Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread,"
Someone has written that when she got up in the morning she wanted to spend some "quality time" with the Lord, in prayer and Bible study, to maintain a "relationship" with Him. But then she couldn't help noticing how messy the kitchen and rest of the house were, so she felt she had to straighten things up. The "quality time" was gone. "So am I losing out with God?"
Let's "walk softly" here. There are times when a wise doctor keeps a patient in a coma on intravenous feeding; but normally a healthy person eats because he's hungry, not because of stern cold duty. Your problem may not be that your 24-hour day is too short (that would be God's fault). Perhaps good sincere people have given you a wrong idea of God. He is not waiting for you to maintain a relationship with Him; He wants you to know He is maintaining a relationship with you. It all begins with His initiative, not yours. He wants you saved more than you want to be.
When Jesus came, He changed our ideas about His Father. The Good Shepherd is not waiting for His lost sheep to find Him; He is seeking the sheep (Luke 15:3-32). The text about "seek the Lord while He may be found, call upon Him while He is near" (Isa. 55:6) needs a clearer translation. The Hebrew verb for "seek" is not the common one, looking for a lost object; it means "pay attention to Me because I am near! I'm not far away, ever!"
This idea of working hard to maintain our "relationship" with the Lord is a subtle Old Covenant idea that has crept in. When you begin to grasp His seeking love, His cross, you will "hunger and thirst" for His "truth of the gospel." It will expel your love for amusement; it will heal you of your Bible boredom. But here again we "walk softly": if you are in a spiritual coma, yes, force yourself to read your Bible and pray. But please ... believe the New Covenant.
--Robert J. Wieland
From the "Dial Daily Bread" Archive: September 25, 2002.
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