Alone with God{Matthew 6:5-6; NLT}
“When you pray, don’t be like the hypocrites who love to pray publicly on street corners and in the synagogues where everyone can see them. I tell you the truth, that is all the reward they will ever get. But when you pray, go away by yourself, shut the door behind you, and pray to your Father in private. Then your Father, who sees everything, will reward you.”

A temptation that Christians face is to substitute following Jesus with living a religious life. The reason this is easy to do is because religion feels “spiritual”, and the purpose of religion is to connect us to God. Yet, religion often stunts the spiritual formation of our lives.

One of the ways we will know that we have a problem in our relationship with God is when our “spiritual” life is done entirely in public and for the show of others. We neglect using our private time to connect to God, but we use public moments to appear “spiritual” or “religious” so we can impress people. In my life the people I have wanted to “show off” my “spiritual” life have been my family and a small group of friends. Who has it been for you?

Way back in 1895 a pastor by the name of Andrew Murray wrote:

If you are not willing to sacrifice time to get alone with him, and to give him time every day to work in you, and to keep up the link of connection between you and himself, he cannot give you that blessing of his unbroken fellowship. Jesus Christ asks you to live in close communion with him. Let every heart say: “O, Christ, it is this I long for, it is this I choose.” And he will gladly give it to you. (Humility and Absolute Surrender, emphasis added, p. 157).

I think Andrew Murray hits on one of the common experiences we all have as we follow Jesus: selfishness with our time. The older we get the less time we seem to have, and yet we seem to find the time to watch movies, hang out with friends, go to the mall, or skim through Facebook. What gets sacrificed in the process is our relationship with Christ, and thus our connection to the source of new life that will transform our lives.

The most important choice we can make each and every day is the choice to put aside good things and spend time with God through prayer, reading, worship, and meditation. God longs to give us life, but we must spend time with Him to discover it.

Questions to consider:

  • Why is it important to find time to be alone with God?
  • Has religion become an obstacle in your relationship with God?
  • What are some way you connect with God on a regular basis?
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