Erin E. McEndree
Spending Time with God
From Guest Blogger: Melanie Hickox
Melanie Hickox is a 26 year old writer from Hayesville, North Carolina. She is passionate about her walk with God, and she aims to inspire women to reach their God-given purpose. She loves her family, her husband is her best friend. She is determined to answer God's calling on her life to teach and inspire women to live their best lives.
If you're anything like me, there are times when you've set out to spend time with God, and other things just got in the way. You were easily distracted. You were unmotivated. This happens to everyone.
From time to time I'll get distracted by unimportant worldly things, and there are even times when I stop seeking God entirely. However, God is faithful and just to forgive me when I realize what my life is like without Him.
Everything may be fine for a season, but after a while we get so wrapped up in 'self' that we become tired, weak, and confused when we don't have all of the answers that somehow we've convinced ourselves we're supposed to have. This comes from trying to do everything on our own. Now listen, this doesn't mean that we don't have our role, of course we do! Our life been given to us as a gift from God, but we must decide what to do with that gift. However, God is the source of that life, and if we don't seek His guidance, we can never live for Him, and if we don't live for Him, we'll stay in the state that we're in.
John 15:4 says: "Abide in me, and I in you, As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; No more can ye, except ye abide in me."
What does 'abide' mean? To abide in Jesus means to spend time with Him. We have taken spending time with God and turned it into a religious act of obligation, instead of something that we should look forward to doing.
Can I let you in on a little secret? God is far less concerned with how we spend time with Him, but that we're sincere in our desire to seek Him. It seems to be a common idea that we have to speak the right words, in the right position, for a specific amount of time, or our prayers are less real. This is a lie.
The problem with this lie is that it keeps people from even trying to seek God, for fear of doing it wrong. This is a sad reality.
Here's the good news of John 10:10, "The thief comes not, but to steal, to kill and to destroy. I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly."
Now, to understand why this is such a pivotal scripture, we must first understand God's plan for our lives, the enemy's plan for our lives, and our roles in all of this.
Jesus Christ took our place as sinners on the cross, so that when we pray, when we ask God for things, we're not coming with what we have to offer, because that's not a lot. Instead, we come as everything Jesus has to offer, and that is everything.
The enemy wants us to focus on ourselves, because he knows he can trap us inside our minds. As long as we focus on ourselves, we will always circle back to our shortcomings. This is because, though sometimes we do good things, we will always end up making mistakes.
We spend countless hours, lying awake, remembering everything that we've ever done wrong, and that because of those things, we're destined to stay where we are. The enemy wants nothing more than to convince you that this lie, is in fact truth.
Here is where we come in: we have to make the decision of what we we choose to believe. If we choose to believe the lie, we really have nothing left to do but exist, suffer, and die. If we choose the path of God, we choose life, and we all know that there are good and bad things about life. The enemy wants you to give up when life gets hard. God wants you to know that though bad things happen, there are great things that will follow. Sometimes a part of choosing the path of God is waiting, and sometimes waiting a long time.
I'll leave you with this final thought: The reason that diligently seeking God is so important, is because there are so many voices in the world, telling us who we are, and who we should become. If we listen to the wrong voice, we could be given false information about us. This is why the only voice we should be listening to is the voice of the one who created it. The wrong voice will give you nothing to live for, but the right voice, God's voice, will show you that He has already given you everything to live for.
Here's a prayer that helps me when I want to seek God: