Communion with God should be the happy duty of every child of God. Sadly, many Christians find it a burden to draw nigh to the Lord. We give priority to other “more important” pursuits in life and our time with God is set aside. We often say: “I will pray when I have more time.” Such a thought reflects our true values – that we are not concerned about the things of God. No wonder there are so many in our churches whose souls are impoverished! Many are so ensnared with the demands of everyday life that they forget these means of grace that are so freely available to us.
Our real problem lies in the way we order our priorities. Remember, there is enough time in each day for everything that is in the will of God. Some years ago, a speaker at our church camp made this pertinent remark: “If we have no time for God, there is something very wrong with our lives. If we have no time for prayer, we need to re-order our priorities.”
o Blessings for every seeker
It is vital, therefore, that we commune daily with the Lord. We need Him to refresh our souls and revive our weary spirits. Only by seeking the Lord’s presence can we be enabled to live a blessed and abundant life. If we seek Him with all our heart, we are sure to find Him for “he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him” (Heb 11: 6). This truth is reiterated by our Lord in Matthew 6: 33: “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”
“The promise is made that if we seek it first, and its righteousness, all earthly wants will be supplied. The condition demands, (1) That we seek the kingdom first in point of time. Some propose to secure a competence, and after they have gained it, they will serve God. (2) We must make it first in importance. Everything else must give way before its demands. (3) It must be first in our affections, have our whole hearts. We must ‘love the Lord thy God with all thy heart’.” (People’s New Testament Commentary).
o “Evidence” of communion
Our time with God is a matter between us and Him. No one will know if we neglect this duty. Though in secret, however, our communion with God can be “seen” by others.
In the Book of Acts, we read about the healing of the lame beggar by Peter and John. Some of those present – the high priest, rulers and scribes – were hostile to Christianity. But when they witnessed the courage of the disciples, they realised that they were not ordinary people, but the followers of Christ: “Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus. And beholding the man which was healed standing with them, they could say nothing against it” (Acts 4: 13-14).
Regarding the disciples with contempt, these enemies of Christ perceived that they were “unlearned and ignorant” fishermen from the despised town of Galilee. Interestingly, in the original, the Greek root word for “ignorant” is “idiotes” from which we get our English word, “idiot”. Yet they “could say nothing” but acknowledged that “they had been with Jesus.” These statements are significant as they reiterate the importance of spending time with the Lord.
A daily communion with the Lord made that difference in the life and ministry of the early disciples. They gave “evidence” that they had been with the Lord and were convinced that He was the Messiah. For three years, they followed their Master Who was the best of teachers.
“But when they understood that they had been with Jesus, had been conversant with him, attendant on him, and trained up under him, they knew what to impute their boldness to; nay, their boldness in divine things was enough to show with whom they had had their education. Those that have been with Jesus, in converse and communion with Him, have been attending on His word, praying in His name, and celebrating the memorials of His death and resurrection, should conduct themselves, in every thing, so that those who converse with them may take knowledge of them that they have been with Jesus. … One may know that they have been in the mount by the shining of their faces” (Matthew Henry).
o A non-negotiable duty
Time with God is non-negotiable. Though we may have other things that demand our time and attention, we should set the Lord first in our day. Do not allow our daily activities to crowd Him out. Make it a priority to keep that daily appointment with Him. When we do so, He promises to bless us with everything that is needful for our lives. May the Lord help us as we draw nigh unto Him. Amen. (… to be concluded)