Weekly Overview:This week we’ll spend time breaking down the individual components of First15 by sharing God's desire for each of them. The majority of First15 is dedicated to encountering God and learning about his character, but every now and then we will cover some teaching and tools that will help in pursuing God to greater depths. This week we will get back to the basics and learn some spiritual disciplines that will help us encounter him in deeper, more transformative ways.
"You have said, 'Seek my face.' My heart says to you, 'Your face, Lord, do I seek.'" Psalm 27:8
One Thirst and Hunger by Bethel Live
Devotional:We all have a hunger to know why we're here. We all possess an insatiable desire for love, passion, and purpose. Maybe you've had a relationship with God for years. Maybe you're still trying to figure out if God even exists or if he is knowable. Wherever you are in your journey with God, know this—God longs to satisfy your hunger. He knows everything about you. He's counted every hair on your head and thinks about you more than the grains of sand (Psalm 139:18). And he loves you more than you could ever comprehend. So great is his steadfast love for you that he has a perfect plan for every one of your days. He longs to transform your thoughts, emotions. and actions with his loving kindness that your life may be filled with passion, purpose, satisfaction, and the wonderful peace of his presence.
We all require transformation. We all need the freedom and healing that comes from relationship with our Creator. And we serve a God of miraculous transformation. Scripture says, "God formed Man out of dirt from the ground and blew into his nostrils the breath of life. The Man came alive – a living soul!" (Genesis 2:7 MSG). Psalm 139:13 states that God knit you together in your mother's womb. You are fearfully and wonderfully made for relationship with your heavenly Father (Psalm 139:14). Your heavenly Father longs to bring about miraculous transformation every day of your life so that you would be increasingly marked by the powerful work of his presence.
So how does God desire to bring about transformation? What are his perfect plans for filling your days with passion, purpose, and love? God's main avenue for transformation is through spending time alone with him every day. No matter where you are in your relationship with God, time spent in the presence of your Creator receiving a tangible revelation of his steadfast love will be the catalyst to living a life transformed. Just as a candle must be ignited with a flame to burn, so you must continuously encounter the fire of God's love to live a transformed, joy-filled life. He is the only constant source that you have. You will only find lasting satisfaction through his nearness. Nothing else will supply all you need to live the life you truly desire.
That's what First15 is all about. First15 was created to give you a practical resource to meet God every day. No matter how busy you are, you can set aside fifteen minutes to connect with your Creator and Sustainer. God longs to meet with you. He waits patiently to spend time with you. Think of that! The Creator of the universe, of all things wonderful and good, is patiently waiting right now to spend time with you!
The choice of how you will spend this year is entirely up to you. I pray that you would be filled with the longing and strength to spend time with your heavenly Father. I pray that this resource is helpful in connecting you to the Father that your longings would be fully satisfied in meeting with him. God is a limitless ocean of grace and help. And all that's necessary to receive from him is some time, open hands and an open heart. God calls you his beloved and longs for you to know to greater depths "the breadth and length and height and depth" of his great love for you (Ephesians 3:18).
Spend some time in guided prayer receiving the love of God. Answer the call to seek his face as David did in Psalm 27 saying, "Your face Lord do I seek."
Guided Prayer:1. Take some time to ask God how he feels about you. God still speaks today. Jesus is still alive and at work through the Holy Spirit. The Spirit loves to speak to us. He loves to reveal God's heart. God is not silent. Simply make space to listen. Don't be frustrated if it's difficult at first. Listening to God can take time. You are on a path to a deeper relationship with him. Just as it takes time to truly get to know someone, it will take time for you to get to know the Holy Spirit. But it is time spent investing in eternity.
"My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me." John 10:27
"Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me." Revelation 3:20
"How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them! If I would count them, they are more than the sand. I awake, and I am still with you." Psalm 139:17-18
2. Write down how you feel in God’s presence. What senses did you get about his heart? Writing down what God says helps in stewarding what he is so faithful to reveal. You may wish to keep a journal close by to record what God is showing you so you can read back, be reminded and implement what he has spoken.
3. Ask the Holy Spirit to give you the desire, self-control, and faithfulness to spend time each day in his presence developing your relationship with God.
"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control." Galatians 5:22-23
"You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart." Jeremiah 29:13
The best way to consistently encounter the transformative love of God is to set aside time early each morning that you'll never miss. Creating a habit can often be difficult. But there is no greater pursuit than a deeper relationship with God. The time you spend with God is of eternal value. Pick a time you can consistently meet with him. Before you go to sleep ask God to give you grace and desire to wake up and encounter him. The more you do it the easier it will become. And as you grow in the knowledge of God and his goodness, time spent with him will become your favorite time of the day. May your day be marked by his transcendent peace and tangible nearness.Extended Reading: Psalm 139