It happens often, miscommunication. Even though I consider myself an effective communicator, our son Thomas misunderstood a point I was trying to make recently. I had attempted to explain the extreme benefits of having a daily time with God.
The first mistake I made was to suggest a time frame of about 15 minutes as a good place to start. Then I talked about having that daily time built into his morning routine preferably first thing in the morning when he wakes up. He took the conversation to mean that I was saying….”You have to do at least 15 minutes of quiet time per day and you have to do it first thing in the morning.”
What he heard was a bunch of rules filled with do’s and don’ts! (legalism) That was NOT my point at all. Of course no where in scripture does it say you have to have a daily quiet time at a certain time of day for a certain length of time. Nor does it say you must do it every day, BUT over and over in scripture it teaches us:
>To pray continually. I Thessalonians 5:17, “Pray without ceasing.”
>To know the “Shepherd”, to listen to “His” voice. John 10:3-4, “The sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes before them, and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice.”
>To seek Him and know Him with all your heart. Psalm 119:2, “Blessed are those who keep his testimonies, who seek him with their whole heart.”
>That those who earnestly seek Him, He rewards. Hebrews 11:6, “And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.”
What I wanted him to hear was not a bunch of rules but that first of all, “You can’t give what you don’t have!” If you don’t feed on Jesus and His Word first thing in the morning, but instead choose to run out the door without first seeking Him, praying and reading scripture, chances are…….you might not have all that God has for you.
When you are gone all day and haven’t taken the time to get quiet before the Lord, you certainly can’t give what you didn’t take the time to get. God has the helicopter and future view, the GPS. Why in the world would we want to run out the door of our home and start our day when we could have taken the time to seek an all-knowing, loving God who is waiting to give us divine direction?
After I realized, from Thomas’ abrupt pushback from my original comments, that my communication had not been clear, I chose to do what Jesus did and make an analogy. So…..I will ask in advance for you to forgive my less than “ladylike” analogy but it is a good one nonetheless…so I am going to use it…
I asked Thomas what was the first thing he does in the morning after he wakes up…..he thought for a minute… and said….”I go pee!”
I said, “Exactly. Why?”
Thomas said, “Because I have to, or I will pee on myself!”
So I said, “So the urge to pee is so great that it propels you out of bed before you do anything else?”
He said, “Yes!”
I posed the question to him, “What if you woke up with the same significant urge every morning to pray, seek God and read His Word? An urge so great that it propelled you to meet with Jesus first and foremost.”
The next question I posed to him was this, “If you meet a girl and you become extremely interested in her, would you need to spend a good bit of time with her to get to know her and build a relationship with her?”
He said, “Yes, if I liked her and was interested in her!”
I said, “Well, if you want to build a significant relationship with Jesus, it requires time. Time by yourself with Him. Just like getting to know someone you are interested in, a group date is good, but one-on-one allows the relationship to grow and for communication to not get mixed in with others. It can provide an intimate sharing and conversation that usually doesn’t happen in a group.”
He agreed. I also pointed out, no one except God knows what a day holds. So why in the world would we not want to check in with the One who knows all and sees all and can do all things?
Those were the simple points I was trying to make–to build a significant and meaningful relationship with someone requires time, one-on-one time, and sharing and communicating. The other point I was desperately trying to communicate was one that I have learned from 43 years of being a Christian. If you don’t start the day right off the bat with Jesus, chances are it might get squeezed out. Satan’s plan for Christians for sure…. also, from experience, I have gained understanding of the vital importance of a personal relationship with Jesus…no one can have that relationship for me….I have to establish it myself.
If that relationship building doesn’t happen in the morning, before my day begins, then I miss major opportunities for direction from God for my day. I certainly am not in the right mindset nor have I been filled so that others can see Jesus in me.
Naturally, everyone is in a different season of life. Like the season when a newborn can’t stop crying until they are fed. You can’t focus all that well on hearing God with crying in the background. Some things, urgent things, for a season, may have to come before a daily quiet time…..defining urgent is KEY!
Is checking social media key?
Or your texts?
Or reading the newspaper?
You get what I am saying…..we all need to define “urgent” and develop the “urge” to meet with God….for me, it took a “dark period,” a very dark period, in my life for me to realize….I got to that darkness one day at a time. Allowing the “strong Urge” I once had to meet with Jesus to be taken over by stronger “worldly urges”. Like I said…you fill in the blank on ……what urge propels you.
Like all parents who love their kids….you find you want to save your kids from your own personal mistakes. That is where I found myself in a conversation with Thomas. While he is living at home for a little while, I desperately want him to have what I have and to not do what I have done……I encourage you in the same way in which I was trying to influence our middle son……a personal quiet time with Jesus every morning, before any “worldly” urges, can bring the “rewards to those who earnestly seek Him” that is talked about in Hebrews 11:6.
Two questions to ponder today: What is urgent in your life right now? What urge propels you into action?