The other day I was in a flustered, frustrated mood, as I hurriedly got ready to leave for work. Daddy had to drop me off about an hour and a half early, and I had planned to use that time to use the Internet, but because I had gotten in bed so late, I had the hardest time getting up and had had no decent time to do my devotions. I had haphazardly glanced over the passage of Scripture designated to read that day, but it wasn’t an in-depth quiet time, one-on-one with my Jesus. So I told my dad that I planned on using the extra hour for my devotions instead of the internet, because I hadn’t had time to do them at home, but I had to do them. He understood, and I went out to the car and waited for him there. He came out a few moments later, and as he climbed into his work van he posed the question:
“You have to do your devotions, or you get to do them?”
He looked at me with a knowing smile. I shot him back a “oh come on Dad!” smile back, but on the way to work, I had time to ponder that question.
I get to do my devotions~ I own my own Bible (…actually, I own several…)~ I get to read that Bible every day~ I get to spend time with the Almighty Creator of the universe…every day ~ I get to talk to a King—the King of kings—every day~ I get to spend time, listening to the God of all, without fear that He could strike me dead at His random fancy~ I have the privilege of spending time with Him, my Captain, my Prince!
And here’s the awesome part: the King of all kings, the Creator of the ends of the Earth, the Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End—he wants me to spend time with me! He wants me to tell Him everything, to hear me! He looks forward to those quiet moments I spend in His Word and in prayer! He isn’t angry with me or ready to smite me dead when I miss that time with Him, although it grieves Him to be sure! L No! He loves me! And the same is true for you, dear sister!
He loves you and me so much! He has given us all the privileges that I mentioned above! We don’t have to hide under our bed to read that Bible! We don’t have to constantly live in fear of being imprisoned or killed in order to read it, as so many of our brothers and sisters on foreign soil do! L
But neither to we need to live in mortal dread that if we don’t spend time with Him in a perfect manner, at an exact time, or in an exact pattern, that he will be angry at us. I often fear that I’m going to offend God; that if I don’t do something right, He will shut me off from Himself… won’t listen to my prayers, or won’t answer them… that He’ll punish me… that He becomes angry. L I know that this thought process is wrong (again, there’s that annoying “head knowledge” thing!!), but it’s my fleshly inclination to do so!!! (And even as I write that, I realize that that is no excuse to continue doing it! lol) But what I mean by that is, that it comes naturally! And it is so normal, that I don’t immediately recognize it, and even if I do, it still feels more right to me. Perhaps I’m not alone in feeling this way? J Last evening on the way home from work, my dad asked me what was on my mind because he could tell something was bothering me. That’s the way Jesus is. He wants to know your fears, confusion, even your outrage. He also wants to know your joys and praise! As I explained to my dad what had been troubling me, in a calm, gentle fashion, he reassured me of what really was true as opposed to I was feeling. He encouraged me. Strengthened me. Took a load off of my mind.
And that is also what Jesus does!! He doesn’t only allow you, a sinner, to spend time with Him and in His ultimate, holy presence; he invites you to spend time with Him! (Song of Solomon 2:13) (Song of Solomon 7:11) (Psalms 45:10) (Proverbs 9:6) (Jeremiah 33:3) (Matthew 11:28-30) In a calm, gentle fashion, He will reassure you of what is really true (John 17:17) (Romans 3:4) (2nd Corinthians 1:18) as opposed to what you are feeling, as you read His Word~~ His Love Letter to you! He will encourage you and guide you! He will strengthen you! (Psalms 138:3) He will take the load off of your mind! Matthew 11:28-30 “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” You have obtained favor in the sight of God (the same way Esther and Mary of Nazareth!) through salvation. But unlike Ester, “we do not have to fear approaching the King of Heaven. Our God is pictured as a King who invites His people to come before Him with our petitions. We come boldly before God’s throne, not with the sense of having to overcome fear, but rather boldly with the sense that God will answer out prayers! …Our God never tires of being “bothered” with out requests. He desires that we plead our cause and petitions before Him. Best of all, He never rejects our prayers!” (Taken from “Navigating Through the Bible” devotionals that our youth pastor makes up every month; emphasis mine)
I’m not sure if this will encourage any of you, but I hope and pray that it does. I wrote a very similar post, but was either Provedentially hindered or hindered by the enemy, from posting it, so in rewriting it, it has taken a turn. :)
Remember, spending time with the Lord each day is an honor, a sacred privilege. Don’t feel tied down to it (either by duress or guilt!), look forward to it…He does!!
What a privilege to come into God's presence,
Just to linger with the one who set me free.
As I lift my eyes and see His awesome glory,
I remember who He is and bow the knee.
In His hand He holds the power of creation.
With His voice He spoke and all things came to be.
Yet He hears each simple prayer I bring before Him
When I humbly seek His face and bow the knee.
Bow the knee! Bow the knee!
He is king of all the ages
Bow the knee!
God alone on His throne,
See Him high and lifted up and bow the knee!
Kneel before Him
All adore Him
As you live to love Him more, bow the knee.
(Bow the Knee; Majesty Music)