I remember my freshman year of college when I really began understanding who Jesus was. It left me in awe. So much in awe that I spent most of my time nose-deep in His Word, flat on my face, and sobbing uncontrollably on my knees. I couldn't get enough of wanting to know more about the One my heart ached for. I would skip class to spend time with my Yeshua. I would drive for hours sitting in silence to listen to my Guide. I would sit in coffee shops I knew I would know no one at so I could have undistracted time with my Papa.
And now, three years later that "spark" has seemed to die down. Don't get me wrong, I still love spending time with my King. Each time I'm in His word and presence, I get a glimpse of heaven and am reminded of who I am and Who my comfort is in. But let me just say, I don't chase after His presence for the feelings; the feelings of "Holy Ghost" shivers and tears, uncontrollable laughter, and overall feeling good. Even though I very much enjoy those feelings, my God is defined by SO much more than my shaky feelings.
John Piper once said, "My feelings are not God. God is God. My feelings do not define truth. God's Word defines truth. My feelings are echoes and responses to what my mind perceives. And sometimes- many times- my feelings are out of sync with the truth. When that happens- and it happens everyday in some measure- I try not to bend the truth to justify my imperfect feelings, but rather, I plead with God: Purify my perceptions of Your truth and transform my feelings so that they are in sync with the truth."
So many times when I'm in His presence I don't feel anything, and that's ok. Because instead of gaining feeling, I gain a deeper understanding of Him. A deeper understanding of knowing that His goodness and love is not based off my circumstances and feelings, but off His unchanging character. This is why I loved (and love) spending time with God.
So why have things changed? I've been full of anxiety wondering why it hasn't been the same as it was three years ago. In simply asking the Holy Spirit, He revealed to me my sin:
It's not Him who has changed, but me. I've become distracted; distracted by distortion. Instead of using the blessings the Lord has given me for His glory, I have used them selfishly for my gain. Rather than using the blessings I've received to bless others [ just as God comforts us to comfort others (2 Corinthians 1:3-4)] I have been using them to benefit me, myself, and I.
This blessing I have distorted is time.
The Lord has blessed me with so much time on my hands; a schedule that is flexible and work days that are short. Instead of using this time to serve others, I have used it to serve myself (by sleeping for hours and wasting my day away). Instead of using my time to invest in others, I have used the excuse of busyness as I procrastinate on assignments I could have easily finished if I managed my time right. I spend days spending 30 minutes in His Word just to spend 7+ hours on Netflix. Excuse after excuse would vomit out my mouth as to why I would spend my time the way I did.
I am ashamed and disgusted of how I have let pride, selfishness, and laziness control my time and have been convicted of how I use my time to serve myself rather than the One I claim to be my All. And so, my prayer has been this:
Re-introduce me again Holy Spirit, to my First Love; to my Yeshua. Re-introduce me to my Papa, my Defender. May the only thing I be selfish with is my time with You. Take me back to the beginning where I was in awe of you because of Your goodness, unfailing love, mercy, and grace. Re-introduce me to Yourself today, tomorrow, and the next day. Teach me something new about You each time I spend time with You, for You are endless. Find me in my dark hole of selfishness and place me in the light of Your selfless Love. My time is Yours; everything I have is Yours, so use me as You desire for You are my One desire. Break me down to build me back up for Your Kingdom, glory, and power. Show me how to use my time for You. Re-introduce me to You, Time-Keeper.