Psalm 103: 13 The Lord is like a father to his children,
tender and compassionate to those who fear him.
14 For he knows how weak we are;
he remembers we are only dust.
When I was six years old and my dad threw me way up in the air, it was fun, exciting, and a time of joy. I trusted him. Not once did I doubt that he would catch me. It was a sure thing. It’s what he did, toss me into the air… and pull me down. I relied on him and never thought twice about it. He was my dad and I was his boy.
What was it that led me to trust him? First of all, he was the only dad I ever knew. I had six years as his child to know him enough. Second, he never gave me a reason not to. I was just learning how to be a kid and he was big enough, strong enough, and responsible enough to handle all my needs. He was there for me and made me feel safe. As a six-year-old boy, I was at total peace in his arms. The same arms that were able to crush the boogeyman in the closet, by the way.
Can our trust in God be like this? I think so and I think He desires that more than anything.
1 Chronicles 28: 9 “And Solomon, my son, learn to know the God of your ancestors intimately. Worship and serve him with your whole heart and a willing mind. For the Lord sees every heart and knows every plan and thought. If you seek him, you will find him. But if you forsake him, he will reject you forever.10 So take this seriously. …
Reading this makes me think that God intends for us to know Him more intimately than most people know their dads today. The key words here are “learn to know”.
How do we learn to know anybody? Time, attention and persistence
But who has time for relationships anymore? Could it be that the single most important activity we should be participating in has taken the lowest priority?
Jesus models for us the appropriate use of time when it comes to “spending time with His Father”:
Luke 5: 16 But Jesus often withdrew to the wilderness for prayer.
Mark 6: 45 Immediately after this, Jesus insisted that his disciples get back into the boat and head across the lake to Bethsaida, while he sent the people home. 46 After telling everyone good-bye, he went up into the hills by himself to pray.
It appears in these last two verses that Jesus made a concerted effort to be alone with the Father, it was very important to Him.
If His own son needed to spend time with God, how much more do we need it?
Spending time with God alone is a learned habit and is developed over time. Alone time with God is not a natural activity. It is especially unusual for the newly awakened. For those fortunate enough to learn this discipline as a child or young adult, they’ve been greatly blessed with spiritual leadership in the home or church.
If you think you should spend more time with God, let’s discuss how you can overcome it. I can’t think of something more worthy of striving for, there’s only one thing worth being concerned about:
Luke 10: 39 Her sister, Mary, sat at the Lord’s feet, listening to what he taught.40 But Martha was distracted by the big dinner she was preparing. She came to Jesus and said, “Lord, doesn’t it seem unfair to you that my sister just sits here while I do all the work? Tell her to come and help me.”
41 But the Lord said to her, “My dear Martha, you are worried and upset over all these details! 42 There is only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it, and it will not be taken away from her.”
If it’s the case that you are not finding the time to spend with God, then everything you are finding time for is more important than God. Yes, you may have a schedule, but where is God in that schedule? The time you spend throughout the week and day to day is an indicator of the priorities that you have set. It’s that simple.
Try telling your wife that you have only five minutes to spend with her and that it will have to come after the 11 o’clock news, brushing your teeth, and before setting the alarm for the next morning.
If this sounds familiar to you, I don’t think you are alone. These five minutes was a goal I used to have and at the time I was happy to do just that. I’d still fall asleep trying to pray.
I know that God wants this time with you more than anything else you do. I am convinced that if you took the total time that you take on your Sabbath day from getting ready for church service to getting out of your church clothes and divided that time by seven to be spent each day, He would rather you spend that time alone with Him than corporately with others. Please don’t use this as an excuse not to go to church! By all means, keep it up. Just know that God values your alone time with Him more than He does as part of a group, although both are important.
For those of you that desire a better relationship with God and seek the abundant life that Jesus promises, allow me to make a suggestion.
- Schedule time with God during your peak hours. A time during the day that you are most alert. Set aside at least 5 minutes and adjust accordingly.
- Devise a plan to read the Bible. Say you wish to read the book of Romans, one chapter a day, that’s great, but what will you read after that?
- Know that God is present and believe that He is with you.
- Pray whatever is on your mind. (This is the time to give your worries to Him.)
(Click here to create a reading plan: http://www.thebibleteam.com/PlanMaker.asp)
If this plan is followed consistently over time and you take it seriously, then I am certain that you will grow and this will turn into 10-15 minutes and even more as you develop this most sacred discipline.
Psalm 105: 4 Search for the Lord and for his strength;
continually seek him.
Are you taking Him seriously?
“O God, thank you for opening my eyes to see that you desire more time with me. Lord I pray that I can be more persistent and diligent in seeking you. Thank you in advance for drawing me closer to you and leading me along your path. In Jesus’ name, amen.”
Photo by Leio McLaren on Unsplash