By Brian Sharpe
The way my brain works, I need peace and quiet in a room that I am going to study in. There can be no mess. I need a solid block of uninterrupted time for me to get good study time in. The problem is that, up until this last month, I didn’t really have that at my house. I could finagle it, but my brain for some reason knows I am finagling it and just gets distracted.
Well, we are at the tail end of a remodel at our house. We have taken some walls out and put some walls in. One of the areas we created by putting some walls in was an office. I could not wait for my office. I was excited to have a place where I could go, have some peace and quiet, pray, and spend time with God. The problem was that when we finished the office, my parents were still in town and my dad took over the office as his office. He needs a space to work, so I was glad to have it for him, but I was waiting for my turn in the office so I could get my peace and quiet.
Well, once my parents left, I took some time in my office. It was so nice to get some peace and quiet time. I just listened to music and read my Bible. I prayer-journaled, and it was heavenly. As I prayer-journaled, I realized something. I realized that I had a faulty view of spending time with God. I thought spending time with God meant that I set aside 10 minutes or more time a day just to read my Bible and pray. You remember the song that says, “Read your Bible and pray every day and you will grow, grow, grow”? That is what I thought it meant to spend time with God. I needed my office where I could get away and read and pray.
However, while that may be important, it is not what is needed to spend time with God. God is always with us. He is always with us. He will never leave us. When we wake, He is there. When we sleep, He is there.
O LORD, you have examined my heart and know everything about me. You know when I sit down or stand up. You know my thoughts even when I’m far away. You see me when I travel and when I rest at home. You know everything I do. You know what I am going to say even before I say it, LORD. You go before me and follow me. You place your hand of blessing on my head. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too great for me to understand! I can never escape from your Spirit! I can never get away from your presence! If I go up to heaven, you are there; if I go down to the grave, you are there. If I ride the wings of the morning, if I dwell by the farthest oceans, even there your hand will guide me, and your strength will support me.
Spending time with God is not something we have to work at; it is something we have to acknowledge we are always doing. See, I believed the lie that knowledge equals intimacy with God. Knowledge is good, but it doesn’t always equal intimacy. Intimacy comes from spending time together. It comes from me recognizing that God is always with me as well as entering into the journey with Him. It is me talking with God throughout my day, remembering that He is there. It is sitting and listening to Him as we process what is going on in life. It is inviting Him to teach me about Himself when I read my Bible. It is me recognizing He is always with me, no matter where I am and what I am doing. It is a change in perspective. It goes from needing to spend time with God to me always spending time with God and realizing it.
I want to encourage you today to acknowledge God’s ever-present presence in your life and to talk through all that you are doing today with Him. We need to live understanding He is with us, not hoping we will get time with Him.