While at home group on Tuesday night someone mentioned the verse John 14:9 “Jesus answered: “Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?”
It felt like God was challenging me right there and then.
“Do you know me Dave?”
“yes of course I know you”
“No, do you really know me? Why are you checking the score instead of getting to know me? Spend time with me Dave”
I know what’s happening in the football, I know what’s happening in the apprentice, I even know a bit about what’s happening in the Great British bake off. But do I Know God? I know who He is, but do I know all about Him?
When Ali and I met and started going out we increasingly spent more and more time together. We got to know each other more and more. When we got engaged we spent even more time together. And now that we are married and have a boy we spend even more time together. And yet after all the time we have been together so far, we are still learning so much about each other and we will probably continue learning until the day we die. I’m sure that’s the same for everyone out there, no matter how close you are to someone you love, there’s always more to learn and you want to spend as much time with them so that you can learn more.
As a child I was introduced to God by family, Sunday school and BB. I learned more about Him as I grew up, I learned all about His life and then made a decision that I was going to follow Him. I probably had the “honeymoon period” of spending time with Him, learning more about Him and His plan for my life. But you know life’s busy and this past week I wanted to watch the match, I wanted to sit and watch some Apprentice numptys try and sell antiques, I even sat and watched GBBO make cakes that I have no hope or interest in making. There’s nothing wrong with watching these, it gives me a laugh and the opportunity to relax(well apart from watching Utd play) I’ve learned how not to sell an antique for £15 and how not to bake a cake so it must be good. The tv has been well used this week.
But you know, the best thing I could have used to learn from today and this past week is a book that has been sitting on a shelf, in the car and as an unopened app on my phone. And why have they not been used? Honestly? I’ve felt watching the TV would be more enjoyable. I wanted to unwind and know how the match went, sure the match only lasts 90mins or so, I wanted to relax after a busy day. Plus, God will be here all the time. Reading my bible can wait. I’ve plenty of time to get to know Him. I know all the stories any way from when I was younger.
But you know, those are all lies from the evil one, the one who wants to keep you from God.
Personally, it’s been a struggle to read my bible recently. I’ve given loads of excuses: I can’t get up even earlier, I need to make the dinner, I need to relax, rest and watch rubbish on TV, I’ve had a busy day, I should go to bed. God can wait, it’s what He’s good at.
Going back to my relationship with Ali, would she have been happy to wait for me if I kept putting her to the side while I watched TV or found some other excuse not to spend time with her? No! And would I have wanted to do that? No! I want to spend my life with her and get to know her!
And so why do we always think God is happy to wait for us? God is crazy about you and me, He loves spending time with you, He misses you and I’d say he’s pretty sad when you make excuses why you can’t spend time with Him. He created us, the universe, everything around us. There’s more drama and excitement in the Bible than in any programme we can watch on TV. It’s real life! And yet, I always seem to find another something else that can take it’s place.
What’s the answer to all of this? How will I get back to reading more and spending more time with God? It would be great if there was a switch I could flick that would mean I’d sit down at the same time every day and not be distracted and read His word…but there isn’t. I don’t have the exact formula, but these are the steps I’m going to take today.
1. Pray – ask God to help you make time for Him and help you to put distractions to the side.
2. Think about your day, when are you most likely going to be alone at the same time most days that you won’t be around distractions? Now put a reminder in your phone and set it to repeat each day to remind you to sit and listen, read and pray.
3. Pray again, pray that God will help you to refix your eyes on the “author and perfector of our faith.”
4. Be accountable, ask a friend, wife/husband, family member or anyone else you trust, to ask you the question we all hope we don’t get asked – “How is your walk with God?” But be honest with your answer, tell the truth so that they can pray for you and encourage you.
5. Pray that God’s Word would become real to you and that you would be excited to spend time with the ultimate creator daily.
6. Just do it.
We all go through periods of distraction, but the important thing is that we don’t let it stop us from coming back to God. It’s never too late to pick up the bible again, no matter how long it’s been. So I’d encourage you, if you’re in the same boat I am in, just do it, grab yourself a coffee, sit down and get ready to dive into the best book you could ever read. But what if I miss a day? That’s okay, but it’s important to get back to reading as soon as you can.
I pray that you will find the adventure and excitement in the greatest story ever told and you won’t want to miss a days reading!