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Friday, March 9, 2012

12 Markers You're Growing in Intimacy With God.

1.   You have found the freedom to call the Father “Abba,” with a simple warmth and affection. He has become more than a distant Creator and Sustainer; a stern taskmaster, who except for what Jesus did on the cross in your place, is pretty much ticked with, or disappointed by you most of the time.
2.   You're growing comfortable with the thought that God is deeply fond of you, especially with "somebody like you" who is too much this, and not enough that; who still struggles with sin, and sees so much left in your life to clean-up.
3.   You realize you see time alone with Jesus as the best part of the day, and want more. You've come to value the oasis of quiet, peace, prayer and learning; it is life-giving and sustaining.
4.   You recognize you are gradually noticing His presence in the course of a normal day. It's mostly subtle: a gracious response from someone, a problem-solved, a spiritual opportunity you'd not seen before, freedom where there was hesitation , a sense of being loved and accepted.
5.   You're hearing Him speak to you in your heart and through others. You are becoming able to distinguish the "still, small voice" of the Spirit, from your thoughts, or the sly lies and insinuations of the adversary. Listening prayer has become a valued way of connecting to God in your life.
6.   Worship has a growing importance and meaning to you. You've come to know worship as a way of life - presenting yourself to God for his use is a deep longing in your heart. Singing and praising God are a wonderland and joyous release.
7.   You are finding it easier to forgive people, and sooner. Something is softening and changing in your heart so "dropping the charges" against others is a prized spiritual discipline and practice of your will.
8.   You are more and more open to seeing people as treasures, and have a greater desire to love them, especially those who offend or repulse you.  Compassion, goodwill, and mercy are quietly taking root as your way of life.
9.  You want to know the Bible to come closer to Jesus. A hunger for truth revealing God's heart, will, and ways draws you to spend substantial time with the Scriptures.  A love for the beauty and wisdom of the Word takes a firm hold.
10. You find yourself enticed by God's mission to open others to the Gospel and His Kingdom here and now in the Church and also to come at the end of the Age. You are opening to see yourself as a missionary in your world, and it just feels necessary to do so.
11. You grieve over your sin, and are more open to gracious and prudent correction. You are learning to hate the sin that so easily deceives and entangles; and desire the freedom that comes from walking in the light as He is in the light
12. You've learned to laugh at your foibles and blind-spots without feeling humiliated or condemned. You've come to view your redeemed brokenness not as a hideous thing to hide away, but a door through which you can connect with others who are bruised, bent over and weighed down by their brokenness, so they might find healing and hope.

All of the above are the work of a grace-lavishing God who has set you free, is
setting you free, and will set you free completely. The list is not meant to be
exhaustive, but to be spiritual markers by which you can examine whether you are
growing in intimacy with God, busily treading water; or in fact, living comfortably 
quite far from his heart.

May they bring you wisdom, refreshment and liberty in your relationship with God,
and with those he situates your life.
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