Corona: A Time To Know God Better
Corona: A time to know God better (1)
This time of crisis and enforced inactivity, gives us the great opportunity to know God better, to deepen our relationship with Him. I hope you agree this is vital, but for a summary, see below.
There are many on-line resources in worship and spiritual support. Generally, I will not be sending out links to any in this time of Corona. In part, because they are easy to find, but more because, generally, they are not what we need to deepen our relationship with God. To know God, essentially we have to pray and receive His word in our lives (read the Bible). We have to give focused time, where it is just God, you and the Bible, (and maybe one or two other aids). This is essential to experience the presence and power of God, be formed by Him. I will be writing over this time in how to go about this dedicated time, how to deepen your relationship with God. The next installment will be sent out tomorrow.
Generally, then, I am not sending links to other resources. I make the exception, though for "Plough", published by the Bruderhof Community. For free, you can subscribe to their "daily dig" - short, beautiful spiritual writings. We have much to learn from communities like the Bruderhof in how to live simply and sustainably.
With my prayers and all best wishes
Deepening our relationship with God
Good News !
God is Love, Strength, Wisdom. In knowing Him better, our lives become better. We become people of love, strength, wisdom. The "fruits of the Holy Spirit" grow in us, we are ever being changed into people of love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (Galatians 5). In God, we find that His grace is sufficient for all our need. In the presence of God, we experience grace, love, sure hope. We experience a fullness of life that the material world on its own cannot give. In God we know that the power of sin, death and the devil has been vanquished. We have eternal life. In the God of Christian faith, we receive all the benefits that Jesus Christ has won for us, and we become more like Him.
There are only two things that matter in life, are the purpose of our lives - to love God with all that we are, and to love our neighbour as ourselves. The first empowers the second. We can experience all of this power of God by simple relationship with Him - loving God with all that we are. We can be with God, through Jesus Christ in the presence and power of the Holy Spirit. All it needs is focus, time .. giving ourselves into relationship with God. This dedication of our lives begins with a simple prayer, something like the prayer below. Then, there are several practices to give ourselves to that will deepen our relationship with God, and mean we are experiencing His presence and power in our lives. It starts with dedicated time each day to pray and read the Bible .....
A prayer to dedicate my life to God
Lord God, I want to know you better, to put you first in my life. I pray in faith in Jesus Christ, to whom I give thanks and praise for all the benefits He has won for us.
I am sorry for the things wrong in my life (take a few moments to ask His forgiveness for anything in particular).
Please forgive me. I now turn from everything that I know is wrong.
Thank you Lord Jesus Christ, that you died on the cross for me so that I could be forgiven and set free. Thank you that you offer me forgiveness and the gift of your Spirit. I now receive that gift. Please come into my life by your Holy Spirit to be with me forever. Thank you, Lord Jesus. Amen”
Corona: A time to know God better (2)
So, you are ready to give dedicated time to God to deepen your relationship with Him …excellent. If you are new to this, try 10 minutes to begin with … and work towards the 30 minutes – one hour you ideally need every day. Morning is good as a foundation for the day, but the important thing is to find a time that you can make every day. What do you do with this 10, 30+ minutes ? Jesus said, “when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father who is unseen” (Matt 6:6)
You need to be on your own, then, just you with your Bible and God, in your room. Some may say they can pray better going for a walk or doing the gardening, or some other activity. That’s great as an addition. In fact, in relationship with God, you will find you are talking to Him all through the day. The starting point, though, is to be in a room on your own, no distractions.
Just you, God and your Bible … but some aids may be helpful, – e.g. light a candle, have a Cross. And it can be good to start your prayer with writing in a journal how you are feeling today, what you give thanks for, what you need God’s strength in. You may want to write down the people and situations you are concerned about – writing them down before God is your prayer. You do not need lots of words – “do not keep on babbling” Jesus said (Matt 6:7) “for your Father knows what you need before you ask Him.” (Matt 6:8).
Jesus goes on in this passage from Matthew to say when you pray, form your prayers around the Lord’s Prayer. See the attached version for some suggestions on what this means..
Now you are off and deepening your relationship with God. Don’t finish early if you get bored (you will at times – such moments are very significant, as we’ll see another time). Stay there in your room with just your Bible and God. Why is the Bible there ? Again, we will see another time. For now, just talk to God … and don’t forget, don’t use too many words .. silence is good, In fact silence is great (Something else for another time… there’s so much to learn in developing your relationship with God.) More to follow next week…