Communion with God is the blessed privilege of every true believer. Bought with the precious blood of our Saviour, we have been adopted into the family of God. As His beloved children, we have the joy and blessing of drawing nigh unto His throne of grace.
“What honour can exceed that of being admitted into the presence-chamber of the King of kings – of holding converse with Him, whom angels worship, and before whom devils tremble!” (J R Miller). Sadly, however, we often fail in this vital area of our spiritual life.
Miller rightly observed: “Every true Christian life needs its daily ‘silent times,’ when all shall be still, when the busy activity of other hours shall cease, and when the heart, in holy hush, shall commune with God. One of the greatest needs in Christian life in these days is more devotion. Ours is not an age of prayer so much as an age of work. The tendency is to action rather than to worship, to busy toil rather than to quiet sitting at the Saviour’s feet to commune with Him.”
How true it is that “one of the greatest needs in Christian life in these days is more devotion.” No one knows how much time we spend with the Lord each day; it is a secret matter between the Lord and us. It is therefore easy to leave the Lord out of our day when we are busy with work or other commitments. For some of us, the only time we think of the Lord is when we are faced with a problem we cannot solve. Then in desperation, we cry out for His help. If this is our tendency, then it is high time we take stock of our priorities.
If we neglect our personal time with the Lord, then we need to ask ourselves whether we love Him in the first place. Couples in love do not need to be coerced into spending time together. Each has a deep desire to relate with his or her beloved. Even when separated by life’s daily demands, each one seeks the company of the other. We should commune with our Lord in like manner – out of our love for Him: “We love him, because he first loved us” (I Jn 4: 19). Because we have experienced God’s love, we love Him in return and delight to be in His presence where we “find grace to help in time of need” (Heb 4: 16).
o A safe haven
Indeed, the mercy-seat is the Christian’s safe haven where nothing earthly can assail. Here, the child of God can enjoy His presence, peace and rest. Before the Father’s throne, “troubles would not find him, for he should be hid in secret; there troubles would not reach him, for he should be set on high” (Matthew Henry). Deep truths from God’s Word are brought to mind to comfort and sustain the believer in the midst of life’s perplexities.
Communion with the Lord is the cure for every trouble, be it big or small. What a precious truth! Indeed, when we spend time with the Lord, He lightens our weight of sorrows and shields us from worldly snares and temptations.
The psalmist David wrote of the blessings of his unbroken communion with God: “How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them! If I should count them, they are more in number than the sand: when I awake, I am still with thee” (Ps 139: 17-18).
“Thy thoughts of love are so many that my mind never gets away from them, they surround me at all hours. I go to my bed, and God is my last thought; and when I wake I find my mind still hovering about His palace gates; God is ever with me, and I am ever with Him. This is life indeed. If during sleep my mind wanders away into dreams, yet it only wanders upon holy ground, and the moment I wake my heart is back with its Lord” (Treasury of David).
o A delightful exercise
Our gracious Lord invites His children to draw nigh to Him. King David marvelled at God’s desire for fellowship with him: “When thou saidst, ‘Seek ye my face;’ my heart said unto thee, ‘Thy face, O LORD, will I seek’” (Ps 27: 8). It was a joy for him to commune with the Lord. He yearned to be in the presence of God all the days of his life: “One thing have I desired of the LORD, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD, and to enquire in his temple. 5 For in the time of trouble he shall hide me in his pavilion: in the secret of his tabernacle shall he hide me; he shall set me up upon a rock” (Ps 27: 4-5).
Brethen, what about ourselves? Do we emulate the psalmist in his desire for God’s presence? Do we find communing with the Lord a delightful exercise or a burdensome duty? May the Lord search our hearts and grant us the desire to draw nigh to Him. (… to be continued)