I’ve learned that you have to intentionally train yourself to stop reaching for your smartphone every five minutes, stop thinking about all the details you normally are multi-tasking during the day, stop rushing into new topics in your mind, and slow down to spend time with God and your family. That’s the only way to go deep with the “Great Deep,” as some ministry leaders call our Lord.
Jesus often went away to spend quiet time with our heavenly Father to re-energize, refresh and renew.
In the New Testament, Jesus spent time alone with the Father many times as described in these scripture passages: Matthew 14:13, Mark 1:35, Mark 6:45-46, Mark 14:32-34, Luke 4:42, Luke 5:16, Luke 6:12, Luke 9:18 and John 6:15.
Jesus actually instructed us to pray to God alone at times:
“When you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.” (Matthew 6:6)
In the Old Testament, we see many stories where God calls His prophets to come to Him alone. Moses met with God alone at the burning bush and then on Mt. Sinai. David, whose many psalms reflect a confident familiarity with God, communed with Him while on the run from Saul (Psalm 57). God’s presence passed by when Elijah was alone in a cave. In our SIU Bridges training events, our indigenous partners tell and retell these stories found in the Old and New Testaments, which remind us of how much our God desires for us to spend time with Him. The concept of a God who pursues us is very different from Muslim, Hindi, and Buddhist teaching, which makes these stories so very powerful.
As my recent family vacation progressed,
I found more and more of those incredible, inspiring moments with the Lord where He finally revealed new insights and promises to me by going deep with Him in the quiet times of the morning and evenings. The Lord reminded me of my unique gifts and talents, and new ways I could maximize them in my short time on this earth. I also found myself slowing down and having special discovery moments with my wife, my best friend, and our children during quality time with each of them.
How are you taking time to refresh and renew? Are you spending time with the Lord and your family? What is keeping you from making this commitment?
I’m interested in hearing from you and what these questions mean to you.