14 March 2012

Falling Asleep in the Garden – DRAWING CLOSER

 “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness,
and all these things will be added to you” – Matthew 6:33 (ESV)

What has this Lenten season meant to you? How have you drawn closer to God?

On this blog we are always talking about how our lives – the busyness, commitments, and other demands on our time STEAL OUR PEACE. Well guess what? Those same trappings, if we let them, can keep us from drawing closer to God. The Journey to the Cross doesn’t take a day off, or time out because of other commitments or busy schedules.

What competes with your time with God?

Sometimes I feel like the disciples when they fell asleep in the Garden. I grow tired and weary, and end up choosing sleep or mundane activities (such as Facebook, Pinterest, or TV) to fill my time. And yes, you guessed it - my “God-time” suffers.

The words of James 4:8 tells us, “Come near to God, and He will come near to you.” God expects us to take the first step, and if we do, He will meet us right where we are. It takes a conscious effort on our part to draw near to Him.

Let’s read the passage one more time: “So let God work his will in you. Yell a loud no to the Devil and watch him scamper. Say a quiet yes to God and he'll be there in no time. Quit dabbling in sin. Purify your inner life. Quit playing the field. Hit bottom, and cry your eyes out. The fun and games are over. Get serious, really serious. Get down on your knees before the Master; it's the only way you'll get on your feet” (James 4:7-10, The Message).

Why would we choose to battle the chaos, hurt, weariness, sin, disappointment, loneliness that comes from our constantly trying to do things our way, filling ourselves with things of this world - when we can find peace, comfort, strength, and joy {and much more} in the presence of God?

Christ humbled himself when he came to walk with us, and to die on the cross for our sins. 

Are our actions and choices telling HIM that it was all for nothing?

PREPARING OUR HEARTS: Let’s make today a new day, a re-commitment to this Lenten season. Let’s abandon our attempts to do it our way, to “save” ourselves. Remember the words from James? We have been commanded to take the first step.

This week I came across a prayer from Joel and Victoria Osteen, and it is the perfect prayer for this moment. As we respond to His command, won’t you pray with me …

Father in heaven, I choose to draw near to You. I open my heart and turn from anything that displeases You. Fill me with Your power to live the good life You have planned for me as I draw close to You. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

I have posted two music links for the songs “In the Garden” and “Draw Me Close to You” ... enjoy! There is also a resource listed below that offers 365 meditations for a year long journey of drawing closer to God.

Blessings & Peace,
In Christ Alone – Donna Weaver

In the Garden, sung by Alan Jackson

Draw Me Close to You, sung by Michael W. Smith

Drawing Closer to God: 365 Daily Meditations, 
by Dianne Neal Matthews


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