Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Guest blog: Are you surprised? (Part 2)

If you haven't already done so, please read part 1 of Thea's guest blog so that you can get a full picture of the great ideas she's sharing with us. Join us for the concluding part tomorrow. Oh yeah, show Thea some love and leave a comment!


When I consider seeking God to know Him and not with some other motive in mind, it feels less daunting than “getting in my devos today.” That happens by default when you truly seek Him anyway. How have I fallen in the "weight loss rut" with God, making time with Him seem like drudgery sometimes? It’s like starting a diet "That’s it, Monday I'm getting up early and reading my Bible!" doesn’t happen… "Ok... for real this time... I'm going to have prayer in the morning before everyone else is up." Snooze button got the best of you… "Ok...so mornings don't work for me...let's try evenings!!" How is it that seeking Him has again become…all about me in this scenario? I never intend it to be about me but when my schedule is what determines when I talk to God then it's certainly about me. Believe me - if my husband started to “pencil me in” for time alone with him… I’d be broken hearted. It would devalue so much about who I am to him and my confidence in his love for me... but... we treat God that way all the time.

So, to make up for it, I justify and overanalyze... I've heard all the arguments before and have even made them myself. “Feeling this way isn't what grace is about... that’s the 'law'” or “I shouldn't be trying so hard... God just wants whatever I can offer him” or maybe even “Why have a dedicated time of prayer!? I just can’t keep up... screw it - I'll just get to it when I can.” And so begins the vicious cycle of vain effort...guilt...and justification. We do it to ourselves and so easily fall prey to an elementary trick of the enemy!! The crazy thing is... God has never required a specific time of prayer but has simply asked us to devote ourselves to Him wholly… to love Him most. Yet, we take the time to invent requirements for faith and being “good enough” (which, incidentally takes a lot more energy than devoting myself to Him in my estimation).

It's like Paul says... “...Not that I have attained all this... but instead, I press on toward the goal....” Having an understanding of what God requires of us, or asks of us and not being perfect at it isn’t wrong. Having an understanding of what He requires of us and conforming it to fit our own needs first, that qualifies for being wrong. It's a relationship... a lifelong process... not something to be figured out over night. So, how do you do it? How do you seek God... know Him... and not fall prey to Satan's simplest of schemes that weigh down the joy of spending time alone with the Lord? I’m open to suggestions….

6 comments:

fearfullymade said...

Hi Thea! Don't really have any answers for your questions, just a few thoughts. I wonder why being wholly devoted to God and devotional or "quiet times" are so closely connected in our minds? Like a good Christian who loves God quite a bit will spend 30 mins in the word and prayer but a really good Christian who really loves God will spend a whole hour! It seems like it's one of the things we use to judge how well we're doing spiritually. But then Muslims manage to pray 5 times a day, so why do we find it so hard? Or is maybe God after something more radical and life-changing?

Joey said...

For me, it's realizing that ALL of my time is God's. "In ALL things glorify Him". That immediately turns the hum-drum of the day into worship. Yes, we do "need" concentrated quiet time in the Word and prayer but when I do something as offering a helping hand realizing I'm glorifying Him, WOW! I'm so glad the Bible doesn't tell us how much time Jesus prayed (other than all night!). We would be so legalistic about it...

Thea said...

Good thoughts...that's where my mind has been with this blog. The funny thing is, there are times in worship or prayer when an hour blasts by and I don't realize it (those times are rare to tell the truth) but there are also times when, in 15 minutes, I have the deepest revelation from the Lord and His word...it seems those times happen when I'm in constant communication with him and not comparing myself to others. I believe Proverbs says "you are not wise when you compare yourselves" It seems to boil down to being a heart thing...perspective and intent??

Hope said...

Oh Thea! So very true. I know from experience that when I wake up and fall asleep with the Lord all the stuff in between is palatable but alas, I too - from time to time - hit the snooze button and I'm always sorry. But I've also learned that tomorrow is a new day and these little moments happen less and less frequently. I try and live by this motto: time isn't something you have it's something you make. :)

Ms Harkins said...

This blog, as usual, brings food for thought and I am glad I daily visit it.

Thea, I don´t pray very often. However, I talk to Him whenever there is something I want to thank Him for, or to ask for his help (not only to myself but to others as well). I dont believe in ready made prayers, but I do believe in sincere words that come from your heart and soul.

Thea said...

ms harkins - thanks for your comments...I guess what you call "talking to Him" I call prayer...conversing with God. I don't know enough written prayers to keep my prayer life alive if that's all I said to the Lord! :)

hope - thank goodness tomorrow is a new day...it's when "tomorrow is a new day" is what I say EVERY DAY that it becomes problematic!! Your outlook is refreshing!