There is a common saying among those of us who enjoy the world from the top of a horse’s back: “I feel closer to God right here on top of my horse than anywhere else”. I adhere to this statement as an avid trail rider. I find myself in constant praise to God for His beautiful creation when Tanner, my buckskin horse, and I are traversing through spectacular mountain terrain, crossing babbling brooks, or crunching leaves of brilliant color in the fall. My eyes are constantly roaming the hillside for vibrant, colorful wildflowers and signs of wildlife, and the trees for unique birds.
I recall a ride last summer when we came upon 3 bald eagles perched above us in a tree on our trail. Staring us down, not seeing us as a threat, we watched each other. What a treat, what a blessing from God. It is in His creation, especially outdoors, where I have experienced His personal love and care for me. I make sure to meditate on the enormous diversity in every facet of our God’s creation. I can’t help but be in awe of His glorious majesty, His deep wisdom.
Yahweh God took the man and put him into the garden of Eden to work it and to care for it.Genesis 2:15
Notice it was a garden Yahweh put Adam in, not a city. Of course, there weren’t any other people. Still, it is important to point out that God created the world for mankind.
And God blessed them. And God said to them,” Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”Genesis 1:28
It’s in the trees, flowers, insects, birds, wildlife, rocks, even in the dirt that we can see the multiformity of our God. The species of each of the aforementioned are innumerable, the study of any one of them exhausting and limitless. If we take the time from our busy, distracting lives to meditate on the beauty that is all around us, we can’t help but give Him abundant thanks, thus deepening our relationship with our Heavenly Father.
This leads me to another point that has helped my relationship with God. For the longest time, I struggled with unworthiness. Because of the negative influence I received in my formative years, I struggled with my own self-worth. This transferred into my relationships with others, not allowing me to receive love from people or God. I knew what the Bible said about me was true, but something blocked me from getting it from my head to my heart. I believe many Christians struggle in this area. For that matter, all humans have that inherent craving to be accepted and feel unconditional love.
When I was taught the truths on repentance and deliverance to rid me of the guilt, shame, bitterness, unforgiveness, and anti-loving spirits which had a hold of me, then I was able to receive with my heart the truths of God’s word. Once I took responsibility, confessing the sins of my past, asking God for the forgiveness Jesus Christ provided for me, then the heavy weight of baggage I’d been carrying with me—a.k.a spiritual entities that had taken hold of me—were commanded to leave in His name. I received a lot of freedom immediately. I had no idea I was holding onto such a heavy weight of sin. I was even able to accept compliments from others, something I had difficulty doing before.
Once free, the words of my Father resonated in me, becoming the truths I stood on. I found myself able to stand boldly before the throne of grace. This significantly helped me with my personal relationship with God. My heart could receive His unconditional love and acceptance.
Therefore, as God’s holy and beloved chosen ones…Colossians 3:12a
So that Christ would dwell in your hearts through trust; and that you, having been rooted and grounded in love, 18are fully able to comprehend with all the holy ones what is the breadth and length and height and depth, 19and thus to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, so that you are filled with all the fullness of God.Ephesians 3:17-19
Scriptures such as these became more than mere words on a page, they became my identity. Praying and petitioning God was done boldly, through Jesus Christ, as a fellow-child of the living God. I began to look to Jesus Christ as my big brother, and others in the faith as brothers and sisters. I now pray with an awareness that I am heard, cared for, and blessed as a child.
I expect to receive what I ask for from my Heavenly Father.
As with studying the scriptures, there is infinitely more to receive and understand. The journey will never end with God and Jesus Christ. It can only deepen and grow through this life, until we meet face to face.
And there will be no curse anymore, and the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and his servants will serve him, 4and they will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads.Revelation 22:3, 4