If you want to build a strong relationship with a human being, you have to spend time with that person. Imagine meeting the love of your life, but you see that person maybe once a year and don’t even message in the many months in between. The relationship is just not going to flourish!
Now that is quite an extreme example. And we don’t usually neglect our relationship with God quite that badly. But the same principle applies – in order for our relationship with God to grow, we have to spend one on one time with Him.
God loves us so much that He gave His only Son for us. If we draw near to Him, of course He will draw near to us too!
James 4:8a (WEBBE): 8Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you.
God is always available, ready and waiting for us. If we run to Him in a time of crisis, of course He is there for us. But He desires so much more – He desires that we should remain in Him!
John 15:4-7 (WEBBE): 4Remain in me, and I in you. As the branch can’t bear fruit by itself unless it remains in the vine, so neither can you, unless you remain in me. 5I am the vine. You are the branches. He who remains in me and I in him bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. 6If a man doesn’t remain in me, he is thrown out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them, throw them into the fire, and they are burnt. 7If you remain in me, and my words remain in you, you will ask whatever you desire, and it will be done for you.
Jesus has restored our relationship with God. Through grace we can now walk with Him. But even in the Old Testament there were people that walked closely enough with God to know what a relationship with Him is like.
Psalm 46:10 (WEBBE): 10“Be still, and know that I am God.
I will be exalted amongst the nations.
I will be exalted in the earth.”
Psalm 91:1 (WEBBE): 1He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High
will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
Stillness and rest in an otherwise hectic world.
Now lets see what our ultimate role model – Jesus – did to draw close to God.
Mark 1:35-37 (WEBBE): 35Early in the morning, while it was still dark, he rose up and went out, and departed into a deserted place, and prayed there. 36Simon and those who were with him searched for him. 37They found him and told him, “Everyone is looking for you.”
Jesus made time in His day to spend some alone time with His Father. Despite the demands of everyone that were looking for Him, He made the time to pray. Doing this will make such a huge difference to our relationship with God. Going to church is great, we learn so much and corporate worship is fantastic. We should not loose any of that. But to really get to know God personally, we should put in the time ourselves to spend some alone time with Him.
In Revelations chapters 2 and 3 there are some messages written to the churches. The message to Laodicea starts like this:
Revelation 3:14-15 (WEBBE): 14“To the angel of the assembly in Laodicea write:
“The Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the Beginning of God’s creation, says these things:
15“I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were cold or hot.
That sadly sounds so familiar. Many people are in this lukewarm state today. But there is a solution!
Revelation 3:20 (WEBBE): 20Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, then I will come in to him, and will dine with him, and he with me.
If you decide to really open the door of your heart, truly desiring to spend time in God’s presence, then Jesus will always be there! Make the time – it is worth it!