First, in listening to a message from Joyce Meyers, God shared with me the the importance of not having rules without relationship. For me, this immediately rang of all my attempts to structure my life in a certain way...and fill it with certain activities...in order to move deeper in my relationship to Christ. I didn't take this to suggest that these attempts are wrong, only that they must be infused with an honest and earnest pursuit of a relationship with Jesus....with getting to know Him...and allow myself to be known by Him. Otherwise my saying of the Rosary or daily Bible reading...or even writing a blog post...is just busy work...that may have a net positive impact on my life...but that can't be truly life changing...heart changing...without the personal knowledge of Jesus.
The second thing God hit me with was today's devotional from the Oswald chamber blog: My Utmost for His Highest. In today's post, God reveals that in order to truly realize the vision He has for our lives, we have to have a "vivid, personal, overpowering relationship" with Jesus....just as the Apostle Paul did. His dramatic Damascus Road experience was not simply a conversion to a different way of life, but was the launch of a super-charged relationship with Jesus Christ Himself. Jesus appeared to Paul and asked for nothing less than His whole life...as Chambers paraphrases...He asked to "overpower and subdue" everything. And when Paul assented...that vision...that promise of completely and radically transforming Paul's life would not have happened...were it not for the intimate relationship Paul forged with Jesus himself.
So the bottom line is that while all my tools and methods may be good...all my structure and organization may be helpful...if I want to realize God's plan for my life, then I need to get to know Him....not as an object...but as a person...as a personal Creator. If I want to see His vision for me come to life, then I need to live my life with Him. The key...as with so much of life...is relationship.
God made me to know Him, to love Him, and to serve Him in this world, and to be happy with Him for ever in heaven. -- Baltimore Catechism No. 1, 1885