I think it's time to revisit this. The following are some excerpts from my recent talk to Normandale Reformed Church.
Do we really “Get it” that God isn’t interested in how much we “DO” for him, but rather, just want us to “BE” with him?
This was a huge revelation for me this week.
That God isn’t interested in how much I DO FOR HIM, but His head turns when I express that I simply want to BE WITH HIM.
In English, we call this abiding (connect, be close, to be attached). Abiding might be a little like constant text messaging – even though a person is not here, you are remaining connected to them while living life.
Jesus tells a story of two men in Matthew 7. One builds a house on the sand, the other on the rock. The winds and rains destroy the house built on the sand, but the one on the rock stands firm.
I’ve read this a kazillion times, but something new was revealed to me this week – THEY BOTH BUILT HOUSES! They both had something to show for their work. They both labored furiously, and from the outside-looking-in, you might not have known the difference. In fact, you might have walked in the house built on the sand on the day it was built and said to yourself “Man! I wish I could build something like this! This person has it all together! They are a master builder!”
I can’t believe I’ve missed this all long. They both were furiously laboring, tirelessly building, and both had a house to show for their work.
But the problem was in the foundation.
And I’m not much different. Sometimes I wake up in the morning and my mind immediately begins calculating the list of things that I need or should do that day. Those are good days – usually the list gets put together a few weeks in advance. And sure, I find “space” for God – sometimes – where I’ll just sit and be with him.
But Jesus says makes it very clear that our lift ticket into eternity is a personal relationship with him. A deep abiding relationship, that is willing to be quiet, and listen to his still, small voice. Look with me – just a few verses before, in Matthew 7:21:
Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?' And then will I declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.
Sometime when you have a chance, read John 15:1-17. Jesus invited us to abide in Him. The word abide appears 11 times!
The bottom line:
More than how much we “do for” Jesus, Jesus wants us to simply “be with” him.