My time with God has been sketchy recently. I have been in a deep depression, have felt guilty about not spending time with the Lord, and instead of coming into His presence I’ve been hiding like Adam and Eve did. Think about that — we can’t hide from the all-seeing, all-knowing Lord. Last night I read the following devotional and article that I want to share with you. Perhaps one of you have found yourself in the position I’ve been in. I thank Him for chasing after me, nudging me and bringing me back into His presence.
The same fellowship-seeking God who walked with Adam and Eve in the cool of the day (Genesis 3:8) is reaching out to each of us today. This is what a quiet time is all about—spending time with God to experience His presence, comfort, and guidance. “But as for me, it is good to be near God. I have made the Sovereign Lord my refuge.” (Psalm 73:28)
Many of us wish to have a meaningful quiet time with God, yet we find ourselves in an environment where that is difficult. This may lead to a sense of guilt if we neglect our personal devotional time with God. But if we measure our spirituality by counting the number of times we have met with God during the week, we have missed the point. Devotions are a matter of our heart, not just an appointment on our calendar.
A woman desiring to pray grabbed an empty chair and knelt before it. In tears, she said, “My dear heavenly Father, please sit down here; you and I need to talk!” Then, looking directly at the vacant chair, she prayed. She demonstrated confidence in approaching the Lord; she imagined He was sitting on the chair and believed He was listening to her petition.
A time with God is an important moment when we engage the Almighty. God comes near to us as we draw near to Him in a mutual involvement (James 4:8). He has assured us, “I am with you always” (Matt. 28:20). Our heavenly Father is always waiting for us to come to Him, always ready to listen to us.
There are times when we struggle to pray because we feel tired, sleepy, sick, and weak. But Jesus sympathizes with us when we are weak or face temptations (Heb. 4:15). Therefore we can “approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need” (v. 16).
The prophet Isaiah wrote, “Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength” (Isaiah 40:31). The prophet’s promise to the people of ancient Israel still holds true for us today. The Hebrew word for renew means “to substitute, to exchange, to show newness, to sprout.” But the kind of waiting that renews strength is active, not passive. It is a deliberate exchange of human effort for divine strength. We are not expected to dig deep and tap into an unknown reserve of our own willpower and determination. Instead we are to ask God to give us His energy—we ask Him to supply our strength.