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.
The devotional section of First15 began with the belief that we need our affections for God to be constantly stirred. In the chaos of life, we need a reminder of God’s goodness and loving kindness towards us. With all the darkness that surrounds, we need help remembering that God has overcome the world and brought us to the light. This devotional exists to serve that need.
Many wonderful and anointed devotionals line our bookshelves. We can access a seemingly limitless amount of incredible teaching available today. I hope that First15 will faithfully draw you into a daily encounter with the heart of God and fill you with a desire to know him more.
You were created for real, tangible relationship with God. You were created with longings that cannot be satisfied until you experience the fullness of God available to you through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. I firmly believe that if you will simply make your heart available to be stirred up by the truth of God’s nearness and love, then you will experience whatever it is you’ve been looking for.
If you will engage with the devotional section of First15 and open your heart that God might speak to you, the Holy Spirit will guide you into an encounter with your omnipotent, omnipresent Creator. God longs to be encountered. He longs for you to know his love. If you will begin each day simply seeking to meet with him for fifteen minutes, your heart will soften and be stirred to live wholly centered around God’s goodness.
Encountering God leads to life transformation. Trivial things that seemed to matter before will no longer matter. That which robbed you of joy, purpose and abundant life will no longer have a hold on you. God’s love is powerful and real. His desire is for you. His presence is available to you. Take the next few minutes to open your heart and receive a transforming knowledge of God’s love.
1. Reflect on the depth of God’s love for you. Allow Scripture to stir up your desire for God as you meditate on his word.
“No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:37-39
“So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.” 1 John 4:16
“So that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.” Ephesians 3:17-19
2. Ask the Holy Spirit to give you a revelation of his nearness. Quiet your mind and open your heart to receive his presence. If you have questions about God’s presence, reflect on these Scriptures.
“Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence? If I ascend to heaven, you are there! If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there! If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me.” Psalm 139:7-10
“You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” Psalm 16:11
3. Take a little time to write down how you feel after encountering God’s love. Writing down the effects of encountering God will stir up your heart towards his reality and help you seek him more often.
Evelyn Underhill writes, “This is adoration; not a difficult religious exercise, but an attitude of the soul.” May all our lives be marked by an attitude of adoration. May we seek to simply love God moment by moment rather than in infrequent bursts. And may experiencing glorious union with the Holy Spirit as afforded us by Jesus’ sacrifice be the foundation for all we do, think, and feel. I pray that your day today would be marked by humble, simple adoration of the King of kings and Lord of lords.
Extended Reading: 1 John 4