Spending time with God
Initially when I set out to write out this piece, I thought it would be about all the wonderful benefits of spending time with God and about how to ensure we spend quality time as well as how we can enjoy spending time with Him. However, I started to realise most of the time the problem is not how to enjoy spending time with God or what happens in the time that we spend with him, but rather getting to the place where we actually get to spend time with Him in the first place.
To be sincerely honest, this is something I often find myself struggling with. There always seems to be something that has to be done here and there or a phone call that absolutely has to be made or a meeting that can’t be rescheduled for any other time or quite simply, exhaustion from all the pressure eventually catches up and you are honestly just too tired to make time for God.
The real questions seems to be: How hard do you fight to spend time with God? After all is said and done and the same legitimate excuses keep contending for your time with your father, the question I ask myself is how much do I really need my father and how hard am I willing to push past all the reasons in order to be with my father.
We all know that the enemy would love nothing more than to drive a barrier between ourselves and the father because he knows that as living, spiritual being’s dependant on God as our source, if we are apart from him, we would eventually cease to be productive and die off, just like plants
John 15:1-8The Message (MSG)
The Vine and the Branches
15 1-3 “I am the Real Vine and my Father is the Farmer. He cuts off every branch of me that doesn’t bear grapes. And every branch that is grape-bearing he prunes back so it will bear even more. You are already pruned back by the message I have spoken.
4 “Live in me. Make your home in me just as I do in you. In the same way that a branch can’t bear grapes by itself but only by being joined to the vine, you can’t bear fruit unless you are joined with me.
5-8 “I am the Vine, you are the branches. When you’re joined with me and I with you, the relation intimate and organic, the harvest is sure to be abundant. Separated, you can’t produce a thing. Anyone who separates from me is deadwood, gathered up and thrown on the bonfire. But if you make yourselves at home with me and my words are at home in you, you can be sure that whatever you ask will be listened to and acted upon. This is how my Father shows who he is—when you produce grapes, when you mature as my disciples.
This past weekend my husband and I finally managed to make time to have an afternoon to ourselves as family with our little boy. It’s something that we would love to do more regularly but in reality the time almost always never seems to be there. We literally had a 3 hour slot in which to make it all happen and thankfully, we did. The weather was gorgeous, there was no traffic on town and we even found a good parking space at a relatively busy shopping centre. At one stage, just before we were about to leave, I thought of cancelling the meal because we only had 3 hours and I still had to get my son dressed and ready. However, something inside me told me “Don’t you dare!” This was going to be some well-needed family time and even if we only got a few hours it was vital for us as a growing unit to able to bond and enjoy each other’s company. Nothing much was said between us, no major topics were discussed but by the end of the afternoon a lovely feeling appreciation and closeness was felt and that was enough.
Why am I sharing this? Because the truth of the matter is that at times in our lives, creating time to spend with God will feel next to impossible but, in those moments how we choose to handle those situations will have a major effect on our personal relationship with him. If we choose to become complacent and nonchalant about the matter; saying a few prayers here and there without any real substance, then like a family that only sees each other in passing or when their schedules happen to coincide, we lose out on getting to know the real ‘them’ and all the benefits that come with fostering a close, tight-knit bond. We become disengaged and disconnected and slowly not before long, we find our emotional and spiritual connection is dying. However, if we choose to fight, if we take a stand that – come what may we are going to carve time out to spend with each other, you will realise that there doesn’t even need to be a prepared agenda, just spending time and being close lets the other know they are loved and appreciated.
3 Beloved, although I was very eager to write to you about our common salvation, I found it necessary to write appealing to you to contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints.
God did not create us to be independent of him. When we pull away from him as the vine, the inevitable happens. Decide today how hard you will fight for your personal time with God your source. If its 10 minutes or an hour, make a conscience decision to stay connected and build on from there, even if it means just sitting there in his presence. God who is faithful will honour your sacrifice and in the end, all the benefits and the enjoyment of spending time with God will become a by-product.
Written by Kemi Essel