Saturday, March 16, 2013
The Purpose Driven Life - Day 11
Day 11 - Becoming Best Friends With God
This chapter speaks to the first two of six secrets of friendship with God. Through Constant Conversation and Continual Meditation.
What does this all mean? Well, simply put, it means to keep God with you are all times through you day. It is of course necessary to have quiet time with God spent in thought and in the study of His word, but we sometimes forget that God does not want an appointment with us alone, He wants us to take Him with us through our day.
How do we do this? By keeping the lines of communication open. By being sincere in our heart and by having an open-ended conversation with God. It isn't necessary to open and end each prayer like a ritual. God doesn't want a performance. He wants us to speak to Him through the pureness of our heart. He does not need to be addressed seventeen times in the same sentence. Nor does every sentence or thought have to be followed with "Amen."
Open-ended prayer or conversation lets God know that you are taking Him with you as you go about your daily activities. You can speak to Him using a technique called "breath prayers" - short sentences or simple phrases to let Jesus know that you are inviting Him into your day - into your heart. "You are with me." "Thank You for blessing me." "I love You Jesus." "I receive Your grace." "I depend on You God." Choose a phrase or two that represents what is in your heart. What you want Jesus to know. And just repeat them throughout your day as you go about your tasks.
When my dad was still with us and battling cancer - I began singing as I was going about my day. Amazing Grace. Yes Jesus Loves Me. I would be walking my dog and just peacefully singing to myself. Being in communication with God. Often times I would get so caught up in my praise and connection with Christ that I would forget I was outside - forget to use my 'inside voice'. Then my eye would catch that of a passer by, who would be looking at me like I was crazy. lol I would just smile and contine on.
For beginners this will take practice. Sometimes we forget to include God in our day. We think that if we are not at church or not in our quiet time with Him that it is just assumed that He is with us. Well, He is with us - but He also wants to be acknowledged. If you spend the day with a friend - and do not say a single word to that friend for the entire day - chances are your friend may get a little ticked off. Wouldn't you? You want to be spoken to. Be acknowledged. Be included. Jesus wants this as well.
Benedictine Monks used the hourly chimes of a clock as a reminder to speak with Christ. You can do this as well, by setting an alarm on your clock or mobile phone/tablet. You can leave messages around your home to call your attention to God. He is not insulted that we may need to be reminded in the beginning to include Him in our life - to speak to Him - to share our day with Him. He sees that by virtue of the fact that we set up these reminders means that we value and love Him so much that we want to be reminded when we become caught up in our life. We do not want to forget Him. And this makes God smile!
When we think of meditation, often what comes into our mind is the image of someone sitting in the louts position on a rock with waves crashing at its base while they chant "Ohmmmmmmmmmmmmmm"
In fact, meditation is the mind focusing on a particular thing at a given time. Sometimes when we do this it is called 'worry'. This is when we focus or meditate on our problems. And as we all know by now, this in an open invitation to stress! Meditating on God, however, is the stress antidote! Focusing on God's word. You cannot develop an instant friendship with some random stranger on the street. And you wouldn't want to. You don't know that person. They could be a psycho or an axe murderer. You need to know a person before you can develop a friendship with them. Share your story with them and listen as they share themselves with you.
It is the same with God. How can you develop a friendship with Him without first knowing Him? You can't.
How do we get to know God? By studying His word. By learning His past. By letting Him into our lives. By sharing our lives with Him. The first step is simply saying to God that you want to know Him. That you want to share your life with Him and that you want Him to walk with you.
God created you. He knows who you are. He sees all that you do. And He wants you to know Him. He wants to develop a friendship with you.
"Friendship with God is reserved for those who reverence Him." - Psalm 25:14A (LB)