Making time for God

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Quiet Time, oh how I had hated quiet time so very much when I first started doing it.  For those of you who are unfamiliar as to what quiet time is, it’s basically time you spend alone with God.  As an extrovert the idea of spending an entire hour of my day alone praying and reading the bible felt like complete torture.

I love being a part of group discussions, being around people and sharing ideas- but being alone?  No, thank you.  Because being alone means spending time with me and God.  Just the two of us together with nothing else to really distract me from his presence.  All of a sudden those early mornings I would dedicate to God would be interrupted because my bed looked extra comfy.

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It wasn’t until I listened to a Francis Chan Sermon earlier a few days ago that it dawned on me why I hated quiet time so very much.  Quiet time requires me to spend time with God alone and God sees right through me.  I can very well fool everyone I come in contact with on a daily basis; I can even fool myself.  But the one person who sees right through me is God.

That’s so intimidating!  The entire creator of the universe wants to spend time with us!  He knows our innermost thoughts and can see right through every word that we speak.  I remember a friend of mine asked me when was the last time I spent just immersed in God’s presence; I had no good answer to give.  The problem lies in the fact that at the end of the day I didn’t want to spend time in God’s presence.  I wasn’t hungering after him in a way that made me want to spend time with him.

I remember back when I was younger I would spend time in church and our pastor would tell us how important it was to read the bible daily.  My parents sounded like a broken rec93871973452541836_XQzdnpvm_c was ridiculous.  I lacked a personal relationship with God and the extent of my relationship to my father lasted for 3 hours on Sunday mornings.

It was because I didn’t really want to know God that I failed to realize the importance in pursuing him and spending time with him.  The thing is that when we start really developing meaningful relationships with people- we want to spend time with them.  It’s not a chore and it shouldn’t feel like work.  When you like being around someone, you will make time for him or her.  Why can’t the same go for our relationship with God?

When I think about quiet time the first bible character that comes to mind is Daniel.  For those of you who may not know why Daniel was, he was a bad a$$!  When he was in the king’s presence and expected to eat the King’s food- he didn’t.  He only ate things that were pleasing to God and he was actually healthier and plumper than everyone else around him.  It’s kind of funny that being “plump” was seen as such a positive back then!

But back on topic, I want to specifically look at Daniel in the lion’s den though.  A decree was published saying that no one would be allowed to pray to anyone other than the king.  But, how did Daniel, someone so passionate and in love with God respond to this?

In Daniel 6:10 it reads, “…when Daniel learned that the decree had been published, he went home to his upstairs room where the windows opened toward Jerusalem. Three times a day he got down on his knees and prayed, giving thanks to his God, just as he had done before.”

He didn’t stop praying to God just because other people told him that he was not allowed to.  In fact he prayed with his window opened, because he was unashamed of his beliefs.  He knew his relationship with God and he knew that God was much more powerful than the King who told him not to pray.  What I find so funny and even a little bit sad is the fact that if this had happened to me today, I probably wouldn’t have even notice the decree at first.  Sometimes I don’t pray when I am encouraged, how I can pray knowing that I will be persecuted for doing so?

We need to become the Daniels of our generation.  We need to be so passionate and in love with God that we are confident of him and what we believe in.   And the only way we can achieve this is by making time daily for God in our lives.

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Love is no joke

I’ve heard the word love thrown around so carelessly far too often.  But I doubt that this would be the case if we started to realize what it actually meant to love, and what the definition of love actually means.  I just finished watching a video on YouTube from the “Desiring God” Conference featuring Francis Chan.

He spoke about the love that Christ has for us, this kind of love that is sacrificial.  I couldn’t help but think that most of the time when I see this so called thing called “love”, it’s so selfish.  We think we’re in love with someone and suddenly our need and desire to be with them outweighs their wants.  We are selfish.

But the love of God isn’t supposed to be like that, not at all.  The love of God places a burden on our hearts where we genuinely care about the people around us.  Not for social networking or for the ways in which they can benefit us, but just because we love.
1 Corinthians 13 teaches of the importance of love.  Can we really understand that without love we are nothing?  That or acts and our works amount to nothing.

So when I see the word love thrown around, or when a friend causally says that they love me.  I think, do they know what it really means to love?  Do they know how great it is to truly love like Christ loves?  And how much you sacrifice in loving in this capacity?  It is nothing to laugh about and I pray they take it seriously.  Because I didn’t.  I thought love was just feeling or a liking towards someone.

No, love is sacrifice and when you look at the father it is perfectly exemplified through his blood.  That’s what it means to love.

Yet another thing we need to be aware of is the meaning of the opposite of love.  I realized it first from a video from BlimeyCow on Youtube.  The opposite of love is not hate.  Nor is it indifference.  The opposite of love is fear.  Fear is crippling, fear is limiting and fear is… well kinda scary.  But perfect love casts out ALL fear.

I want to learn what it actually means to love in my life.  I want to learn what it means to have a burden for the people around me.  To weep for their salvation and love in a way so selflessly.

To this day I think of something my friend told me when we were about to lead a GIG together (Groups Investigating God, small group for nonbelievers or different faiths to come together and learn about God).  She told me that I had to love the people in our GIG,and I replied by saying “oh yeah, I’ll care about them”, and I was so shocked by the way she responded, “No you have to love them, really love them.”  I felt so touched by this kind of love that loves without requirements or quotas.  The kind of love of Christ.

Please, love.  love knowing the severity of this action, love sincerely and fully, as I pray to learn how to love.