My favorite part of being home is it’s large, green, peaceful backyard. I love to sit quietly on my patio and soak in the Father’s creation. At the beginning of Winter, the yard is filled with hundreds of dry leaves that have fallen and remain on the ground from the prior season. Eventually, these leaves need to be cleared out in order for the grass that is beneath to grow.

This is exactly what God wants to do when we allow him to get rid of what no longer has a place in our lives from prior seasons. He doesn’t just clear them, he makes room for something else to grow. When we come to him with questions or in despair, he doesn’t only want to respond and comfort us. He gives us peace so that the burden we previously carried is removed and no longer blocking what he wants to GROW in our lives.

I hope that at some point we’ve all know what it feels like to bring our troubles to God and feel a weight lift from our spirit. It’s a wonderful, priceless experience. The problem is that many times, once we feel lighter from receiving the emotional and spiritual relief we longed for, we decide that’s good enough. We engage in our daily routine, focus on everything else that needs to get done, or on what is simply more interesting than prayer and devotion. Meanwhile, God is still waiting on your heart. If we are honest with ourselves, this relationship dynamic with God is strictly self-seeking.

When you truly desire God, when you truly desire his presence, the removal or lessening of your troubles is nowhere near enough. In fact, it’s only the beginning.

It’s an entrance to a whole new place with God without the disruptions and burdens that were there before. Now is the perfect time in which you can actually begin to experience him in a way like never before.

The primary goal of prayer is not to achieve personal satisfaction so that we can move on to something else. Prayer brings us closer to the heart of our creator. From this closeness, our desires align with his and our hearts become fuller than ever. 

If you’ve received what you’ve been asking for, praise God for who he is! Praise him, then keep on going into another level with him. Keep going by diving in more deeply and craving him more strongly. It’s time to embrace his love presence and to walk with the most openness to hearing his voice.

The Holy Spirit is not intended to be a band aid.

God didn’t put his spirit in us so that it could be all about us. He gave us the Holy Spirit because he LOVES us so much that he provided us with the guarantee that we can be in constant communion with Him if we so choose. When you truly desire a relationship with God to the deepest depths he has to offer, you just don’t stop with a sense of satisfaction from receiving what you asked for. That is never enough. Be encouraged to not move on to other spiritual priorities once the Holy Spirit brings you comfort. Use it as a jump start to so many things to come that are in his plans for your relationship together. Plans that are far better than what you can ever imagine.

As you find peace that surpasses all understanding in his beautiful presence, as you receive forgiveness through his grace, and as you rejoice in answered prayers, embrace it knowing that the path has been cleared for you to experience the Father in a way you weren’t able to before when everything else was bringing you down.

If you took your heart to him and he met you exactly where you needed to be found, let this be a catapult for the rest of your journey as a follower of Jesus. God wants to bring you out of your prior season for NEW THINGS to grow. He’s not clearing out the dead leaves so that your land can remain dry and barren.

Whatever he clears out from your life he does with the purpose of allowing his precious living water to permeate your spirit and bring you the clarity needed to keep moving toward your purpose. This, my friend, is a process that should never come to a stop.