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I noticed something the other day while I was at a church service. Every week the worship leader gets up and says, “I’ve had a really hard week, how about you?”. The crowd “Me too’s” their agreement. Then he says “Let’s worship the Lord now and just enjoy His presence.” Everyone grunts their approval, and the rest of the service centers around one thing: you.

This thought troubled me. Why is it I’m hearing so much of “You need a better relationship with God”, “You need to be healed”, “You need to be refreshed” . . .you, you, you!??

All those things are good and sometimes we do need to be healed or refreshed, but not all the time! The focus should be on the Creator, not the creation. It’s like this. What if you had a friend. You love this friend so-so-so-so much that you would do anything in the whole world for them. Every time your friend comes over to visit, all they do is talk to you about their personal problems and struggles. You give them the greatest advice in the history of the world. Then they thank you for a split second and split.

God loves you like that. He’d do anything for you (anything that’s good for you anyway), and He will always be there for you. But do you think He likes it when the only reason you come to visit is to ask Him for something? Do you think it makes Him feel appreciated when you’re only at His doorstep until He gives you what you ask for? I doubt it. It’s about time that we start asking God what’s on His heart. He wants to share His thoughts and feelings with you just as you share yours with Him. He probably won’t tell you He’s having trouble with His girlfriend or His dad is on His case or His boss is firing Him, but He has things that He wants to talk to you about. He may share something personal about you, or talk to you about one of your neighbors, or share His heart about a particular people group.

It’s a good idea to have an hour or even a half hour set apart for God every day. Then pick a topic to pray for each day. (for example you could pray for your family, personal needs/ finances, political leaders, someone you know who’s unsaved or just take a half hour and listen for God’s voice and hear what He might say to you). Another thing that I do when I’m spending a lot of time on my own problems is I make sure to think of at least 5 things I’m grateful for, or I take time to pray for someone else. Nothing makes your problems seem small like praying for the problems of others – you usually don’t realize how good you have it until you look at how the rest of the world lives.

To sum this all up, if you’re focusing on yourself too much, then start praying for other people and thinking of thoughtful things to do for them. And remember to take time out of your busy life and your persistent stress and listen to your Creator.

Julia Dillard

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