Friday, July 22, 2011

"Come Away with Me"

Morning "quiet time" with God is my favorite time of day.

I wasn't always a "morning person" - in fact, before I knew Jesus as Lord and Savior, late-night lifestyle and unhealthy habits made getting up in the morning (at any hour) a less-than-pleasant experience.  Older & wiser now :)  I enjoy a morning espresso  while sitting outside on my little patio (weather permitting) or snuggled into my favorite recliner, reading scripture and spending the first moments of my day with God.  Naturally, the whole day goes better when I put Him first.

This past Sunday morning began with the following devotional reading from Jesus Calling by Sarah Young (written as if by God):

July 17

COME AWAY WITH ME for a while.  The world, with its nonstop demands, can be put on hold.  Most people put Me on hold, rationalizing that someday they will find time to focus on Me.  But the longer people push Me into the background of their lives, the harder it is for them to find Me.

You live among people who glorify busyness;  they have made time a tyrant that controls their lives.  Even those who know Me as Savior tend to march to the tempo of the world.  They have bought into the illusion that more is always better:  more meetings, more programs, more activity.

I have called you to follow Me on a solitary path, making time alone with Me your highest priority and deepest Joy.  It is a pathway largely unappreciated and often despised.  However, you have chosen the better thing, which will never be taken away from you.  Moreover, as you walk close to Me, I can bless others through you.

"The fig tree forms its early fruit;
the blossoming vines spread their fragrance.
Arise, come, my darling;
my beautiful one, come with me."

"But only one thing is needed.  Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her."
LUKE 10:42

One of the lessons I've been learning this year is that God's "pace"  is a lot more peaceful and patient than most of us experience in our daily lives.  We don't always recognize how much we've been influenced, to varying degrees, by worldly patterns of thought and behavior (see "Learning to Rest," 5/11/11 posting).

Some Christians seem to think that pressure and busyness are necessary for productivity "in the Kingdom."  Scripture tells me that Jesus is building His Church [Matthew 16:18, Acts 2:47], "He is our Peace" [Ephesians 2:14], and that God isn't "in a hurry" [2 Peter 3:8-9].  As Heidi Baker often says, "Fruitfulness is born out of intimacy."  We need to spend significant "quiet time" with Him if we really want to hear His heartbeat, move at His pace,  empowered by His Spirit to live and work with Him.

In John 15:4-5, Jesus says:

  "Stay united with me, as I will with you -- for just as the branch can't put forth fruit by itself apart from the vine, so you can't bear fruit apart from me.  I am the vine and you are the branches. Those who stay united with me, and I with them, are the ones who bear much fruit; because apart from me you can't do a thing." [CJB]

In the rest of this chapter, Jesus goes on to talk about friendship with God (vs. servanthood), not belonging to the world, loving one another, and testifying of Him.  All of these things are possible if we "stay united with" Him (Complete Jewish Bible translation, above) - in the King James Version, it's the word "abide."  Synonyms include:  remain, continue, stay, dwell, reside, endure, sustain, wait for, await, tarry, persevere, and live.  Doesn't sound like "hurry" or "busyness" to me...

I enjoy my "quiet time" with God in the morning, but - whatever time of day you choose - remember to "come away" with Him.   :)


Bonus Track:  "Come Away with Me" - song by Brock Human, performed by Jesus Culture

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