In a Relationship

I have been in the church all my life.  I accepted Jesus as my savior at 9.  I spent two years on the mission field.  I know this gig.

You’d think the sermons would get old, the words would get stale.  But more often than not, it’s brand new, a revelation.

Today was another of those.

We, as a church, are working our way through the entire Bible during a 2 year period.  Today we were in Second Chronicles, chapters 5-7.

Solomon has built an amazing, awe inspiring temple for the Lord.  He, knowing he’s a servant king, in service to the one true King, has built himself a very small platform, in relation to the rest of the temple, to speak and pray from.

Solomon stands on this platform, opposite the Holy of Holies, and prays.  In his prayer, he comes to God with humility.  He asks God to please listen, forgive and heal the people.

God responds, I am here, my house is a house of sacrifice and I am listening and looking for my people.

He is looking for us.  He is looking for relationship.  He doesn’t want to be our sugar daddy, He wants to be in relationship with us.

He wants prayers from us, but not always what we want, need, desire for him to do for us.  And that my friends, is what I don’t know how to do.  I have no idea how to just sit with Jesus.  I have no idea how to get to know Him.  I have not a clue how to pray without asking for stuff.  I simply don’t know how.

I’ve heard these ideas, truths before, but today it really hit me, I don’t know how to do that.  It’s not that I don’t want to, I do.  I have spent 34 years of my life learning about God and Jesus.  I spent years going to church camp, which I loved.  I went to youth group every week as well as several youth mission trips and conferences.  I went to a wonderful Christian College, Spring Arbor University.  I did every assignment to the best of my abilities, I sat through every chapel.  I went on the mission field as I was called to do.  I sat under great teaching while there.  And my church now is amazing.  It doesn’t skirt the real issues.  They preach it as it is.  But all that still leaves me not knowing how to sit in relationship, how to worship God without asking, wanting, needing.

The raw truth there, leaves me avoiding church and Bible by being there, but being busy volunteering.  I’m serving.  That’s good, right?  It is, but when I am brutally honest, it’s because there, outside of the preaching, I feel safe.  I don’t hear the hard truths in 3 year olds class.  I don’t have to think about changing my life or truly being known.  It’s safe.

But is that the way it is supposed to be? Is being in relationship ever safe?  Not really.  The beginnings are especially hard.  They are so scary.  You don’t know if the other party is safe.  If letting them in will turn out well.  Relationships are a dance.  Each taking tentative steps.  Relationship with God is different though.  He kind of has the upper hand.  He knew me before I was born.  He knit me together in my mother’s womb.  There are no surprises to Him.

So where does that leave me?  I still don’t know how to sit and commune with someone I can’t audibly hear or see with my natural eyes.  It’s easier to ask Him for things.  It is easier to tell Him what I want or how I feel.  How to turn that corner, how to know Him.  I have no idea.  I’m creeping out of safe and into relationship, but I don’t know what to do next.

Do you?  Do you know how to be in relationship with the Creator of the world, the creator of you?  I’d love to hear your thoughts and feelings on the topic.

 

Survive til you Thrive!

4 Responses to In a Relationship

  1. Listen to the words of all the great modern Christian music, then let those fill your heart. Your mind and your heart start feeling things. These things are God filling you with his love. Never doubt he is always there, in your heart. Good luck, just sit and listen and feel his love. Sometimes that is enough.

  2. This is a great quetsion – a wonderfully honest one. Thank you! This isn’t a quick answer either, but for me, praying through the Scriptures helps me to be sure my own prayer life is focused on Him – picturing Him, absorbing Him, understanding Him. I don’t think I would be able to sit still – quietly listening – and expect to hear anything from the Lord if I wasn’t actively (in that season) immersing myself in the Word as well. My own heart can so easily deceive me. I am ever aware of my desperate need for Him. I don’t think we are ever meant to get beyond that fact – not in this life – or the life to come. Utter dependence is our true freedom. So, I write out prayers of urgency, sorrow, fear, and then I ask Him to open my eyes and then I pray Psalm 139:23-24 and read my “next” passage of Scripture (wherever I happen to be) and He always speaks truth into the deepest, fear-filled corners…”peace, be still”…”I am with you”…”go, and fear not”…or…”wait and rest in Me.”… I hope this gives a window into how I move beyond asking and telling – but don’t think I succeed at this on a daily/weekly (or even monthly!) basis. Life comes in seasons and I’m so thankful that He is present in each one and that He knows me and my vulnerabilities ahead of time and already is there, welcoming me into His presence.

  3. Faith without works is dead, but it’s not by our works of righteousness that we have been saved. I believe that works are a natural manifestation of our faith, but it’s so very easy to get “wrapped up” in the doing, that we lose our focus. That being said, God inhabits the praises of his people. So why not start with thanking God in your prayer life and see what happens?

  4. I feel his presence most deeply when I’m outside. I found it hard to be in a relationship in certain locations. I think it’s because you have to be completely vulnerable, and that terrifies me.

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