Eighteen years and a couple months ago, the man who is now my husband asked me for a date. I accepted his invitation because he seemed like a nice guy, and I thought it would be fun to get to know him better. (Plus, he was cute!)
We went out to eat at a barbecue restaurant, and we had a great time. When he dropped me off at my dorm (I was a seminary student then), I wondered whether he would ask me out again, and I hoped that he would. He did, and again I accepted. Gradually, as we spent more time together, getting to know each other, we fell in love.
Would we have fallen in love if we never spent any time together? No. We would still have felt attracted to each other, but we wouldn’t have been in love, because you can’t know that you love someone for who he or she is unless you truly know him or her. And getting to know someone takes time.
That’s why many of us aren’t very much in love with Jesus. We can’t love Him unless we know Him; we can’t know Him unless we spend time with Him; and most of us don’t spend much time with Him.
We may go to church regularly, and that’s good. In fact, it’s great. But too often, we go expecting to receive our weekly dose of Jesus rather than looking for Him as we go and expecting to meet Him there.
We may even listen to Christian music, read Christian books occasionally or do other Christian-y things. All these are fine. But we often do them for entertainment rather than because we are intentionally seeking God.
It’s true that God can break through to our hearts any time He wants to. It’s also true that He often uses sermons, books and music to reach out to us. But if we’re not engaging in these things expectantly—if we’re not purposely looking for Jesus in those places—we’re going to miss some, if not most, of what He wants to offer us.
We also tend to neglect two of the most basic means of getting to know God: reading the Bible and praying. Maybe we’re intimidated by the thought of trying to understand the Bible; maybe we don’t know how to pray; maybe we just don’t realize the importance of doing either of these things. Whatever our reason, we virtually ignore some of the primary means of getting to know Jesus.
No wonder we’re not in love with Him. No wonder. It’s because we don’t spend enough time with Him to get to know Him. And without knowing Him, we can’t love Him.
Do you spend much time intentionally seeking Jesus? I can’t tell you exactly how much time to spend; there’s no one “right” amount. But do you consciously set aside time for being with Him and getting to know Him? Do you participate in your Christian activities with the express, intentional purpose of searching for God?
If you don’t, you’re missing out on the incredible, awesome, beyond-belief things that happen when you take time to get to know Him.
You see, spending time in the presence of Jesus is not just some dry exercise in proper Christian practices. Amazing things happen when you spend time getting to know this amazing Person. So the reason you need to evaluate whether you’re spending the kind and amount of time with Jesus that you should is not just so you can make sure you’re doing things “right."
It’s so you can stop missing out on all the glorious benefits that are falling by the wayside because you’re not with Him very often. Oh, if we only knew what profit, what gain, we would receive from spending time with Jesus!
"My heart says of you, 'Seek his face!' Your face, Lord, I will seek" (Ps. 27:8, NIV).
Adapted from Megan Breedlove's blog, Manna for Moms. Megan is an author, blogger and a stay-at-home mom with five children.