Growing Closer to God
Please read Psalm 119:9-16
If you have read much of the rest of this site, you may have seen that I consider sin to be an enemy to effective labor. That does not mean the only thing that can hinder labor is sin, just that sin has effects the labor process. I believe this because in the Bible tells me when I sin, my relationship with God is compromised. I cannot fake peace. If I am not right with God my soul cannot be at peace. The absence of that peace can and does adversely affect my ability to labor.
So the question is, "How do you get or keep a close relationship to God?" I believe the Bible gives me two instructions for this. The first is to avoid sin, and the second is to seek forgiveness for sin.
The only way for me to know what God requires and desires of me is for me to read his word. The only way for me to test what I feel I am being lead to do is to read his word. The only way for me to overcome the temptation to sin is to have his word in my heart.
When Jesus was tempted in the desert He did not defeat Satan with good intentions or desires to be good. He overcame the temptation by stating the truth from scripture. You must be familiar with the truth to recognize the lie. The only way to be familiar with the truth is to read the word of God.
I challenge you to spend time every day during this pregnancy reading the word of God. You can follow a special reading plan or just pick up your Bible and begin reading where you feel lead. Do not just read to get the reading done. Take your time and read it as if God were writing a letter to you. Stop reading when something strikes you as important and reread it. Write notes in your Bible or a special notebook about what God is telling you. Ask God to help you understand and apply what you have read to your life.
One of the things I did before reading the Bible while pregnant for the second time was to ask God, "Show me the truth about childbirth through your Word." And God was faithful. For almost a year, everything I read had direct or indirect applications to pregnancy and childbirth. And by understanding how God's word fit into my pregnancy, I was better able to understand how it applied to every day life.
One quote that I have heard recently is "It is more important to take the time to listen to God than to speak to God." I believe that is true. However, when I read the Bible it is not a one-way conversation. I know ahead of time how much I want to get through and do not give myself a time limit (to do this I have to read my Bible at night after everyone has gone to bed. I assure you, midnight can be just as holy as 6 AM). I read until something strikes me. When it does I pause, I may re-read it and write a note or I may completely stop and ask God a question. Then God and I talk for a few minutes, sometimes He prompts me to look up other passages, sometimes I have to wait a day or two for full understanding. After I have asked God my questions, I continue my reading stopping again when necessary.
Confession and Seeking Forgiveness
In my opinion, you cannot be close to God without getting into the Bible. The other part of the equation is confession of sin. Confession is necessary because sin does interrupt the relationship with God. Isaiah 59:2 tells us, "But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden his face from you so that he will not hear."
Sin destroys relationships. A quick look at the top 10 (ten commandments) demonstrates the destructive power sin has on human relationships:
A lie will cause mistrust
Adultery causes mistrust
Stealing causes mistrust
It is not just mistrust of the sinner, the sinner herself begins to fear that she cannot trust others. "What if they find out," or, "That is not what they really think of me." If you cannot trust you cannot have a good solid relationship.
It is the same in my relationship with God. When I sin, I hurt God. I have demonstrated that I am not trustworthy. I must confess my sin and seek forgiveness or I show that I have lost my trust in God. You see, the Bible makes it very clear to me that if I confess my sin to God and seek forgiveness, he will forgive me. If I do not confess my sin it is because I:
- am too afraid that God will not forgive me (lack of trust that God will forgive), or
- feel that confession is not necessary (lack of trust in what God has said), or
- do not want to (lack of trust that God's plan for me is good).
Not confessing begins by not trusting God. Then if I continue to sin and be unrepentant, the mistrust grows. I have to create my own understanding of the definitions of right and wrong and am no longer living according to the word of God.
But God is good. If I confess my sins he is faithful to forgive me. And not only does he forgive, he restores the relationship and gives me peace. Confession it self is good for me because it is me placing myself willing under the authority of Christ again. And just like a train, I operate best when running on track.
I hope that I have shared effectively the importance that reading the bible and confession of sins to your upcoming childbirth. As I stated in the beginning, having peace will influence my ability to labor, and I cannot fake peace.