Faith: It’s not easy, but Lord wants our undivided attention
I remember putting my daughter to bed one night when she was just an infant, but before I put her down I decided to spend a few minutes with her in the rocking chair. I am not even sure what I was saying, but all of a sudden she opened her eyes really big and just stared at me. To be honest, I got lost in that moment. She didn’t look away — she didn’t even hardly blink — she just stared right at me and I nearly melted right there.
There is nothing that pleases a father more than when he has the undivided attention of his child. I will have to say that up until this point, it was probably the most special time I have had with just she and I … and I felt so connected with her. Walking out of her room down the steps I felt the Lord whisper to me, “Hey JJ, that is what I want with you! Not some ritual … but an intimate connection.”
From time to time I get caught up in “having a quiet time” just to say I had one. Sure, a verse or two will stand out to me, but if I am not careful I will forget that my time with God in the mornings isn’t about a spiritual to do list; it is about a connection — a connection that I need and God wants. God doesn’t want our lip service. He wants our undivided attention, and that is so hard in today’s society. Everything competes with our time with Him, especially technology. I just know that what I experienced with my daughter was real, and the Lord used it in my life to show me that I need to take my walk with Him to the next level!
Then I was reminded of Jesus. The Bible says in Luke 5:16 that He often withdrew to lonely places and prayed. Translation: He got alone and locked eyes with His Father … amazing! I believe the most intimate and challenging time Jesus had with the Father was in the garden of Gethsemane where we see Him praying in Matthew 26:36-45 one of the most unselfish, sold out prayers ever recorded in history. Translation: when we lock eyes with the Father there is nothing that we are not willing to do for Him! My prayer lately has been that I will have my eyes locked (focused) on Him! It blows my mind that He wants that, and I know I need it! I never want to merely offer God lip service — He knows my heart. My desire is to lock eyes with Him and then to do whatever He asks. How about you?
J.J. Tuttle is the pastor of Connected Church of the Nazarene in Carson City.