The Secret Place

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Relationship with God is just. so. important. Every day is an opportunity to grow. Are we actively taking that opportunity or squandering it?

I want to share a testimony. As I have said previously, I got addicted to porn at a young age and last year stopped watching it. Completely. It was amazing because low-level depression along with most other symptoms of porn left πŸ™‚ Yes! It was amazing! However, although I was set free from watching it, I was still tormented in some capacity by thoughts of going back. Scenes would replay in my head and it was horrible. I prayed throughout the whole year for my Father to set me free from it. But nothing seemed to happennnnnn 😦

Fast forward to a few weeks ago. (This is very close to a year since I started praying.) Holy Spirit led me to a certain kind of prayer that:

  1. Acknowledged the sin by name (e.g. watching porn, lusting, etc.)
  2. Repented of the sin and asked forgiveness
  3. Told the sin and evil spirit to leave in Jesus’ name

Wow!

I felt so freeeeee

All those thoughts just. stopped. It felt like I almost had an “empty” mind or something. It was kinda weird, but amazing!

The reason I tell this story is to make this point. I would never have been set free if I didn’t have a relationship with God. I had to pray and really listen to the Holy Spirit leading me. He was so patient with me and not in a hurry. When I was ready, he gave me the words, exact words to pray to break those evil spirits. The thing is, as good as all other christians and churches and podcasts and sermons are, they never knew my heart and set me free. Only God could see what I was dealing with and knew exactly what to do. πŸ™‚

I have found that the most impacting moments in my life were all when I was alone and praying, worshipping or reading the Word of God. Our Father is in heaven, yet he is so close to us and understands us better than any other person. Because of this, I have changed my view on church and my spiritual growth. Rather than seeking that growth from my church, I have changed my focus to expect my growth to come directly from God.

This means that the only stopping capacity is how far I am willing to go. I am no longer capped by anything except myself. How many hours will I pray before stopping? How long will I ask God for freedom before being set free? Am I willing to give up gaming to spend more time praying? These are the kind of decisions that determine my level of relationship with God.

Here is a list of some positive side affects of doubling – tripling the amount of time I spend with God:

  1. Far less fear
  2. Freedom from lustful/unclean thoughts
  3. No more nightmares
  4. Peace. So much peace.
  5. Being shown things by God
  6. Ridiculous favour at work
  7. Very deep relationships with people I previously had little to none
  8. More wisdom
  9. Increased awareness of others

Each of these points came either directly from praying for them, or just general prayer and listening to God. Some I asked for specifically, others just came.

The more I spend time with the Father, the more I feel his heart for me, and others. He is so loving, so gentle, so patient, so kind, and so humble. He is so humble! The love in his eyes is so pure, it changes you. You cannot be the same after; I’m quite sure it’s impossible.

There are things you can’t experience unless you spend several hours just praying. There are experiences you will never experience until you get on your knees for extended periods of time. I will pray that you open your heart to this idea and pray for a desire to be drawn to prayer.

If you want to be closer to God than most people even know is possible, pray for it. Ask God to draw you into the secret place. Don’t let anyone put a limit on you for what is acceptable. I used to believe that an hour each day is enough time with God, simply because a pastor told me. That is a very good amount of time with God if you want to stay a bit above average. However, if you’re anything like me and want to push the boundaries, I dare you to spend 5 hours each night praying for a week in a row.

If your world isn’t absolutely blown apart by God, send me a message and I will personally video chat with you and pray with you. I double-dare you to do it. Pray for 7 hours a day. Pray for 9. Don’t stop there, see what happens for even more. Try 12 hours in a single session.

This change absolutely shook my world and turned it upside-down. I believe it will do the same to your world too. Please let me know what happens. I want to hear your testimonies!

The Bible as an Anchor

I often find myself caught up in being busy, doing things that aren’t important and forgetting what is necessary. After working for 8.5 hours, I want to recharge for a couple of hours before completing chores at home. Time slips away, and soon I have to go to bed to prepare for the next day. There isn’t anything particularly wrong with this. However, it tends to go wrong when I don’t set aside time with God.

Living my life away from God is dangerous. I am likely to stay positive and continue to be a “good person”, but lose the power of Christ living within me. As I lose focus on God, I find myself drifting away, like a boat in a river that hasn’t anchored to stay still. When distractions come in, it’s hard to draw the line and say no when they encroach upon the time that should be spent with God. The next thing I know, I’ve missed my morning devotion 4 days in a row…

It’s times like this that I pull the bible back out again and start reading. 2 Timothy 3:16 says ‘All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right.’ After reading, peace returns to me and I find myself wondering why I got distracted in the first place. Being close to God is so powerful and amazing, I don’t want to live any other way. Yet, there I go again, isolating myself from God by filling my days with entertainment and social media.

Can you relate to this; filling your day with things that are fun for the moment, but distract you from God in the end? This happens to me far too often, so I have asked two people to keep me accountable to daily devotions. What do you do to keep your focus on God and remain consistent?

Just Do It!

This morning I was peacefully sleeping until my alarm rudely awoke me. I thought ‘Do I have to do my devotions this morning? Surely missing one morning won’t matter.’ I started to fall asleep again.

Can you relate to this kind of morning? Have you ever felt so tired that a previously important commitment loses its appeal? The problem with thinking this way is that one morning off turns into one week off, which then turns into a month off, and so on.

So, I had to get over myself and get up. I forced my eyes back open and sat up. I got out of bed and started reading the Bible. The power in those words began to hit me. The impact grew over time. I became aware of God’s presence.

1 Corinthians 15:58 says ‘So, my dear brothers and sisters, be strong and immovable. Always work enthusiastically for the Lord, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless.‘ God takes notice of what you do. Are you pursuing God? On the harder days, are you remaining consistent?

Relying on God’s Consistency

Some days I feel as though I could climb Mt. Everest, conquering the day without effort, while other days I want to stay in bed watching movies all day. I think we’ve all been there, unmotivated and undisciplined, but at what point does this turn from a bad day to a bad week, to a bad habit?

Thankfully, God is with us at every turn. He has our back, keeping us refreshed when we go to Him. Isaiah 40:31 says ‘But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.

I am so thankful for God’s grace for me. He always gives me strength when I pray.

The Journey of a Thousand Miles Begins With One Step.

I have started writing. Writing is the beginning of a new season not to attract attention, earn money, gain respect, or get fame. I don’t want to do this. I am writing to increase discipline through accountability. Some time ago, I believe God told me to start writing. I started a blog and wrote once. Two years later here I am. This time I am paying to host a site, with the goal of writing every day for a year. I want to see what happens when I put faith into action.

Who am I? My name is Caleb, and I am 23 years old. I live in Adelaide while studying at UniSA. I am also working casual hours as a Junior Software Engineer at a small company. I have a gym membership and regularly visit. I attend a local church.

I want to share my experience this past week, but to do that we need to go back a bit further. When I was young, I found pleasure in other people acknowledging me. Through achieving great results, I found respect, honour, and most importantly, acceptance from others. I have seen that everyone needs love. I needed it more than anyone else. The only way I thought I could find love was to succeed. This drive to succeed caused me to strive hard and be the best at everything I could. I trained hard and grew extremely competitive.

This week God has spoken in many ways, directing me to focus my attention to Him rather than a future career. The change from a world’s perspective to God’s is tough! However, after spending a week focusing on spending time reading the bible, praying and worshipping at every spare moment, I started feeling different. Rather than desiring to succeed at all costs, I started wanting God. I was hungry for the presence of God, but I couldn’t get enough.