Over two excessively large salads while seated in a crowded restaurant, a friend shared her heart:
“It hurt that they didn’t want to know me.”
She spoke of the women in her small group Bible study. The other women came into the group already knowing one another. Most were regularly doing life together. She felt that the majority of them had little interest in getting to know her. They didn’t appear to care what she thought or desire to hear what was going on with her (which, by the way, was a lot and some hard things, but beautiful). As she shared with me, she wasn’t having a pity party. She was hurting and processing. She wanted to learn from it.
I’ve been processing it too. Knowing this woman well, I see how the other women — never intending to do so — neglected a gift placed right in front of them. She has so much to offer and could have been an incredible blessing to them. I don’t write this to condemn them — not at all, we could all easily be on either side of such an experience. But I do want to learn from it, just like my friend. As I’ve pondered what she shared and considered how it affected her, I’ve also wondered: Do we do the same thing with God?
Do we hurt the heart of God because we don’t want to know Him?
Do we care what God thinks, what He has to say and what He feels? Or do we neglect the most precious of all gifts given us because…because of any number of reasons and pursuits that fill and consume us? Do we take into serious account that God lives in us and wants to share Himself and every aspect of life with us? Or are we too busy, too consumed with “me and mine” to include Him and listen to Him?
Nearing the end of his life, a life filled with a long list of worldly and God-ordained accomplishments, the apostle Paul said:
“I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord” (Philippians 3:9).
Can you say this? Regularly, I have to stop and ask myself if I truly think this way. Is knowing Jesus my greatest priority? Is everything else a loss in comparison?
King David was another man who embraced an intimate knowing of God:
“One thing have I asked of the Lord, this is what I seek [inquire for and insistently require]: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord [in His presence] all the days of my life, to gaze upon His beauty and to seek Him in His temple” (Psalm 24:7).
I’ve always thought that having a deep relationship with God just came naturally to David. But when I think about our human nature, he was no different than we are. He was undoubtedly drawn to and distracted by many things. In fact, while writing those words, his enemies were pursuing and attacking him, something that could distract anyone from seeking God. But, as the verse says:
David asked God for it.
He sought it.
And that’s what God wants from us: to ask for a deep relationship with Him, and then to be intentional to make time to seek and enjoy that relationship.
What if we daily asked God: “What would you like for me to know about You today? What would You like to share with me today?” I realize this can be an intimidating undertaking. In asking God a question, we have to believe He will answer. Yet I know that if you’ll give it a try, and keep trying, God will speak. He may put a thought or song in your mind. He may prompt you to go to a specific Scripture. He might point out something or someone for you to notice. If we will open your eyes, tune our ears and seek to be aware of Him, God will reveal Himself to us. As we ask, He will share what’s on His heart.
The truth hit me profoundly the other morning: I can have and enjoy as deep an intimacy with God as I am willing to seek. We choose the depth of our relationship with God. He’s willing. In fact, He’s longing for us to come to Him, to know Him, to see life from His perspective and understand how He feels. I believe His heart is hurting because while He’s right here with us, we’re often distracted from and disinterested in Him. We are missing the greatest gift possible.
God knows everything about us — every hair, every thought, every desire. It’s time we seek wholeheartedly to know Him, to know about Him, to understand what’s on His heart, His thoughts and His desires. He is worth knowing!
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