Drawing Near

Posted On: Dec 15, 2017By Mike Genung

The Lord your God is in your midst,
A victorious warrior.
He will exult over you with joy,
He will be quiet in His love,
He will rejoice over you with shouts of joy.
—Zechariah 3:17

The way to peace is through your relationship with the Lord. Everything revolves around Him—knowing what He says about you, what He wants you to do, how He sees you, and the gifts He’s given you. Learning to rely on His strength, being filled with the Holy Spirit, knowing Him, discerning His voice, and seeking Him are important pieces of your relationship with Him.

I’ve been weaving what God says about you as His beloved daughter throughout this book because He is your primary source of healing. The Bible is not merely a book to be dissected and packaged into the church’s theological box of choice, throwing out the verses we don’t like and keeping the rest. God’s word is an amazing, living, Holy Spirit-fired document with the power to change lives, convict, build up, and give wisdom.

When I read God’s word, my primary purpose is to hear from the Lord. Before I begin, I ask Him to speak to me and help me understand what He’s saying. The Holy Spirit breathes His word into my heart and grants me the grace of understanding and discernment.

There are parts of God’s character and power I have a hard time getting my mind around. How can one Being know the thoughts of more than seven billion people simultaneously? How do you design a man or woman? Just engineering the human brain, with its billions of neurons, is way out of our league.

Yet, because God has repeatedly spoken to me over the years, I know He hears every one of my prayers and wants to spend time with me, just as He does with you.

In the past, most of my time with Him revolved around my lists: “Lord, please set me free from sexual sin, heal my marriage, fix my wife, resolve my problems at work, keep my kids safe, give us godly leaders, bring the lost to salvation . . .”

And then after I sinned (which was often), it was, “God please forgive me, heal me, cleanse me, set me free . . .”

See what’s going on in these prayers? It’s not that what I’m asking for is wrong, but they’re all about me and what I want God to do for me.

My self-absorption prevented me from receiving forgiveness the moment I confessed my sin. “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (I John 1:9). When we sin, all we have to do is confess it, and we’re forgiven and cleansed. Since I was locked on me, all I could see were my failures and depravity; I blindly threw up those futile, groveling prayers hoping I would one day be forgiven—when I already was.

Instead, I should have gone to God and said, “Lord, I hurt my wife last night by what I said and didn’t treat her with kindness. Please help me to love her like you want me to. Thank you for forgiving me.” No groveling, begging, or bargaining for forgiveness, or self-condemnation.

One reason people give up on prayer is because they don’t understand there are times when the Lord wants them to keep pressing in.

Now He was telling them a parable to show that at all times they ought to pray and not to lose heart, saying, “In a certain city there was a judge who did not fear God and did not respect man. There was a widow in that city, and she kept coming to him, saying, ‘Give me legal protection from my opponent.’ For a while he was unwilling; but afterward he said to himself, ‘Even though I do not fear God nor respect man, yet because this widow bothers me, I will give her legal protection, otherwise by continually coming she will wear me out.’” And the Lord said, “Hear what the unrighteous judge aid; now, will not God bring about justice for His elect who cry to Him day and night, and will He delay long over them? I tell you that He will bring about justice for them quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth?”

—Luke 18:1–8

Excerpted from Mike Genung’s book, The Wife’s Heart, Healing from Your Husband’s Porn Addiction and Adultery.

Copyright: 75795040 – silhouette of messiah reaching out hand, standing on sand