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Southside is a loving, vigorous, and growing congregation in Shelbyville, Tennessee. Our vision is toward the future: Our Children, Our Ministry, and Our Outreach. Our goal is to embrace all people in our hearts and fellowship as we strive together to support Christ’s mission on earth.
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How Far Do You Want God To Go?

Our greatest need in life, regardless of anything else is to be in a loving relationship with God. If we are not in a loving bond with Him, it’s our fault, not God’s fault. He wants to be number one, so we must examine our lives and may need to make changes.

How far do you want God to go to get your attention concerning your relationship with Him? The writer of the question asked if we were willing to ask God for suffering, sickness, adversity, anguish, trials, tribulations, and heartaches to remain in or return to a good relationship with Him. It seems we must have gone haywire for these types of attention-getters to be needed. He loves us and is willing to do whatever is necessary to bring us closer to Him and save us, but will we readily accept His actions?

When I pray for my and other people's relationship with God, I find it very difficult to ask Him to do whatever it takes to make the necessary improvements especially if it appears just a momentary lapse. My prayers usually ask for positive events and virtuous people in our lives to encourage us. Maybe a devotional reading and prayer or just an encouraging word from someone. I would not care to hear from someone  that I’m hell bound. No harsh judgments, but rather show love and kindness as you encourage me to repair my relationship with Him.

When I’m struggling, the spiritual side says to ask for whatever will work but the human says you can do it yourself without any drastic actions from God. After all, I am not in that bad enough shape. Am I? Maybe we need a tune-up. Most of the time, when I recognize that my attitude is not what it should be a request to God for improvement usually works. What if I get completely off the track? I hope I dare to request God to do whatever to get my attention.

It is difficult to request the bad things for someone else. Most people I’ve worked with in CASA are already experiencing a difficult life. Parents in jail, on drugs, and too many don’t care about their children. Several of those children are now of age and are using drugs, in jail, and headed in the wrong direction just like their parents. It seems some positive experiences with God might help more. If you are praying about others’ relationship with God, it seems wise to admit that you are unsure what to ask for and leave it in God’s hands.

God doesn’t always use negative experiences to get our attention. Kay and I were experiencing some negativity with the church during college, so we drifted away. In our third year of marriage, we were blessed with Chad, our son. We both were raised in the church, so raising a heathen child was not an option. We found a church and became members. God used a joyous event to get our attention. God knew what to do!

To understand what to ask God to do, be completely honest in evaluating your relationship with Him. Discuss it with your minister, an elder, or maybe a friend or relative you trust in their advice and love for you. Remember we are talking about your soul!

Before you do anything, ask yourself if you are a positive influencer for others. Be honest because you are now dealing with someone else’s soul.



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