“Let us know; let us press on to know the Lord;
his going out is sure as the dawn;
he will come to us as the showers,
as the spring rains that water the earth.” Hosea 6:3
It is that time of the year again when we like to consider where we are in our relationship with God and where we wish we’d be. For many Christians, there is a sense of guilt when they ask themselves this kind of questions. “Again a year has gone by and again I didn’t read my Bible consistently… and prayer? Honestly I only prayed when things were going super bad.”
The thing is that God has not moved from where we can find Him. He has not chosen a new way for us to approach Him, or a “fresher” way to know Him. God has revealed Himself to us in the person of Jesus Christ and in the Holy Scriptures. And it is in the Bible that He has told us who He is, how we can approach Him, how does our relationship with Him should look like, and how He expects us to live and relate with others and this world. There is no other way to know God but through the Holy Scriptures. There is no other way to come to God apart from Christ. And there is no other way to understand and believe all this apart from the work of the Holy Spirit in us.
In His kindness, God has not left us at the end of a dark maze filled with trials and dragons to see if we can -by our own merits or strength- find our way out to an everlasting life by the end of the year. No, our Heavenly Father has given us the key that opens heavy doors through the maze and a lamp that lightens up our way. God has given us the Scriptures and the Holy Spirit so that we may not remain lost in our sins, but live with assurance of eternal life. In the Word of God and in Christ we have all we need to live godly and victorious lives.
If you are a child of God, if you have repented of your sins and believed in the name of Jesus Christ, you have been called to know God. And this means that you have been saved to have a relationship with Him (not only to get a “pass to Heaven”). Jesus came to seek and save sinners who were lost like you and me. He came so that we may be able to come to the Father in His name. Jesus, the Incarnate Son of God, came to make His dwelling among us so that we may abide in Him. What a wonderful news the gospel is!
I want to encourage you, Sister, to come to the Scriptures, to read them each day, to study them, to meditate on them, to believe everything that is written, to pray over what you read, to live by all that is written in the Holy Book. And this is not about about having more willpower to be in the Word and in prayer each day, but about having a huge desire to know God more deeper, so that we may love Him and worship Him more fully.
It is not legalism to set a time each day to be in the Word, to build the discipline. (Don’t let anyone tell you that!) When we have a deep desire to be in communion with God, we will come every day and press on to know Him. And in our pressing on, we will find our joy increase as we get to know deeper the One who knew us first and called us by name. Obedience and perseverance that flow from a heart that loves God are never legalism.
As you consider all this, it is important also to recognize the difference between guilt and the conviction of the Holy Spirit.
Satan and our flesh will always try to make us feel guilty about our lack of discipline, and the way we will try to get rid of the accusations they bring on us is by reading “at least a verse or a psalm each day.” We will read and pray not because we want to know God and worship Him and obey Him more, but because we want to feel at ease with ourselves. After all, we are Christians, right? On the other hand, when the Holy Spirit convicts us of our sins -our messed up priorities, our negligence, the lies we tell ourselves for not being in the Word, etc.. He will always lead us, in His kindness, to repentance which means that true change will happen in our lives.
So as we approach the end of this year, ask yourself the right questions. If the Holy Spirit is convicting you of a sin of omission, confess it to God and embrace His forgiveness. Start praying that the Holy Spirit will draw you more to the Father and by grace through faith come to the Word (read and preached) and to the Father in prayer.
The good news is that you can start today. No need to wait until January 1st, when the race of New Year’s resolutions starts. Today is the perfect day to begin. By faith take the Book of God and read it, He will meet you there. He will come, “his going out is sure as the dawn; he will come to us as the showers, as the spring rains that water the earth.”
It is written and so we believe it is true.
Under His sun and by His grace,
P.S. Don’t know where to start? Join us on today’s reading here.