Some of the things that God uses to teach us really boggle my mind. This morning it was our little Maltese Yorkie, Gracie.
Gracie serves as a therapy dog and also a seizure alert dog for my wife. Even though Gracie has important functions, she is also a member of the family. All Gracie wants in return for her constant love and devotion is our undivided attention 24 hours a day. She can be very wearisome at times, always dogging my heels, wanting to go everywhere I go, even to the bathroom. She waits for me to sit down some where, and soon as I do, she does a flying leap into my lap. She really is crazy about me.
During my morning quiet time with the Savior, Gracie knows to sit quietly at my feet, otherwise I would be displeased with her. Looking down at her now, I can sense God pointing out her obedience to me. If only I could be as obedient to God as Gracie is to me So what does she have that I need? The answer is obvious.
Gracie loves me unconditionally. She finds joy and contentment in my presence, in pleasing me and having my attention. I feel the same way when I am spending time alone with Jesus in prayer and Bible study, assimilating His word into my heart. I've written many poems in an attempt to describe the love and peace I find while fellowshipping with God. As my day progresses however, this sense of His presence begins to wane. Is it like that for Gracie also? Does she begin to ache for me as we do for God's presence?
Though we love the Lord and want to please Him, at times, we find the flesh part of us leaning toward disobedience. Do we not love Him enough? Do we need to spend more time alone with Him than we already do? The answers are most likely, yes. Love is not just a feeling, it is an action. So when I say we need to love God more, I am not saying we need more of the sensation of love, but more of the act of loving Him. Jesus said; "If you love me you will keep my commandments."
Jesus also said; "I will never leave you nor forsake you."
I found that all I have to do to regain that sense of His presence and all those wonderful things that go along with communing with God is to be ever conscious that He is with me. This also helps in our obedience to Him. Gracie might be disobedient when I am not there, but rarely in my presence. I am more apt to be obedient to God when I dwell on the wonderful fact that He is always present.
Consider what you watch on television. You might be tempted to watch a show containing a lot of violence or bad language or even sexual content. Would you still watch that show if Jesus were sitting next to you on the couch watching it with you? I don't think you would. My point is that He IS sitting there. He is always with us. So why don't we act accordingly? We forget.
Constant reminders to ourselves are powerful tools to keep us on track and keep us acting in obedience to our loving God. Speaking aloud to our blessed Savior throughout the day has helped me tremendously to remain aware of God's presence and act accordingly. Talk with Him about what is going on in your day. Pray about little things as well as the big ones, remembering to always be thankful for all His wonderful blessings.
Morning and/or evening alone time with God when all is quiet, is vitally important if we are to have a close relationship with Him. Soon, we find ourselves abiding in His peace and presence always, just as God desires. Our hunger and thirst for righteousness grows in our hearts the more we study the Bible. The more we yield ourselves to the Holy Spirit, the more God satisfies that hunger. We become more and more obedient to Him, finding more and more areas to surrender to His will.
As we wait for Jesus to take us home we will never "arrive" spiritually to a place where we grow no more, but we will continue discovering greater heights of intimacy with Him.