I wrestled a little bit about what title to give this post. I thought, if I say "dating God" some readers might think that this post is about finding a sole mate. And in a sense they would be right.
Dating means getting to know someone at a deeper level. It means going beyond the acquaintance phase and learning what someone likes or dislikes. Learning what brings them happiness and what grieves them. And I know I'm not alone in thinking that dating means looking for someone you want to spend the rest of your life with.
That's the kind of relationship I'm seeking with God. Now of course, I'm not seeking a human experience with Him. But I don't mean to say that God can't be romantic either. I mean He created love so He knows a thing or two about romance and relationships!
But I'm veering off the point. The other day a group of friends and I decided to do something we had never done before. We decided to get together at one location and split off to be alone for four hours. During that time we challenged ourselves to bring no distractions but to solely relate to God. Basically we were each going to go on a four hour date with God and then regroup to share, if we felt comfortable to do so, what He might have shared with us individually.
The idea of being alone with God was nothing new to any of us. We each have devotions and pray to Him each day but to do so for a long stretch of time without interruption was not something we have the luxury of doing every day. So it was a great opportunity to see where we were in our relationships with Him.
In preparation for this "date" I brought my Bible, a Bible Commentary and Concordance, a list of topics for prayer, and something to write on. I readied my heart and got a good night's rest before the big day.
When we all arrived some of us had brought guitars and mentioned that during the moments we might not know what to do we could sing worship songs to God. It was a great suggestion and something anyone could do even if there was no instrument available.
So we split off and it took me a few minutes to get used to the fact that there would be nothing for me to do or think about accept God. And then I spent another few minutes questioning whether-or-not I had any clue how to relate to Him non-stop for four hours. So at the end I decided to start off with prayer and I asked God to help me.
And He did. He started bringing to mind people and issues while I prayed so that I ended up praying non-stop for nearly forty minutes. Then I opened my Bible and read a few Psalms that God has used in the past to encourage me. And that brought up more things I wanted to pray about. And then I felt a strong desire to read Revelation and study the symbols and creatures and find other locations in the Bible that talk about the return of Christ.
And so four hours went by quickly. I was so engrossed in reading the Bible and praying that I actually went over four hours by a bit! And I wasn't the only one. Nearly everyone who had participated ended up going over four hours!
When we finally regrouped we all had smiles on our faces and we felt a great joy. And today, some of the things I had prayed about are already being answered. I am greatly humbled.
You see, although I learned more about God's word during my date, I also learned more about Him. God desires relationships. He wants to spend one-on-one time with me (and you). He wants to prove His love by calming our worries and answering our prayers. But most of the time we don't realize or experience those amazing blessings because we don't take the time to be with Him.
And God is no fool. He will not expend extra efforts or blessings on those of us who don't give Him the time of day. I mean, do we spend time with people who ignore us? No. So why do we act like God is any different? He sees our hearts. He sees our thoughts. I want to challenge you readers to purposely pursue your relationship with God. Its never too late to do that. Start today. If you fail try again, and again, and again. Don't give up!
If you decide to do something similar to what my friends and I did, either with others or by yourself, let me know. I would love to hear how God blessed you. And if you want to try this but don't know if you can, then start small. Maybe just forty minutes and then build up to longer stretches of time.
May God bless your efforts to be closer to Him and may He fill your hearts and minds with joys you haven't even imagined!
" You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart."
~ Jeremiah 29:13