This week was our 4th week in our series called Rooted in the Word. Jeff spoke on the idea of spending time with God.
The idea of being with God is a huge theme in the Bible and it goes all the way back to Genesis; to creation. In the beginning God created Adam and Eve and he put them in a garden which they shared with each other and with God. And God would come and walk with them over and over again. When they disobey God the very first thing they do is to hide from Him. But God does something interesting – He comes looking for them. Even after sin and death had entered the world God still wanted to be with mankind. But as we know, God had to kick Adam and Eve out of the garden. What we learn from this is that being present with God is possible, but only on His terms.
Throughout the Old Testament we see God’s desire to be with his people. He had Moses and the Israelites build the tabernacle so that he could be with them. He had Solomon build the temple so that he could be with His people in Jerusalem. The prophet Isaiah tells us that “the virgin will conceive” and that God himself will come and be with us as a man. John tells us that “the word became flesh and dwelt among us”; God had come in human form to be with his people and to make a way for them to be with Him. When Jesus died we read that the curtain in the temple, that separated man from God, was split in two declaring that now, and only now, could man really be with God. Before Jesus ascended back into heaven he told his disciples that He would be with them always “even to the end of the age.” Finally, in the book of Revelation we read that when John is having his vision of the future he sees that the “dwelling place of God is with man.” This is the whole story – God wants to be a part of your life, of our lives together. He wants to be with his people. The questions then for the believer is, do you really want to be with Him? Do your actions reflect a desire to be with Him that is anywhere close to the desire to be with you that is reflected in His actions?
In spite of all that God has done to be with us and in spite of the fact that we were made for it, it cant be hard to spend time with God. This is true for many reasons. Sometimes we want to spend time with God out of guilt or as a means to get his favor. These are the wrong reasons that will ultimately lead to not spending time with Him. Sometimes our lives are just moving to fast and we should pray for strength to slow down. Sometimes we might be afraid of what God will say if we get close enough to Him to hear Him and give Him control of our lives. And often times we just don’t know how to create a healthy habit of spending time with God. Try finding some time to be alone; reading; praying; use a devotional; sing and worship; meditate on God’s word and listen for His voice.
Ultimately there are no shortcuts to getting to know God. It comes through seeking Him and spending time with Him. And enjoying Him. So struggle for it. Fight for it. Be disciplined about it. And know that He has moved heaven and earth to be with you.