Knowing Him

My mentor called me one evening, and as we spoke it was if she could feel the weight of my weariness through the phone. It had been a long day. I was worn out and feeling stressed about having to finish a lengthy Bible study assignment before my head could hit the pillow. Her voice firmly, yet gently, reminded me that I don’t need to feel obligated to finish my Bible Study homework.

“Tara, He simply wants your attention. Can you put aside the task and just talk to Him?”

This question puzzled and comforted me at the same time. You mean God doesn’t care if I finish all the questions? He’s not waiting with pen in hand to check off my list of to-do’s for the day?

No. He’s not like that. He just wants me. He wants my attention. He wants my heart.

How refreshing!

Our Father doesn’t want a check-the-box mentality from us. He wants us to want to be with Him. To want to know who He is. To experience His love, His sacrifice, His grace and mercy… to simply enjoy the presence of our Creator.

God wants us to KNOW Him.

As Pastor Dan explained, the best way to know someone is by building a relationship with them. Now, we know good, strong, and lasting relationships don’t happen by chance. They take time. Investing time is hard for us in today’s instant-gratification world. Social media tries to connect us with people we should be “Friends” with. We add a new “Friends” to our feeds just because they’re mutual friends with someone we know.

I have to pause and ask myself, Do I even know this person? Do I have any idea of what their interests are? Their beliefs? Their priorities? Will I ever get to know them as a real friend?

Our last sermon series focused on the names of God. Knowing the names of God increases our understanding of Him. But knowing about someone and truly knowing someone are two different things. To understand others, to really know them, we need to spend time with them.

King David knew God well. He spilled his heart out to Him, worshiped Him, trusted in Him and celebrated Him. And God heard him. Just like the Lord hears you and me. I can almost see David crying out to us in Psalm 34:8: “Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!”

While spending time with the Lord isn’t complicated, it does take practice and persistence. It takes discipline.

It will look different for each of us. For some it might look like setting your alarm 30 minutes or an hour earlier to avoid distractions of the day. For others it might look like shutting off the cable news channel and opening our Bibles. For some it might look like turning the satellite radio channel from talk radio to worship music.

The best mornings I have are spent with Bible and notebook open…pen in one hand, coffee mug in the other. I love those mornings with Jesus. Crave them. The more time I spend with Him, the more time I WANT to spend with Him. The more I know Him, the more I want to know Him!

Yet I still struggle with the bigness of it all… His love for me. I struggle with believing that the God who hung the stars and breathed life into existence really wants to know me and be known by me. That He cares and is near.

I understand God’s always with me, but still tend to think of Him as being seated high in Heaven, not next to me at the kitchen table, guiding me through His love letter, nodding and smiling as we go. Yet He is there with me. He is there with you. His presence is inescapable, He is the vine and we are the branches. This is how we grow together.

Some days I get all my Bible Study questions completed. Some days I don’t. Some days all I can do is sing praises in the car as I run my kids from activity to activity. What I’m learning is this: what God really wants is my attention and my heart.

That’s what He wants from all of us.

How will you spend time with Him today?

~ Tara Dye is a longtime member of LIFE Fellowship. She and her husband Paul have three children.

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