOD began to become clearer and more compelling than the distractions. More compelling than anything i had ever experienced before.
HE began to blow. my. socks. off.
Here’s what i realized: We often say, “LORD, show Yourself to me. Reveal yourself to me.” And i think HE sadly shakes HIS head and says, “I AM. I AM everywhere. i am all around you. The problem isn’t me revealing myself. Begin to remove the distractions and you’ll see ME. You’ll begin to hear my voice deep in your spirit. i promise.”
Distractions instead of the Divine
God is funny. Most of the time, i’d been too distracted to notice HIS humor.
But one day i went on Facebook just to check my messages — period. i had decided that there would be no more “mindless newsfeed surfing.”
But as hard as i tried, i could not concentrate on my messages.
Instead, my focus kept being drawn to this annoying, but mesmerizing, animated GIF in my newsfeed:
And this is what GOD said to my heart: “Melinda, for years, you’ve been content to be entertained by Dancing Pigs —distraction of all kinds — when the Divine has been all around you. I’m the Creator of the Universe and i want to have an amazing relationship with you. You’re seeing me more clearly now that you’re not focusing on so many ‘dancing pigs.'”
When you begin to see GOD with new eyes, when you begin to understand the depth of His love for you, something happens:
You fall in love.
That doesn’t mean we understand, or like, all His ways, but the doubts begin to flee. We no longer look to our emotions or our circumstances for evidence of His love. Because day-by-day, moment-by-moment it’s being implanted into our minds and hearts. We live a life of seeing and experiencing His sweetness and love even in the midst of our sometimes painful, confusing realities.
Friends, that is why satan tries so hard to distract us. The enemy knows that when we see GOD for who HE really is —when we see HIS immense love for us all around us — his gig is up.
We don’t trust GOD because we don’t really know HIM. When we begin to seek HIM above all else, we see HIM everywhere. We begin to more deeply understand HIS amazing character, but what will overwhelm us more than anything is HIS great love for us. You trust people who you know have great love for you.
We just won’t fall for the enemy’s lies as easily anymore. They lose their power. He loses his power over us
Because you just can’t put lipstick on a pig.
If you live your life animated by the flesh—namely, your fallen, corrupt nature—then your mind is focused on the matters of the flesh. But if you live your life animated by the Spirit—namely, God’s indwelling presence—then your focus is on the work of the Spirit. A mind focused on the flesh is doomed to death, but a mind focused on the Spirit will find full life and complete peace. Romans 8:5-6 (THE VOICE)