You see it’s not just about spending time with God, it’s about wanting to spend time with Him.
Why should we spend time with God?
During the church service on Sunday, our pastor was discussing the first few Beatitudes in Matthew. Chapter 5:3 (NIV) says: “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” Our pastor told us that the word “poor” in the original Greek would probably be closer to the English word “destitute”. Destitute in spirit. What does that mean? And why would Jesus call us blessed to be this way?
I think back to when I was saved. I was sitting in class, sometime in grade 8. Life was really tough. I knew about God and I called myself a Christian, but God was this notion I had in my head and was a section of my life that consisted only of Friday night youth and the occasional Sunday service. I remember sitting in that class, in a time in my life when my world as I knew it was caving in on me. I had very few friends, things at home were rough, I remember feeling nearly absolutely alone. I was in desperate need of love; I was destitute. And I cried out to God, begging Him to take control of the life I had lost my control over. I knew I was saved because an indescribable peace fell over me and a warmth filled me.
Why do I tell you this? You see, I think Jesus calls the poor in spirit blessed, because we allow ourselves to become so aware of just how much we need Him. We are desperate for Him. We know that we do not have the power, or strength or anything to save ourselves. We have to allow ourselves to be destitute before God, so that he may fulfill us and fill us with His Spirit that is capable.
That same desperation that drove us to submission to God, should still sit with us. We (ourselves) are no more worthy or capable than we were before. It is God within us that makes us so. When we remember that, we remember how much we need God, but also how willing God is to help us. When we spend time with God, we need to remind ourselves of who he is: ‘the Creator’, ‘the Holy One’, ‘our Lord and Saviour’. He is endlessly deserving of our time and we are in desperate need of spending that time with Him.
“Seek me and you will find”
“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.” – Matthew 7:7 (NIV)
“You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” – Jeremiah 29:13 (NIV)
This is very clear, when we actively look for God and build that relationship with Him, He guarantees that we shall have a relationship with Him. The key point here being that it involves an active engagement on our side.
We need to be in a place where we desperately want to spend time with Jesus. We should want it bad enough that it becomes a priority in our lives, and we make time for prayer and reading the Bible and meditating on God’s Word.
Where is God that we must seek Him?
Something beautiful was once said in a sermon I attended, “You cannot be far from God, His Spirit lives inside of you”. As a Christian, we have God’s own Spirit inside of us (see 1 Corinthians 2:11-12). The Spirit does not leave us, it is there to guide us and reaffirm us, to convict us and to speak to God for us. You see, when we get the feeling that we are far away from God or that there is a “wall” between us and God, it is because we are ignoring the Spirit inside of us. We are the ones who distance ourselves from God, for God will never leave you nor forsake you, and nothing can separate us from His love.
That is why it is so important to draw near to Him, because we remind ourselves of who He is and how He loves us. We trust Him and rely on the Spirit He gave us. We are not alone in this life. God is not somewhere up in the clouds, out of reach. Once we surrender to Him, He is literally inside of us.
Taking time for God
“Those who know your name trust in you, for you, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek you” – Psalm 9:10 (NIV)
There is an understanding of who God is, as one who never leaves no forsakes those He has called. We know that we can trust in God because He will never give up on us, as we do not give Him up. What do I mean?
Well it’s so easy for us to allow the distractions of the world to ‘steal’ the time we designate for God. I hear this excuse and make this excuse often: “I don’t have time”. Yes, you do. Time was not taken away from you, you gave it to something else.
And we can obviously sit and list all the important things we do with our lives that ‘justify’ our lack of quiet time with the Lord. “oh but my work…”, “oh but my exercising…”, “oh but just one more episode…”, “oh but just one more hour of scrolling through Instagram…”.
Let’s quickly reel this all in. None of it matters. Solomon calls everything outside of God “meaningless”. Solomon was talking about money, success, earthly wisdom, everything the world calls your life purpose. Meaningless.
But time with God? That results in a growing of your faith. A growing dependency on and trust in the Lord. It’s a building and strengthening of your Relationship with God so that when you face Him one day, He says “I know you My child, welcome home.”
Live it out
Making time with God practically
I think a lot about our God and who He is. I have always been so amazed that He wants a relationship with us. “Who are we that You are mindful of us?” He calls us His children, heirs to His throne.
God wants that relationship with you. And you already know what that looks like:
- Read your Bible – but really read it. What does it say about who God is? What does it ask of you?
- Pray – but really pray. Give yourself over to God every single time you talk to Him.
- Meditate on His Word – spend time contemplating what the Word says. Spend time memorising it too.
Humble yourself and surrender yourself to God’s Spirit inside of you.