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Time with God
June 30, 2017
Relevance: Chapter 7, Restored by Grace


Communion with God


All born-again Christians are already saved by the blood of Christ, but to grow in Christ, we need to remain connected to him.

Our daily communion with God is crucial to our spiritual health. In our time with God, we listen to his Word and connect with him in prayer. Between such times, we maintain the constant awareness of this connection so that we "pray continually" (1 Thessalonians 5:17).

A person who loves and desires God naturally loves his Word. The Word of God, or the Bible, is our supreme source of truth. It corrects our worldview, reorders our priorities, and helps us discern what God sees right. Psalm 119 says, "Your word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path" (Psalm 119:105).

Besides reading the Bible, we should commit parts of it to memory. The same psalm says, "I have hidden your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you" (Psalm 119:11). Memorize the verses that tell you who God is, and that describe his nature and attributes. Important too are his promises and commands, and the verses that speak personally to you. Memorizing scripture makes it always accessible, and allows the Holy Spirit to speak to you through his Word at any time.

While it's important to read through the entire Bible, it's best to begin with the New Testament, especially the four Gospels. It's also helpful to keep two separate readings of the Bible in parallel, one fast, one slow. Read fast for general understanding to get the big picture, and slowly to immerse yourself in the event described or the context behind the text, for a deeper understanding or devotion purpose.

The devotional reading of the Bible is more experiential and relational. Reflection is particularly necessary. The reading should guide you to focus on God. Think about his nature, his greatness, and his goodness as you reflect upon what he did in your life and the lives of the people, if any, mentioned in the text. Listen with your heart for new understanding or insights that may bring light to your relationships, to understanding the will of God for your life, and to the tasks you're tackling.

Prayer is always about God. It's about his glory, his lordship, and his purpose (See Matthew 6:9-10). It's a purpose of our heavenly Father for us to keep trusting him, and to live victoriously (See Matthew 6:11-13). Prayer is not our judging what's best and then asking God for immediate gratification. He won't do things contrary to his nature, his promises, and his commands.

When we pray, we anticipate that God listens. We don't pray to inform him of our needs because he knows them before we pray (See Matthew 6:8). We pray to become aware of our real needs, and to know and submit to his will. "The omniscient God surely knows our true needs. But this should not in any way dampen our motivation to pray because we pray not to change him but to change ourselves, to build our faith in him. We pray till our faith grows beyond believing and trusting, to willful submission to his purpose. This faith sees our part in his intervention plan and gives us the courage to act accordingly." (RG, 155)

Though our anticipation continues after prayer to see how God responds, our focus should be on knowing his will as we pray. The answer is just the playing out of his will. If our faith sees the confirmation of his will over and over again, all but short of a clear response, it only means that we need to keep praying. Our heavenly Father never ignores the needs of his children. When we see no response to our prayer, it means that our expectation of the timing and playing out of his response doesn't yet align with his purpose and plan. (See RG, 156)


Notes:


From Darkness to Light
170504, Ch.1, What is Heaven?
170512, Ch.5, Good and Evil
170519, Ch.5, Image of God
170526, Ch.6, All Have Sinned
170602, Ch.6, Isaiah Prophecies
170609, Ch.6, Lamb of God
170616, Ch.6, Decision Prayer

New Life in Christ
170623, Ch.7, Fruit of the Spirit
170630, Ch.7, Time with God
170707, Ch.7, Life Together
170714, Ch.7, Messiah's Return
170728, Ch.7, Audacious Faith
171006, Ch.7, Mark of the Christian
171027, Ch.7, Christian Identities

Growing in Christ
171110, Know the Bible
171210, Christ is Central
180302, Satan Exposed

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