TIME (alone) WITH GOD
Easter 2021 and still in lockdown. Some of us have had a time of reflection, looking back and remembering our journey (Micah 6:5b) and the wondrous presence of God in our lives. I am always amazed at how, having a simple conversation with God, is a way we can communicate effectively with Him. So many of us view spending time with God as a religious duty instead of a relationship … and we all know that building a relationship takes time and discipline.
It takes discipline to switch off the TV or put down that book for a good night’s rest that will enable you to rise early and spend quality time with Jesus. He wants to know what’s on our mind, what we need, and He wants to bless us with guidance from His Word.
Those of you that read my blogs know that I have a simple mantra on how to have a quality quiet time. Allow me to share the four keys (again) that will cement your relationship with Christ as you invest your time and heart in your relationship.
❶ Prayer – the key that unlocks your relationship with Jesus. Share your needs, concerns and fears, but also share the joys in your life. No joy? If you can still breathe you have a lot to be thankful for. If you can still see the sunrise in the morning you have a lot to be thankful for … but it is important where you look! We can never see the sunrise by looking towards the west – Japanese proverb.
How true. How easily the cares and the worries of the day consume our thoughts and drive us into discouragement and self-pity. And all we need to do is look, turn our eyes to Jesus and see the Son rise over our troubles. Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” (Matthew 19:26)
❷ Read your Bible – the second key that contains all the answers to live a life of abundance. But we need to seek not just with our mouths and our lips when we are in trouble (Isaiah 29:13), no, we need to seek with all our heart (Jeremiah 29:13). Reading the Bible gets us into the Word. Meditation gets God’s Word into us (Jesus Calling, 2 Feb). Take the promises of God (a verse that might strike you at that moment, e.g. “Do not fear, you will not stand ashamed.” Isaiah 54:4) and write it down. Stick it on your mirror or desk and make it your own.
Just this morning I asked for guidance about a family member requiring assistance. Isaiah 58:7(b) came to mind: … don’t hide from relatives who need your help. But I somehow still needed confirmation and the Holy Spirit unexpectedly led me to 1 Timothy 5:8 “Anyone who does not provide for their relatives, and especially for their own household, has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.”
And if I don’t hide and do what God has instructed me to do, I can embrace God’s promise:
“Then your light will break forth like the dawn, and your healing will quickly appear;
then your righteousness will go before you, and the glory of the Lord will be your rear guard.
Then you will call, and the Lord will answer; you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I.” (Isaiah 58:8 and 9)
Expect God to answer you through His Word or one of the daily devotionals you are working through – one day at a time.
The third key is probably the most difficult:
❸ Obedience – “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourself. Do what it says.” (James 1:22) “You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did.” (James 2:22)
We find ourselves in times where many people are suffering – some due to their own doing, others due to circumstances. And my duty? If I am in a position to help, I need to stop criticising and assist with a glad heart and a generous hand. “Miserly curmudgeons may help themselves, but considerate and generous believers the Lord will help. As you have done unto others, so will the Lord do unto you. Empty your pockets.” (Spurgeon’s Cheque Book of the Bank of Faith – 22 Jan)
“Oh, the joys of those who are kind to the poor! The Lord rescues them when they are in trouble.
The Lord protects them and keeps them alive.
He gives them prosperity in the land and rescues them from their enemies.
The Lord nurses them when they are sick and restores them to health.”
❹ Make notes – I make notes of important events/requests/appointments in my daily devotional books. Year after year, I read through these and they have contributed greatly to the realisation of God’s rhythm in my life. I have begun to see that certain days in my life are very important to Him and the promises he gave on that day start getting a deeper meaning … often years later as we begin to realise how God engineers our circumstances as we try and exercise our faith in everyday situations.
Come my friend, let us spend daily quality time with our Lord whilst seeking Him with all our heart, meditating on His Word and then being obedient to his instructions, no matter what the cost.