I am always looking for a deal. A shortcut. A discount. My husband loves it because I’m very conscientious about how I spend my our money.
To be honest, I actually really enjoy seeing what kind of deal I can get through coupons, secret sales, b-day month discounts, etc. I love finding the cheapest ways to go on vacation. I look for ways to streamline my day or my errands so things don’t take as long.
I’m all about shortcuts, deals and discounts. Freaky, I know.
But there’s one place I can’t implement these kinds of strategies because they don’t work for me. It’s my relationship with God. Unless I put in the time and the effort with Him… the relationship goes south, and quick.
Is it the same for you?
When you cheat God and your relationship with Him, you may find:
- that you don’t hear Him like you used too
- you’re unsure what His will for your life is
- that you live “in” your circumstances rather than “above” them
- a lack of grace for others
- an increase in anger, bitterness and frustration
You see, we have to invest our heart, time, effort and energy with Him. But I know us. And sometimes we look for ways to get the “benefits” of the relationship without actually giving it the “time” it needs. When we do that… we are setting ourselves up for disappointment and distance.
Last week, I had coffee with a friend who was sharing her frustration with God, saying that He was not speaking to her regarding a specific situation. She had been fasting and was not “hearing” Him at all. She was beside herself angry because she couldn’t understand why.
I couldn’t either! This friend is a Godly woman who loves God… so I was concerned and decided to pry a little. I asked her what she was doing to try and “hear” Him… essentially asking her what time and effort she was putting into their relationship. I asked…
- “Have you been reading your Bible, looking for some words from Him?” She replied, “No.”
- “Have you spent time listening to podcasts or CDs or DVDs seeing if He would provide an answer that way?” “No,” she said.
- “What about your prayer time? What has he showed you through that?” “Nothing. I’m not praying to Him because I am mad.“
I’m not surprised she wasn’t hearing a thing. She thought by the act of fasting, God would answer her. In her poorly planned strategy to receive God’s answer, she had left out one very important part…
… a sweet and rich relationship with her Heavenly Father.
My friend was looking for a deal. She deliberately took a shortcut rather than wholeheartedly looking for God’s answer through time with Him. And she admitted hoping for a “family” discount just because she was His.
It rarely works that way.
Deuteronomy 6:5 tells us that we have to invest all we have. The verse says, “Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.” (emphasis mine)
Feeling distant? Ask God to show you where your being “thrifty” in your relationship with Him.
He wants all of us.