Friday, September 10, 2010

Three Ways You Can Nurture Your Relationship with God by Susie Hobson, Author of Loving God with All Your Heart



Today's special guest is Susie Hobson, author of Loving God with All Your Heart: Keeping the Greatest Commandment in Everyday Life.

Are you satisfied with your daily life? Do you run more on empty than full? Do you always feel like there is more out there for you? This book will take you deeper into your heart’s desire for a real relationship with God, a powerful relationship that will transform your whole life! Susie Hobson reminds us that the love we all long for begins and ends with a life that is surrendered to Jesus. From her real experience she offers practical application of communing with God through His Word to inspire and encourage a closer walk, resulting in empowerment for faithful living. Susie gives a clear path to the fulfillment of the greatest desire of man’s heart—God’s unfailing love as the foundation for wisdom and serving God in our homes and community. This book should fill a real need among families who long for a Biblical order in the home. Susie’s testimony is absorbing.

Three Ways You Can Nurture Your Relationship with God by Susie Hobson

I believe that prayer, Bible reading, and involving God in your everyday life are great ways to nurture your relationship with God. Like any relationship, your relationship with God is only going to be as good as you make it. If you are too busy to read your Bible daily, too busy to pray in a regular and meaningful way on a day-to-day basis, too busy to “think about God” – you will not have a great relationship with God. That’s just common sense. I think the last thing busy people want is to be made to feel guilty about their lack of time with God. And I know that it can make some Christians defensive when someone starts poking around into their personal devotional habits. Yet, when writing an article about how people can nurture their relationship with God, perhaps it could be tolerated—having been fairly warned!

God desires to have a great relationship with us, personally. He desires a relationship that is filled with love, respect, joy, much communication, and time in His Word in a significant and meaningful way. I think we all realize that a relationship like that involves one thing above all others: Time. Good solid relationships take time and effort. We are creatures of habit and we tend to fill our lives with schedules that work for us. They may not be the healthiest schedules, or happiest, but they work for us and our families and we stick with them, very diligently. My husband taught a large young adult Sunday School class for years and asked each Sunday, “Who read their Bibles everyday this week?” Out of twenty people, there may have been one who would raise their hand. The rest said that they were just too busy. Too busy. Too busy . . . Are you too busy to have a healthy daily relationship with God?

Generally, people are seemingly satisfied with a marginal “I’m a Christian!” relationship with God. Much like those nineteen other people in the Sunday School class who were very active church goers, believers, and all around good guys. What pushes some people to get closer to God and others to be happy with a life of God on the fringe? I believe it is perspective. Once you have had a glimpse of –this is not going to be positive, so brace yourself--evil and the pervasiveness of evil, I don’t think you can turn away and think you are without the need of God 24/7. Sometimes it is not just evil but the knowledge that God is holding all the Power and Authority and He has given us His Word and Prayer to connect us to Him and His Power and Love and we know, we just know, how desperately we need Him. And we know that others need Him, too, because if they die without Jesus in their heart, then they will have made an eternal mistake.

Prayer is asking God, the Creator of Heaven and Earth and all that is in it, to come into our lives and give us what He has, yet we don’t have. God says again and again in the Bible (paraphrase) “I have all these gifts, attributes, strengths, weapons, blessings, and health and safety helps to give you, if you will just ask for them.” Here! Here—let me help you. Take this! I have written in my Bible under Psalm 91, “God has what I don’t have and He wants to give it to me.” Why would I not involve God in my all day, everyday life if He is so ready and willing to get involved in ways that make a real difference in me and my family’s health, safety, direction, provisions, wisdom, truth, peace, love, hope, and faith. We have all heard the slogan, “Don’t leave home without it!” Don’t leave home without having yourself and your family covered with prayer. Early in the morning is a good time to get right with God, confess all known sin, ask for His filling and help, pray for all those things in His Word that you and your family need in a real and immediate way, and then all those other concerns that are going around your head too, practical things, problems, etc. Then as the day progresses I may have a stray thought or two (or a dozen) that need to be brought up for confession, because I do get put out, say something, or more likely think something that is not the kindest, and I need to air that and resolve it with God (sin is always a barrier between us and God and why go around with barriers up when we can be on the best of terms?). So many things happen in the course of the day that are praises and blessings and when I go to bed at night I like to try and remember each one and give God the praise and glory and honor and to acknowledge His hand in my life. Prayer can be continuous throughout the day as a conversation and a real relationship with God, the Father, through Jesus, my Lord and Savior.

Bible reading is the best way to fill up your mind and heart with God and His Ways. It’s like truth in—truth out! I grew up in Enterprise, a small town in south Alabama. Mrs. Justice was the wife of the long-time minister of First Baptist Church and a formidable Sunday School teacher. I remember my mother always saying that “Mrs. Justice knows her Bible.” That stuck in my head and when ever I saw Mrs. Justice I would feel a bit intimidated by her—she was smart! More recently though that comment came back to me and I thought “Mrs. Justice knew her Bible because she read her Bible.” She had probably been reading her Bible everyday for years and as a result she had a great deal of what Ephesians would call “a spirit of wisdom and revelation.” The Bible is a powerful living book. Get a grip on that thought (imagine Indiana Jones getting a hold of an old ancient book that can powerfully change peoples lives forever for the better, If . . . they read it themselves!). If you read the Bible daily you will grow in your relationship with God, He will speak with you through His Word. He will show you truth, give you wisdom, explain how to best live life on this earth, lead you to who He made you to be, put His plan for your life on your heart, and fill your life with purpose and love and good common sense. Here’s a powerful practice—take what God promises in the Bible and start applying it (living it) and asking God to pour those very principles, promises, gifts, and blessings out in your own life and you will find that the old ancient book is just as powerful today as ever.

Involve God in your everyday life. From sun-up to bed at night God makes the best company. Make time to pray and read your Bible in a substantial way, where it really means something. This does not just happen (Oh, wow, I’ve got this extra time today—I think I’ll read my Bible!). It somehow has to be something you value and then go further and make a priority—make time (carve out time) for prayer and Bible reading. The world will fill your little bit of free time up with TV, computer, exercise, and other things that are fine, but time-fillers, nonetheless. You have to CHANGE your life and schedule to put God in where He can be a big part of you and your family and your time. God in the center of your life and your home is the healthiest change you could ever make.

Nurture your relationship with God by making time for Him in your everyday life. If you seek God, you will find Him! He is ready, willing, and waiting to have a real and life-changing relationship with you!



Susie Hobson has a B.A. in Special Education, M.S. in Rehabilitation Counseling from the University of Alabama, and carried a deaf / hearing-impaired and blind / vision-impaired caseload for 16 years. She retired for more time with family and to write as God has called her. She and her husband Rich have two daughters, Whitney and Amelia, live in Montgomery, and attend Lakeview Baptist Church.

Find out more about Loving God with All Your Heart at http://www.nordskogpublishing.com/book-loving-god-with-all-your-heart.shtml


1 comment:

Susanne Drazic said...

This sounds like a book I'd like to read. Thank you for sharing this review. It sounds wonderful. Beautiful cover artwork.