Last week Selena talked about healing, and about the power of agreement in prayer. Agreeing together is one of the fundamental elements of our belief. The Bible says to be saved you have to believe in Jesus Christ. (Roman?s 10:8-10) By confessing our faith in the fact that Jesus was raised from the dead, and that he died for our sins we agree with the ultimate plan of God and we benefit from Salvation.?
In every relationship, we have to agree to terms. Think about your best friend. When you first met them did you instantly click? Did you immediately tell them all of your darkest secrets, and deepest hopes, and your most secret dreams? Probably not. You first had to agree to spend time with them and later you had to agree to trust them. This wasn?t agreement in a formal sense, you most likely didn?t sign any formal documentation to agree to be their friend and have their trust, this agreement was built through relationship. Just like your earthly friends our relationship with Christ is built on the time we have shared with him.
Why is it so important to have a relationship with Christ?
Spending time with Christ can often feel like an abstract notion. How do I spend time with someone who isn?t physically there? The traditional answers are to pray and spend time in worship. Those options are wonderful and necessary but are oh-so-easy to forget about. I know personally the radio in my car isn?t programmed to Christian music, and after a hard day of working my first thought isn?t that I want to be locked away from my husband in a prayer closet.
But still, to be effective Christians we should be attuned to the heart of God. We should know his likes and his dislikes, what makes his heart melt and what makes him crinkle his nose in disgust. As I mentioned before you wouldn?t know how much you loved your best friend if you hadn?t agreed to spend time with them. I can see something in a store that my best friend would love and snap a photo to text to her and when she responds she is gushing about whatever the item is. I can do this because I know her heart. This relationship is so important because when I?m having hardships in my life I can turn to this same friend and know that they?ll support me and do everything they can to make my hardship easier to carry.
Christ wants this same relationship with us.
How can you spend time with Christ and grow your relationship?
I know earlier I listed prayer as one of the traditional methods which often get overlooked but Prayer is essential. Prayer is our direct conversation with God. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 gives us a perfect example as to how our prayer life can be kept from being stale. It indicates prayer isn?t just for private quiet times it?s for every moment we are with God.? It is important for us to know when to go into our prayer closets and shut out the outside world for guidance, but a daily and conversational prayer life is essential to be able to hear from God. The next time you catch your self having an internal dialogue with yourself direct those thoughts to God and listen, You?ll be surprised what he might say to you.
Just as important as it is to pray is the importance of LISTENING. Listening can often be harder than praying and oftentimes requires more focus. When I was about 20 years old I was having coffee with a classmate at the school I went to in Spain. She asked me a few questions and I prattled on four probably thirty minutes before I realized she hadn?t said a word. I was so embarrassed. How had I not realized she wasn?t talking also? Because I wasn?t listening, I was more concerned with what and how I said what I wanted that I didn?t even consider her. Proverbs 3:5 – 10 tells that it is wiser to listen than to speak. Pro-Tip, in your next conversation with a flesh and blood person, try listening to them without thinking of how you?re going to respond. Listen 100% to hear them and their heart. It?s amazing how much of a conversation you miss thinking of how you should respond to your conversational partner. The same applies to God. When waiting on your answers or for guidance, sit, and stop thinking of how you?re going to respond, let God speak, it?s amazing what he?ll say when you?re not butting in.
- Be alone with God
When people in the Bible were close with God one thing they had in common was that the went into the wilderness, or were sometimes chased away into solitude. They went to a place where they not distracted by political unrest, from famine, or from society?s expectations. (Read the stories of Elijah, David, John the Baptist, and Moses) God wants to have a relationship with us and spending time alone with him is integral to this. The next time you?re alone try turning off the TV, putting down your book (even your Bible) and listening. We serve a now God, who desires to speak with us if only we?ll listen.