What’s your routine when it comes to spending time with God? Do you fire off a list of wants and desires? Or do you sit, relate with God, and enjoy a conversation with Him?
Understandably, in today’s culture of texting, e-mailing, facetime and Facebook, relating is foreign. Besides life is busy and taking time to sit and have a conversation with anyone is difficult and very time-consuming, let alone with someone you can’t see—such as God.
About a decade ago, God began to move me in the direction of relating and conversing with Him instead of just asking Him to do something for me.
I’m a very visual person and when God speaks to me I often see (in a vision) what He is trying to say to me. I love this form of communication that we have, because it makes it easier to not forget what He says.
Following are two instances (the writings taken from my book) of when God spoke to me, regarding spending time with Him. These visions are forever burned in my memory and hold a special place in my heart.
When life gets busy or when stress causes me to want to just ask God, instead of relate with Him, I recall these visions and settle into God’s peace. My hope is that they will become the thing you remember and go back to, when you’re tempted to hurry and worry your prayers to God.
When the Lord so graciously gave me these visions I was in a season of getting to know Him as Father, Spouse and Friend. He was moving me out of thinking of Him as this big, ominous Wizard of OZ kind of God.
If you suffer from not being able to relate to God because He seems unreachable and aloof, I challenge you to move into a new direction in your relationship with Him. But remember, anything of remaining value, does not happen overnight. Push through—it’s worth it!
Caution: (for some) God will call your bluff—if you’re just trying to move into relating to Him because you want to ask without guilt—it will take longer. God desires we get close to Him for no other reason than to have a relationship with Him.
The following are excerpts from my book Thirsty Heart.
Taken from the chapter; Entering God’s Rest:
This concept for some may take a paradigm shift in thinking. I remember the first time God brought this concept to my attention. I was in the beginning stages of learning to know Jesus as my Bridegroom. The Holy Spirit would wake me in the middle of the night and I would spend hours just worshiping and loving Him. I began to feel worried and anxious that I wasn’t spending enough time in intercession praying for specific needs. My Bible Study teacher and I were talking about this and her words spoke peace to my heart. She reminded me that it is in the place of intimacy with Jesus that our deepest desires are heard. They are met by God’s heart of love and adoration for us. During this intense period of my life, I would listen to a CD that played songs with the lyrics from the book of Song of Solomon. One of the songs quoted the scripture from Song of Solomon 8:5, “Who is this coming up from the wilderness leaning on her beloved?” I was singing this song and pictured myself coming up from the wilderness, completely dependent on Him, leaning on Jesus. As He and I walked over the hills, to the side of us I noticed the cross which was surrounded by a beautiful well-kept flower garden. We walked on and in my concern I asked Him, “How can I spend so much of my prayer time not praying; there are so many needs I should be praying for?”
He asked me if I remembered seeing the cross.
I responded, “Yes.”
“Do you remember the garden surrounding it?”
“Those flowers are your prayers.”
The flowers were my prayers, but I never planted them. The Lord was telling me He knew my heart. When I spend time with Him, I leave all the concerns of my heart (prayers) at the cross, where He plants and tends to them. He will water, apply the fertilizer, pull the weeds and fend off the insects. I did not have to panic and beg God, but simply hide and rest in Him. The well-watered garden of flowers were my children flourishing at the cross, stretching toward heaven, drinking in the Son, bathing in the light of the resurrection. They were the prayers for my marriage, all my struggles, hopes and dreams, laid down to God in this quiet, secret place. They were God’s to do what He desired with them.
The next quotation is taken from the chapter; The Father Issue:
One morning while praying, I saw myself outside a beautiful castle where royalty lived. I was among many people, all who were peasants. I was dressed as they were in an old, dirty, torn dress. I was waving a white paper at the King who lived inside. On the paper was a list of demands (prayers) that I wanted the King to answer. I was begging the King to do something for me.
Jesus, the King’s Son came out and took me inside. He gently explained that I was not a peasant. I was royalty—I was family—reminding me it’s about relationship—not answered prayers.
I could walk the halls of the King’s house, hand in hand with Him. Conversing and relating with Him regularly, whenever I had a need all I had to do was turn to Him and simply ask. Then rely on His faithfulness, finding my peace in His trustworthiness, allowing His will to be done—no worrying, no begging, just resting in relationship.
There is nothing wrong with asking God for anything, after all, everything we have comes from Him. We have to remember God is not a genie who does not require relationship—on the contrary—relationship with God must be our foundation.
Essentially, just asking God, is void of relationship. Although we live in a non-communicative culture, we do not have to get caught up in it, especially where God is concerned. We cannot text, facetime, e-mail or Facebook God—no, we have to spend actual face to face, heart to heart time in relationship with Him.
I hope this helps you move out of just asking, and into conversing and relating to Him.
Please be encouraged to press this issue in your life—what lays ahead, is relationship with our loving God.
When You said, “Seek My face,” my heart said to You, “Your face, Lord, I will seek.” Psalm 27:8