It is a peculiar thing about walking in relationship with Holy God. Spending time each day sitting still at His feet, fixing your gaze upon Him, hearing His voice and communicating with Him is so incredibly sweet. Once you get a taste of it, you long for it and miss the times when it cannot happen.
Why is it then a struggle to get there?
If we haven’t yet discovered the tenderness or tapped into the fact that He is our source for all we need, often our thoughts tend to be “there will be plenty of time for that later, I need to do this now”. Funny if we say that about filling our car with gas then we find all too quickly how fast one tank of gas will last (it doesn’t).
I know I am not alone when I admit that I sometimes struggle with spending time daily with Jesus. Even when we have all good intentions of either setting aside the time or not wasting the time we had set aside, we often find ourselves in a place of constant distraction. Anything and everything works against us as we purpose to reach that place of worship, friendship, refreshing, communication, and learning.
Personally I’ve always been stunned by the things my brain is able to conjure and try convincing me is more important in the very moment than worship, prayer, and scripture reading. No one need set obstacles in my way, I am quite capable of doing that all by myself. Yet those of us who have tasted and seen that the Lord is good find ourselves choosing time and again to walk through mud to get to Him each day rather than running down the clear path.
I recently asked the Lord why. Why, when we know all here in comparison is like a candle to the sun at best, why does it remain a constant struggle?
The answer I heard in my spirit is that it is all about choice. He wants us to continually choose Him, so that the unforced rhythms of grace are by choice, not by force. We love Him and desire to know Him by our choice. Even though His will and His plan for our lives far out shines anything we could ever conceive for ourselves, and is rich, full of goodness, and beautiful beyond compare, He will never force it upon us.
Salvation is merely an introduction. When you meet someone for the first time, you may have heard a lot of stories about them but you really don’t know who they are until you make the choice again and again to spend time getting to know them for yourself.
Jesus chose me first and wants to be in continuous relationship with me, but I must now choose Him in response. Purpose over preference. It is up to me to make the disciplined choice of setting time aside for this daily. A friend of mine likes to say “discipline is nothing but a choice”. I say she is right.
“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” – Matthew 11:28-30, The Message