Now I’m no expert, but from what I’ve heard and what I’ve read marriage is no cake walk. A healthy marriage requires such things as devotion, humility, service, teamwork, commitment, patience, kindness, gentleness, and of course, time spent together.
Lately, God has been teaching me a lot about the time I spend with Him. None of us spend enough time with God, that is certain. In order to have a thriving relationship with anybody, you need to spend time with them. God is no different. We’ve all heard that sermon. However, my mind of late has mostly been focusing on where and how I spend time with Him.
Throughout the Christian’s spiritual journey we develop traditions with God where we feel like we connect with Him best. Some of us have a special place where we like to pray in the morning, or a place in the sanctuary where we like to sit during a church service, or a certain posture of worship that we always revert to. For example, once a year I like to travel back to the bench on a university campus near my hometown where I took my first step with Christ at the age of thirteen. I like to meet with God there once a year in prayer to reflect on the year passed and the growth that He has accomplished in me.
These traditions that we establish are great, and they are important to many of us, including myself. But let me put it to you this way, if you were married, and for ten, twenty, even fifty years, and you only ate at the same three restaurants and went to the same movie theatre on date nights with your spouse, do you think your marriage would be alive, thriving, and exciting? Do you think you would know your spouse as intimately as possible? Do you think your 50th anniversary slide show would be any fun to watch? Like I said, I’m no expert, but I don’t think so.
It’s the same with God. If we only seek the Lord in the ways we have always sought after Him, then we will continue to experience in the same exact way. And this might be fine for some people, but I believe that by doing this, we are putting God in a box. And our vision of God only stays confined to the boxes we put him in.
The people we know the best are the people that we have spent the most time with in wonderfully diverse situations. Circumstances change our perception of people, and they change our perception of God as well. If we change our surroundings, or our posture, we see things in a new way, a new light.
I wrote something that I felt God speaking to me the other day in my journal, God said, “Jon, each morning, meet with Me in a new place and in a new way, and I will show you something new about Myself. Try something, try anything, and I will be there.” To put it another way, when we begin to experiment with God in new places and new postures, He breaks open those boxes and shatters what we once thought He was capable of.
For the past week I have been trying this and the results have been unbelievable. And the things you try don’t have to be earth shattering. One morning, instead of kneeling while I prayed, I stood up with my hands in the air, and it totally changed the way I felt the Spirit’s presence, because the posture of our physical body affects the posture of our spiritual heart. Our circumstances affect our perceptions.
So today, try something new with God. If you have never raised your hands before in worship, try it, see what it’s like. Do your quiet time at a coffee shop and silently pray for the people around you. Climb up to the roof and pray from up there, do your bible reading out loud, sit down during worship and silently pray the words of the songs in your heart.
God has revealed to me one of the most exciting parts of faith in Him is the potential for experimentation, and it’s something that I have been missing in my walk for a long time. We can meet Him anywhere and talk to Him about anything, so why not try everything. I want my 50th anniversary slide show with God to be filled with wonderful, diverse images of wonderfully diverse memories. Try something crazy, what’s the worst that could happen, or better yet, what’s the best that could happen?