Where do we go to do this abide thing?
I’m sure everyone has a prayer closet, it’s private, away from everyone, quiet, your place to meet with God.
If we look at Moses, Joshua (Exodus 33:11) and Hannah (1 Samuel 1:8-13), they had to go to the temple of the Lord. For Moses and Joshua it was a very elaborate tent but only one person could go meet God face-to-face. For Hannah , she was in the outer courts of the temple of stone – which was stunning – but she couldn’t go into the inner courts either.
Due to the Law – to protect the Israelites from bringing unholiness into the Holy Presence of God – they couldn’t go any further than that. They were set apart from others due to their faithfulness to God but even in that they were set apart from God’s closeness, to protect them.
They were away from everyone – the tent for Moses was outside the camp but close enough that the people could see God’s presence and Hannah was praying when no-one else was there and she was off by herself.
We need to get back to having a set place or time for God. I know that we all have to fight for our times with the Lord but we should not give them up! Those precious times with the Lord, even your daily devotional, are what keeps you going. It enables you to minister effectively. Even if your ministry is cleaning the windows or mowing the grass or simply greeting people are the church – whatever, it doesn’t matter! Ministry is ministry and God sees and smiles upon those who work for Him, not for the recognition.
We are called to be God pleasers and not man-pleasers (Galatians 1:10) and there is no way we can do that to the best of our ability if we aren’t spending time in God’s presence to learn what please Him.
I was just in a meeting on Friday with the assistant managers of the office as a person who had front end experience. These girls know me and the fact that I’m going to tell them how it is and I’m not going to sugarcoat it. So in this meeting, a little nugget of information came out from me because I’ve seen it and heard it, well this little nugget was not known to these assistant managers. I’m not saying it was necessary for ME to be there but my point is that if we hadn’t met then the sharing of knowledge and an action plan would never have taken place.
If we are so willing to call meeting after meeting in the human realm – generally in a conference room, somewhere private and away from distractions – then why aren’t we so apt to have one for God? Who is the most important person in our lives – well He should be.
Admittedly it has been difficult for me to find that place at the house since moving but that is because in my room I have to work on my bed and I am soooo prone to just fall asleep. Not that God is boring, but because I do my studying at night and I am just ready to sleep. So it has been difficult for me but I eventually found a solution and that is coming here, to the church. Turning the music up WAY loud and worshipping and studying in God’s presence – plus it saturates the house of God in even more prayer.
But I say all of that to encourage you to find that place! And I do not care if your spouse or your kids or your pet has one and you just think is good enough! God wants to meet you! He wants to abide in and with you and for us humans it is easier for us to do that if we have a designated place or time.
I have watched a Kari Jobe teaching and she talks about a specific chair and blanket she has to meet with God when she is at home, not traveling on the road. There is another story someone in the church told me about a relative that would be found sometimes with her apron up covering her face and they knew she was praying. There is another story regarding someone’s grandmother who would always go and pray in a certain room and the kids knew if she was in that room, she was praying.
Do you have that? Do you have that discipline established in your life that people know not to interfere with you during that time, when you’re in that place?
When I was up in Titusville, my parents and siblings knew that if they didn’t contact me by 7 they probably weren’t going to hear from me that evening. Not because I was ignoring them or sleeping but because I would mute my phone and spend time in the Lord, just me, Him and Shadow who was probably snoring or dreaming. They knew! And they let me have that time, plus if I saw them calling I wouldn’t answer because it wasn’t my time with them, it was my time with Jesus.
We have to be willing to say no, be willing to trust someone else to solve the world’s problems. Don’t think I have overcome this but it is becoming more evident that saying No to ensure my relationship with God is intact is vital. At first people may get upset, but they will get over it. I promise, my parents and siblings till love me as far as I can tell and I had purposefully declined phone calls many times.
If you think I’m just being silly or trying to be legalistic about “you have to have a place to meet God! Otherwise you’ll never hear from Him!” Get a grip, I’m telling you that if you have a time or place to meet with God face-to-face for however long, your life will be greatly blessed by it. He says we will produce fruit as long as we abide in Him and He in us. (John 15:4)
Where do we go to do this abide thing?