Fountain at night

Continually

My coffee pot doesn’t regenerate automatically. Does yours? Probably not. Whenever I want (or need) a cup of coffee, I have to make it myself. I have to pour in water and measure out coffee grounds. I have to push the start button. It something I do every morning, part of my routine, because if I want to remember how to spell, I need coffee in my system before I start working on this devotional!  Maybe you have a swanky coffee pot with a timer that will make coffee at a certain time so it’s ready when you wake up. But I don’t. And until I get one, I have to make it myself.

That’s a lousy illustration, but the point is there. Some things in our lives can’t be set on cruise control.

Fountain at night

Fountain at night - Bradley Fair Shopping Centre, Wichita, KS

Today’s verse is 1 Chronicles 16:11.

Search for the LORD and for his strength; continually seek him.

Life is constantly changing. I blogged about this earlier in the week, but it is an inescapable truth. Our lives change. Our circumstances change. We as a people change. The one Person who doesn’t change is God. And in the midst of all the changes we must experience, the only way to stay steady and solid is to hold on to Him.

This verse says that we should continually seek Him. That just means that our relationship with God isn’t something that can be set on auto-pilot.

There’s an old movie, Airplane, that had a funny joke about the auto-pilot system. When they switched it on, this inflatable person appeared in the pilot seat (his name was Otto, of course). But he flew the plane and left the others free to roam about the cabin, doing all the ridiculous things that made the movie so funny.

But when I start thinking about how that applies to my own life, it’s not so funny anymore. Because I have an auto-pilot system. And the more tired and more stressed out I get, the more I use it. It’s easier when I don’t have to think. It’s easier when I don’t have to delve too deeply into my concerns or examine my motives. I just drift through life on cruise control. And while I don’t rock the boat, I don’t catch any fish either.

Our relationship with God is just like any other relationship. If you don’t spend time investing in it, you’ll be strangers. It you aren’t willing to sacrifice your time to get to know Him, He will feel like a distant, impersonal God who only demands obedience and who is no longer relevant to your life.

But that begs another question. If He’s so steady and stable and unmoving, why do we have to search for Him continually? Why is it something that we have to do every day?

Well, we change. We move. We leave. We wander off on our own, even if it’s just a day’s journey. And if it’s longer than a day’s journey, it just takes that much longer to get back.

So is it even necessary to go back?

No, of course not. You don’t have to. If you want to wander off on your own, that’s your prerogative. Even if you’re a follower of Christ, you can go off by yourself. God is a gentleman, as my pastor likes to say. He won’t force Himself on anyone. But there’s a reason God is called the Rock of Ages. When everything else in the world is spinning out of control, He doesn’t move. He’s the anchor that keeps the ship secure in a storm. He’s the solid foundation that keeps the house standing when everything else falls apart. I don’t know about you, but I’m not that strong.

Seeking God continually is something every believer needs to do. It’s a habit we all need to develop, whether it’s daily Bible reading or a special time set aside every day for prayer. Whatever works for you, and if you don’t like structure (like me), do something else. Make something up. But whatever you do, seek God. Continually. Because if you aren’t anchored to Him, you’ll drift away. And before you know it, you’ll be so far away you won’t be able to see Him anymore.

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Being friends with God is everything it’s cracked up to be

    I bow before your holy Temple as I worship.
I praise your name for your unfailing love and faithfulness;
for your promises are backed
by all the honor of your name.

Sometimes a day can be so busy and so traumatic and so crazy that it’s hard for me to remember to praise God for everything He’s’ done for me. That’s another reason I love the Psalms. They always serve as reminders to praise, to worship, no matter what is happening in our lives.

God is faithful. God loves us. He will never leave us or abandon us. He’ll never let us down. He’ll always be there when we call on Him, and even if we don’t call on Him, He’ll still show up.

Have you ever had a friend like that? Someone who you can depend on no matter what? If you have a friend like that, are you thankful for them? Do you appreciate them?

Because, you know, the beautiful thing about a friend like that is they chose you. That’s what’s awesome about friends. There is usually very little obligation in friendship. Now in family, obligation and duty are usually pretty common. But not in friendship. You choose your friends, yes, but the amazing thing about friendship is that they have to choose you back.

I have a lot of friends. But in the strictest sense, I am an introvert, so while I may know a lot of people and consider most of them to be friends, there are very few who I will truly open my heart to. And you all know who you are.

And I am stunned and amazed every time we talk or when I know that you are praying for me becuase it is shocking to me that anyone would choose to be my friend. I know myself. I know how crazy I am and how I get bent out of shape over silly things and how sometimes I get so busy with work and life and ministry I seem to drop off the face of the earth and disappear entirely for months at a time. But then–when things calm down and I am able to rebuild any sort of social life I used to have, my friends are there waiting for me like nothing has changed.

And when that happens, I am so thankful–so very thankful–for the friends in my life who have chosen (and who keep choosing) to be friends with me.

And as thankful as I am for my friends down here, I am infinitely more thankful for my friendship with God. He is amazing to me. And just like I don’t understand why anyone here would want to be friends with me, even more so I’m amazed that God would too.

Because I haven’t done anything good enough to even be in the running to be chosen as “God’s Friend.” But He chose me anyway. Just like He chose everyone else.

So I should say that I am thankful to God for His faithfulness to me and because of His love for me and because all of His promises are real and true . . . but that’s not entirely true. I am thankful for Him because He’s my best friend, the One I can tell anything, the Person I seek out when I’m in trouble or when I’m hurting.

And even though I can’t ever do anything to deserve His friendship (nor does He expect me to), I want to be a good friend in return.