Inside, outside, all around

As the weather turns colder, I start drinking hot tea more frequently. When I steep the bag in my cup I can smell the aroma of the cinnamon or star anise, my favorite flavors. The longer the bag stays in the water, the stronger the tea becomes. I have found the same to be true with my relationship with Jesus.

As a believer, even when I do not practice consistent quiet time, He is still with me; but just like tea that has been watered down, I do not get the potency of prolonged time with Him. My prayer time has been sporadic for a while now. I start praying and then something distracts me or I am interrupted by someone who needs something. Suddenly, I realize it has been hours since I was talking with Jesus.

Last night I woke up and could not fall asleep again. After two hours of tossing, I got up and decided to do some housework. I washed dishes, made coffee, washed four loads of laundry, swept the floor, emptied the dishwasher, and read a new book. As I was reading I remembered a conversation I had with my mom years ago.

She said, “Reading the Bible is important, but the most important work is prayer. Instead of reading about God’s relationship with man, I need to grow in God’s relationship with me.”

I closed my book and went into another room and closed the door. Quietly I began to talk with God about what I had been saying I would pray about on behalf of friends and family. I let my heart recall the requests of those who experienced a loss in their family or an injury that needed healing. The more I lifted up those who were dear to me, I was reminded they are dear to God too. I could feel the steeping of the Holy Spirit within me again.

When I am intentional with my prayer time and study time, even if it is just fifteen minutes, then my spirit grows stronger. I start recalling verses and promises from Scripture that help me inside, which will help me outside. As my heart is stronger, my walk is stronger. Others will smell the aroma of the Holy Spirit living and moving inside of me like Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 2:15-17.

Another part of “steeping” in the Holy Spirit is that others are attracted to the difference. It makes them wonder what caused a change, which often makes them ask. Asking about the difference gives me an opportunity to share how God is working in me. I get to share the sweet taste of Jesus with someone who may be thirsty for it, like the woman at the well in John 4.

Jesus inside me means He will eventually be seen by others on the outside, and I will be able to live out Matthew 28:16-20, sharing the Gospel all around.

Best Beloved, I have no idea how strong your faith is, where you are on your journey. But I do know that if you don’t like where you are now, it will require you to change something. Allow the Holy Spirit to steep inside your heart. Seek Christ and grow in His presence. Only then can you make a difference for His glory and purpose.

About gretchenr17

Wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend. Writer, farmer, fellow sojourner... at every turn I learn a bit more about God's wild mercies.
This entry was posted in maturing in Christ, reflections, Walking by Faith and not by sight and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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