How long is it since you or I gave our heavenly Father our undivided attention? Mary shows us the way as she sits at Jesus’ feet, listening, loving and learning from him. Yet so many of us are like Martha, busy being busy (Luke 10:38-42). It’s important to serve the Lord, but it’s even more important to delight our Lord and delight in him by spending time with him.
Imagine you’re given a choice. You can take a million pounds now or you can have a special penny. It’s only a penny, but it will double in value every day, and you can only have it for 31 days. Which would you choose? After 20 days you’d be better off with the million pounds, but after 31 days, that simple penny would have given you over 10 million pounds. Small steps in the same direction win out over a giant leap!
When it comes to being with the Lord just think about a small step, and then another.
Remember your blessings
‘Bless the Lord, oh my soul, and forget not all his benefits’ (Ps. 103:2).
I’m sure that most of us keep a diary to remind us of future events. Equally significant are dates and events that have happened in the past, but as we get older it becomes more challenging to remember them! One thing that continues to be a huge encouragement for us has been to keep our own personal journal – just between the Lord and us. It’s simply a book where we write our innermost thoughts, reflections on our Bible readings, things that the Lord is teaching us which we are desperately trying to learn! Here we write our prayer requests and even more wonderfully, record answers to those prayers. It’s amazing to look back over many years and be reminded that our God answered, so often over and above anything we could have possibly asked or imagined! We don’t ever want to forget these answers to prayer which arise from our times in his presence.
Do you forget how God has blessed you in days gone by? Why not take the small step of buying a notebook, then take the small step of recording your first five minutes of undivided attention with him?
Reflect on Jesus
Prayer and spending time with his Father was hugely important to Jesus. He taught his disciples to pray, giving them a pattern to follow (Luke 11:1-4). He encouraged them to spend time alone with God (Mark 3:7; Luke 9:10).
He prayed often ‘with fervent cries and tears’ (Heb. 5:7) and he spent nights in prayer (Mark 1:35, Luke 6:12). Facing the cross, he did so in prayer (Matt. 26:36-44). When he could have been constantly ‘doing good’ to others, our Lord saw the importance of finding a quiet place to spend time with his Father and he encourages us to do so too. Why not take another small step and reflect on our Lord and the times he spent with his Father?
Reflect on the psalms
The Bible encourages us to listen to God speaking to us (Matt. 11:28-30) but how can we if we’re feeling low, overwhelmed with life and out of touch with God? The psalmists also knew highs and lows, and a wonderful place to start is to pray through the Psalms. They direct our thoughts heavenward to our great God. The psalmists remind themselves of how faithful God has been to them in the past and they affirm their trust in him for the future. They are not afraid to acknowledge their guilt and failings, to cry for forgiveness, and to pour out their needs before the One who knows all things.
Why not take another small step and pray through your favourite psalm, making it your own, as you spend time in his presence?
Remember he loves you, you are his child. He waits for you. Come to him again!
Next in this series: Worshipping In A Foreign Language »