Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Getting closer to Him...

With the new year, comes new "commitments" (I shy away from the word resolutions).
It is my hope to get closer to God this year by spending more and more time with Him. I also hope to become "contagious" in my family, if you know what I mean! But, sometimes my kids struggle with the concept of a "quiet time" because it's boring or because they think they never hear from God.
Well, I must admit that sometimes even I feel that way.
So, this morning, without even knowing what I wanted to learn from His Word today, I was led to 2 Kings 3. In this particular passage, Elisha has been approached by a King who wants to hear from God. It seems like Elisha really doesn't want to help this King, but then offhandedly says,
"now bring me a harpist."

And the verse continues on to say
"While the harpist was playing, the hand of the Lord came upon Elisha"
Do you think Elisha was "in the mood" to hear from God when this King he disliked came to him? I don't think so. Do you think it would be easy to hear from God when your in a bad mood or not feeling "inspired"? I can tell you from experience.. it's almost impossible to hear from God when I'm grumpy or even when I'm just "bored" and not looking forward to my "quiet time".
So, what can we learn from Elisha in this passage?
We need a harpist! :)
Okay, well not exactly a harpist.. but what does a harpist do for Elisha? He plays music for him. The music seems to have a key part in Elisha's willingness to hear from God. He knew in advance that in order to hear from God he would need music!


Now, when I think about my own best times with the Lord.. I am quite certain that most of those times involved music in one way or another even though I never thought about it that way nor planned it.

So why do we call it a Quiet Time??? Shouldn't we be listening to music be played in hopes that the "hand of God will come upon us"?
My kids will probably jump at the idea of counting listening to music as time with God... but that's only the first step!

The next step in hearing from God is to be in His Word.
My pastor this week spent some time in Deuteronomy telling us that we are to "live like Kings" and that means that we should be in the Word. His sermon was very enlightening, but he skimmed over a very important part of the passage.
Deuteronomy 17:18-19
When he takes the throne of his kingdom, he is to write for himself on a scroll a copy of this law taken from the priests, who are Levites. It is to be with him, and he is to read it all the days of his life so that he may learn to revere the Lord his God and follow carefully all the words of this law and these decrees.
My pastor made it very clear that we are to be reading the Word... but did you notice what it says to do BEFORE that?
"he is to write for himself on a scroll a copy of this law..."
I think this is a very clear instruction for us to "journal" the Word as we read it. Writing it down as we study it is just as important as reading it alone.



As we journal, what else should we write besides the actual scriptures? Well, one of my favorite verses in support of journaling is found in Habbakkuk 2. Here I get the impression that Habbakkuk is frustrated, but still turning to God for answers. And God answers him by saying,
"Write down the revelation, and make it plain on tablets so that a herald may run with it"
Or, as The Message Translation says,
"Write this. Write what you see. Write it out in big block letters so that it can be read on the run".
This makes it so clear to me, that God wants me to write down the insights I get as I'm praying or as I'm reading and writing down His Word. He doesn't want me to hide it or make it into a big giant production either.. he wants it to be portable so I can read it when I need it the most... in the middle of trouble!! He doesn't say to only write the "words he says"... because he knows we often don't "hear what he says to us". He says to "write what you see"(revelation). So that means if we are praying/worshiping/journaling.. and we see in our imagination an image... that we should write that down too.

So, our "quiet time" in my house is going to be different this year. I will encourage my family to worship God with music as part of their "God time" and then pray, read His Word, and write down any verses that seem to "pop out " when reading. And then pray some more and look and listen for any Words/Pictures from God and write them down too.

And I am confident that we will get closer to Him this way.... because this is the way he instructs us to do it!