When I sat down to write today’s post, I was already thinking about the dinner that I would need to start preparing soon. A chicken dish that needs to bake for a full two hours, that involves peeling and chopping vegetables too. And then a strange thing happened – the Holy Spirit told me to go do that first, and then come back and write. I was so surprised that I had to ask whether it was really Him!
And so as I am now writing, against my every expectation, the chicken is already in the oven. And I have learned (or rather re-learned in a new way) a few things in the process. The first is that God is really really patient with us.
2 Peter 3:8-9 (WEBBE): 8But don’t forget this one thing, beloved, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. 9The Lord is not slow concerning his promise, as some count slowness; but he is patient with us, not wishing that anyone should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
Waiting for stubborn, self-centered human beings to come to repentance. Yep, that is serious patience!
The second thing is that God really desires to have our undivided attention. In the old testament, before Jesus reconciled us to God, God had to frequently remind His people to not worship other Gods.
Exodus 34:14 (WEBBE): 14for you shall worship no other god; for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God.
Back then, most people didn’t have a personal relationship with God like we can today. If you never saw or spoke to your spouse, would it be easy to stay faithful? Even for years and years? I am not making excuses for the Israelites, but I can see how it was hard for them. However, Jesus paid the ultimate price for us.
John 3:16 (WEBBE): 16For God so loved the world, that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have eternal life.
Jesus’ sacrifice makes it possible for us to walk in relationship with God in every moment. We don’t generally make idols anymore, like the Israelites with their golden calf. But even so, our attention is easily divided. God doesn’t go off somewhere else in the universe, forgetting that we even exist most of the time.
Hebrews 13:5 (WEBBE): 5Be free from the love of money, content with such things as you have, for he has said, “I will in no way leave you, neither will I in any way forsake you.”
No, He is always with us. And yet we keep on getting distracted and forgetting about Him. He desires that we should choose to spend time with Him and nothing else, at least now and again.
And that brings me to the third point. Relationship with God often happens despite our schedules and our plans, instead of because of them. Planning to go to a worship meeting at a specific time is not a bad thing. But if that means that we overlook all the other opportunities for worship between now and then, we are following our schedules more closely than God. Sometimes God does things at unexpected times, just to remind us that He is there all the time!
So it all comes down to this. Make space for God in your life and not just in your schedule!