The above CC0 image comes courtesy of Pixabay.com
I am not writing a review on Elizabeth Gilbert’s memoir of the same title. I enjoyed reading it however, it also left me feeling quite sad.
Sad that this woman appeared to have had an amazing encounter with our Father-God but then went off on a tangent and chose to seek out and explore a relationship with other gods. Sad because she came so close to experiencing the real thing, then ended up so far away.
I realise there are others who would not agree with me. Julia Roberts for one, since she apparently raved about this book, but how I wish the author had realised that the God who’d met with her on her bathroom floor when her life fell to pieces, is the only true and living God!
As I was saying, I am not writing a review about this book. I am simply borrowing the title to speak to you dear friends, about the importance of pursuing an ongoing, authentic relationship with God.
The Scribes and Pharisees knew all about God, or so they thought. Their knowledge was head knowledge. Religious. Theologically based.
Jesus scorned their type of so-called relationship with his Father-God. They dissected the scriptures instead of dining on and delighting in them. Rather than consuming the Word to feed their souls, to provide nutritional value to their spiritual life, they searched the scriptures to feed their ego, to fatten their self-esteem.
Jesus warned us not to be like them. He declared that he is the Bread of life. Are you feeding on God’s Word and allowing Him to satisfy your needs? Whether your need is to be loved, to feel secure, or have significance, that need can only be truly satisfied when you turn your life over to Christ and allow God’s Word to direct your path.
Unfortunately we see examples in the Word of God where the religious folk of Jesus’ day fell down in this area as well. They used prayer as a means of comparing themselves to others, whom they felt were beneath them. They saw prayer not so much as humbling themselves in the presence of an Almighty God but as a way of exalting themselves in their own estimation and showing contempt for those they felt didn’t measure up to their standards.
How do you see prayer?
- As a wish list to bring to your Heavenly Father Christmas?
- As a chore?
- As something done only by those specially called?
Prayer is to the spiritual life what oxygen is to the natural life. So if regular prayer is not a feature of your Christian lifestyle, guess what? You are putting yourself in the same category as those prison inmates who walk towards their execution – spiritually speaking, you are akin to a “dead man walking!”
If this is you, perhaps you need to change your perspective regarding this spiritual discipline and begin practising it with diligence. See prayer as an indispensable, life-enhancing habit. You’ll be amazed at the difference it makes to the quality of your life.
The Pharisees, Scribes and Sadducees did not seem to love very well. However, to be fair, when you look at the attitudes and behaviour of some contemporary Christians, perhaps they were no different to some modern-day church members.
What a stark difference between the uncharitable ways of the Sadducees, Scribes and Pharisees, as they interacted with synagogue-goers, and the caring, generous-hearted members of the house churches in Acts!
Our Heavenly Father’s standard of love (agape love), as elaborated in 1 Corinthians 13, is a high standard indeed. Yet this is the standard that God demands of us as followers of Christ.
When you consider that God so LOVED the world that he gave his only Son to die for it and redeem it, when you consider that Christ laid down his life willingly as an act of love, when you consider what we have escaped as a result of that love, the standard God demands seems reasonable.
And yet we can struggle to accept God’s unconditional love, and we often balk at, even sometimes outright refuse to exemplify that love to others, particularly if we feel they don’t deserve it.
EAT. PRAY. LOVE.
Spiritual food for thought indeed!
Have a blessed weekend.
Carol (aka Lady Cee)
Are you looking for a resource that will help and encourage you to develop a consistent and confident prayer life? If so, don’t hesitate to check out the links below.
AMAZON UK https://amzn.to/3ciUt1q
AMAZON US https://amzn.to/3bj6gM1
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