Can you imagine me approaching my wife for intimacy with a outlined card in
front of me. Step one: Tell her she is beautiful. Step two: Hold her hand. Step
three: Look into her eyes and say, "I love you," etc. How far do you think I
would get? Yet this is the relationship people eventually reduce theirs to with
the Lord. If they continue in this legalistic pattern, they will feel their life
ebb away. We should seek Him not out of obligation but because we desire His
presence. We should communicate from our heart. We should hate sin because we
love God and want nothing between us. To take the example of my wife and me one
step further, let's suppose I set up our time together for fellowship every day
from 5-6 P.M. Anything she had to say would have to wait until 5 P.M. Then to
make matters worse, at 5 P.M., I did all the talking for the entire hour.
She could not get a word in edgewise because I talked nonstop. Then at 6 P.M. sharp, I got up, said it was wonderful, and left. What kind of relationship is that?
The example I just gave is like the rut I fell into a few years back. I prayed for two hours every morning from 5-7. I would go outside and walk on a deserted road and talk diligently to the Lord. I had my list to go over, as well as whatever else came to my mind, as I prayed. I was very proud of my diligence. Then one morning, upon completion of my two-hour prayer time, I began the walk home, and the Lord shook me, saying loudly in my spirit, "I WOULD LIKE THE OTHER TWENTY-TWO HOURS OF THE DAY!" He went on, "John, you come out here almost every morning and pray for two hours, and when you say `Amen' at 7 A.M. you then go about your activities of the day and shut Me out of most of it."
He showed me He wanted my heart open to His voice at all times, not just during prayer. This is a relationship of fellowship with God. Some of the greatest things God has revealed have come to me not in my dedicated morning time but while driving the car, taking a shower, mowing the lawn, or doing some other activity. The Spirit of the Lord is with us every moment, not just in our dedicated times of prayer. Don't misunderstand, we should all have time daily when we can shut ourselves in the closet of prayer and seek the Lord. But it should be done out of desire to fellowship. Then when we come away the communion with Him continues!
Bevere, John. The Voice of one Crying. Apopka: Messenger Press, 1993, p. 131-132.
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