There are various ways we tend to interact with God. Some of us keep a distant relationship – daring only to disturb Him in times of desperate need, or despair. Others of us call on Him throughout our day, and may be very informal and casual. Others are more prim and far from casual, and still others don’t give God any consideration at all. Not surprisingly how we view God greatly impacts our relationship and experiences with Him. As we study His Word, we begin to understand better the profound honor, power and privilege we have in being allowed to even approach His throne. Thus, all the more reason to regularly seize the opportunity! Three conditions of our heart help us to value and cherish this privilege even more:
Reverence: When the reality of God’s profound love for us penetrates our mind and soul, we can’t help but collapse in awe before such sacrifice. A story was once told about a little boy who shared the only blood type needed by his ailing sister. When the doctors asked him if he was willing to give his blood to save his sister’s life, he hesitantly agreed. Later in the hospital as the doctor made preparations for the transfusion, the boy asked how soon he would die after the process began. Immediately, the doctor realized why the boy had initially hesitated, for he believed giving his blood to his sister would cost him his life. However, his love was greater than any fears he had, and in the end, he was willing to make such a sacrifice. This earthly example demonstrates in a small way God’s love and sacrifice for us (1 John 4:10). What’s our attitude when we approach such love?
Remembrance: We get so busy in our routine, distracted by the demands placed upon us and drained from our daily activities that we sometimes place God and our prayers on our to-do lists to quickly check off as as we rush out the door. However, when we stop to remember who He is, what He did & why He did it, we are energized to make our time with Him more than just a part of our routine, but our reliance. For He created us, He sacrificed His Son to save us, and He works in and through us to heal wounds and give our lives purpose. Have we reserved time for God today, or quickly checked Him off? May our busyness never distract us from our gracious remembrance (1 Chronicles 16:12).
Repentance: When we refuse forgiveness to others, choose to remain in our sins and reject the convictions of the Spirit, we only serve to stifle our relationship with God (2 Chronicles 7:14). Thus, we limit the blessings and opportunities He desires to send our way. Why would we pass on such gifts and cling instead to some temporary and false sense of pleasure, or entitlement? Thankfully, God waits to forgive us and as we abandon such strongholds, our relationship with Him is empowered. What do we continue to cling to that we know must be surrendered?
Application: “Bringing Gifts of Gratitude” – Hebrews 12:28
As we draw near to God, does our heart overflow with thanksgiving? Do we appreciate the fact we can even approach a Holy God through prayer, or do we rush through it? Do we realize all we have is from Him? Do we understand the passion behind His love, and do we realize the boundless profits of simply being His child? When we consider all He has done & continues to do, it’s hard to remain pessimistic, downtrodden, or unappreciative. Rather, our prayers are filled with endless praise & gratitude.