Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Never Alone

“Answer me when I call, O God of my righteousness! You have given me relief when I was in distress. Be gracious to me and hear my prayer!” (Psalm 4:1, ESV)

Have you ever been working through something and wished you had someone to talk with? Maybe there is someone, but that person isn’t available or isn’t able to relate to the particular question at hand. So, you just worked through your thoughts alone, and maybe even started to feel sorry for yourself. Or maybe you are a more social type and everyone knows your business because you are so open, and yet you want a place to be quiet and personal. Aloneness and togetherness are tensions we all struggle with in different ways.

Today I drove into down to buy some ground coffee, and I walked into the shop where we usually buy it. The place was crowded, but I didn’t know anyone and I really didn’t feel like jumping into a surface conversation at the moment. I was feeling a bit alone, when the reality was that I could have picked up the phone and been talking with a close friend right then or even called and set up a face to face with very short lead time. My friends have made themselves available to me and I have made myself available to them.

There are also the unexpected times like today when I went to the ATM at my bank and the person ahead of me recognized me. After a brief exchange of names we realize that I had helped coach her son who she lost in an auto accident a number of years ago. I didn’t know her well, but we knew each other enough that we could connect in that moment and I could hear how she was doing and how her son’s friends are still an encouragement to her.

God did not create us to walk through our lives as isolationists. We are not in this alone, and we are definitely not in this by ourselves in the most critical sense which is in our relationship with Him. Man was separated from God because of his own sin, and yet God reached down to man through His own Son and drew us back to Himself. And in drawing us to Himself, He encloses us fully, gives us the ability to abide in Him through His Son, and Him to abide and work in us through His Spirit. How the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit do all of these things as we see in Scripture is a testament to the oneness of our God, and He has given us the opportunity to share in this by entering into a relationship with Him and with those who have also placed their trust in His Son for their salvation.

Even when we choose not to look to God, God is still present with us. Even when we are not stopping to pray, God’s eyes are still on us. He tells us to pray (talk) with Him and He says that He hears those prayers, and even when we don’t know how to pray His Spirit even intercedes in our prayers. When we sin and do that which is contrary to His will, rather than turning His back on us, His Son sits at His right hand as our intercessor having already taken the full burden of our sins upon Himself (and removed them from us) and He fully receives us back in fellowship as we recognize that sin and thank Him afresh for the forgiveness already given.

I know when I am with someone I can relatively easily tune out other things as I listen intently. In the same way, I continue to learn the importance of tuning out the distractions around me as I spend time with my God who always surrounds me. Sometimes it means even leaving for a more quiet place. Other times it means being more purposeful in the midst of confusion. The big difference is that noise does not keep God from hearing us, and He is absolutely capable of speaking in the storm yet is often heard in the quiet.

Even when I can’t quiet my circumstances I can quiet my heart. “Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!” The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress. Selah” (Psalm 46:10–11, ESV)

“The Lord is righteous in all his ways and kind in all his works. The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth. He fulfills the desire of those who fear him; he also hears their cry and saves them. The Lord preserves all who love him, but all the wicked he will destroy. My mouth will speak the praise of the Lord, and let all flesh bless his holy name forever and ever.” (Psalm 145:17–21, ESV)

Today in “Jesus Calling” by Sarah Young (10/2)

Never take for granted My intimate nearness. Marvel at the wonder of My continual Presence with you. Even the most ardent human lover cannot be with you always. Nor can another person know the intimacies of your heart, mind, and spirit. I know everything about you—even to the number of hairs on your head. You don’t need to work at revealing yourself to Me.

Many people spend a lifetime or a small fortune searching for someone who understands them. Yet I am freely available to all who call upon My Name, who open their hearts to receive Me as Savior. This simple act of faith is the beginning of a lifelong love story. I, the Lover of your soul, understand you perfectly and love you eternally.

“Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear; you are more valuable than many sparrows.” (Luke 12:7, NASB95)

“But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name,” (John 1:12, NASB95)

“for “Whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved.”” (Romans 10:13, NASB95)

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