but then i was thinking.. everyone (okay, not everyone) wants a deep intimacy and closeness with God, to hear from Him, be attentive to Him, be blessed by Him, but no one wants the work. to go through dry seasons where He feels far and still you press on and push further into Him even though you still don't feel anything, to go through training your ears to His voice and being wrong more than once, to go through living in a neighborhood you're not crazy about because you feel Him leading you there, or go through feeling lonely because you're being ridiculed and written off as a nut-job by people, even people you thought were your friends, for what you believe. to go through reading leviticus even though you'd rather be doing anything else. to wake up and go to church even though you hardly slept the night before. you see what i mean?
and i know i'm tap-dancing awfully close to the line where people will say, "but hey, it's not about works! God came to us because we can't get to Him on our own... we don't have to worry about works to get to God! we are blessed just because we are His children and it's not contingent on what we do or don't do" which i say to that, yes! i absolutely agree with you (titus 3:5!), BUT. i think most times when people say that, it's because they're sleeping with their boyfriend and don't want to acknowledge the Spirit prompting them to stop or they're not reading the Word at all and don't want to feel bad about it or they're not seeking God at all but want to be told it doesn't matter because "it's not about 'works' anyway!" friends, please know i'm preaching to myself right here with you. recently i've been so convicted of not spending the time i know i need to spend with God to make our relationship thrive, but then get mad because i don't feel close to Him. and of course, God loving you and me doesn't depend on how much of leviticus i've read, that's just legalistic. my point is, let's just do the work, people. ha. you and me. let's stop with the excuses and saying things about God to make us feel better about not doing what we know we should and let's work for intimacy and closeness with God. let's not take a weight loss pill and lose weight, let's "feel the burn" haha. let's run after God, let's seek, knock, ask. me, too! i'm right there with ya. read a chapter of psalms today with me, sit in a quiet chair and talk with God even if it makes you squirm, do what ya gotta do. and i think we'll all find that discipline quickly turns into delight!