Rest is made simple when we come to God. I don’t have much of a recollection of deviant behavior when I was younger. I was what you called a “rule” keeper, and to this day I hold fast to sticking to the rules. However, I do remember that one of the hardest things for me to do (and I’m growing out of it” was, to be honest. My parents would ask how I felt about something, and I didn’t want to be a negative Nancy, so I just held it in. They continued to tell me, “It’s okay. Just come to us,” but I found myself running away because being a “rule” keeper and mini leader, that was a struggle for me. Our relationship with others can mimic our relationship with God also. I found myself putting on the “I’m okay mask” when my heart was crushed, and I thought God was only interested in my “happy” moments.
Last week, we were challenged by Matthew 11:28 to ask the tough question, “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned Out on religion” (MSG). Some of us admit that we are all of the above, but we get stuck there. We can tell people how tired we feel, but really don’t know how to address the internal and external fatigue that we feel. The available answer is “Come to me (God).” I can already hear a few people saying “God helps those who help themselves,” coined by Algernon Sydney. He does, but He doesn’t expect you to have all of the answers before coming to Him. That would take the fun out of the journey that we are on.
What does coming to God look like? The answer is not what most people think of.
• You can come to Him sitting outside at your favorite park.
• You can come to Him driving from one place to the next.
• You can come to Him in your kitchen and during meal preparation.
• You can come to Him in joyous moments and painful situations.
Coming to God is a posture of the heart. In our relationship with Him, we develop a rhythm of the where. Don’t hold the place so tightly because it is subject to change! I remember coming to God while walking in the park. I would get up early, walk around the park, ask God some heart pressing questions, and allowed Him space to speak to me. It wasn’t an audible voice that sounded like Morgan Freemen. It was a still, small voice. Sometimes the objective was to get clarity. Other times it was more about coming to Him even though I couldn’t articulate anything more than tears. Other times, I would be cooking dinner and pondering something. Lo and behold at the kitchen sink there was a conversation between God and I. We get caught up in the logistics and the “steps” to the point some of us have tried to come to God in a way that appears more “spiritual” instead of merely coming to Him.
One of my favorite hymns What a Friend We Have in Jesus, written by Joseph M. Scriven says, “O what peace we often forfeit. O what needless pain we bear. All because we do not carry. Everything to God in prayer.”
What is keeping you from coming to God? Are you afraid of messing up? Are you afraid because you were taught God was too big to care about you?
Religion will teach you a pattern of “everyone else” does it this way and you need to conform to the way everyone else is doing it. Relationship calls us to embrace the way that God challenges us to come to Him. When we move out of mimicking, we can be ourselves, and that is the most natural person to be! When you are yourself, it takes less effort and energy because you are living how He designed you to live, freely.
Questions to Consider:
1. What are the reasons you are afraid to come to God?
2. Where does God speak to you?
3. Are you willing to come to Him?