Do you want to be like Abraham--close to God, and blessed in your life? Then begin now to set aside time to be with God. Here's what that involves:
- The Word of God
A childlike approach. Spending time alone with God is simple. God is good, and He wants to have relationship with us. In fact, He has taken the initiative. We should not be discouraged from pursuing what He so longs to give us.
Jesus Himself told us, "'Seek, and you shall find'" (Matt. 7:7). James 4:8 says, "Draw near to God and He will draw near to you."
A time commitment. We need to set aside time to be alone with God on a regular basis. Whether early or late, it is best to make it around the same time each day so that we will develop a habit and begin to look forward to it with anticipation.
A choice. This has nothing to do with personality or whether you are a morning person or a night person. But it has everything to do with choosing your priority. Mary chose the better part by sitting at Jesus' feet and listening to Him (see Luke 10:39-42). However, it is not a question of spending time with the Lord or doing the work of ministry. We can--and must--do both.
Focus. Even when we are set apart in a quiet place to spend time with God, we can have difficulty maintaining our focus. Because of the busyness we are accustomed to, with so many things going on at once, our minds are unused to concentrating on God alone and on His Word. We will have to practice regaining our focus regularly until it becomes second nature to us.
The Word of God. Studying God's Word is essential to our growth as Christians. The Bible says, "Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God" (Rom.12:2).
The way we renew our minds is through the Word. It is a lamp to our feet and a light to our path (see Ps.119:105), helping us to discern God's plans for us, understand His nature and overcome the enemy. When Jesus was tempted He didn't fight the devil with emotions or positive thinking, but by quoting to him the Word of God.
Obedience. Why did God tell Moses not to draw near to Him? (See Ex. 3:5.) It was because the place of His presence is holy ground. If you seek the Lord and yet are unwilling to stop sinning, you will not find Him because you are seeking Him in a place where He is not. But if you sincerely forsake your sins and draw near to Him, you will surely find Him.
God is not distant, and He does not want us to worship Him from afar. He wants us to draw near to Him in intimacy so that He can have fellowship with us and reveal Himself to us. But it's up to us to respond. When we do, we will find in His presence "pleasures forevermore" (Ps. 16:11).