I have been an exhorter in the past and I want to re-establish my role by encouraging others. My question to you is; how often do you have time alone with God? If we’re too busy for God, then we are simply too busy. When I allow God to be in charge of my life, I am amazed at how much more productive I am. When I put Him first; everything falls into place. I have developed five points on how to put God first in my life. Five is the number of grace and the acronym I have used spells out the word GRACE.
G – Getting to know God:
We can’t reach others without first having our own time with God. We have to know what the Bible says in order to share it. So why do many of us try to live a Godly life without having personal time with God? When we study the Bible, it overflows to the rest of our life. Out of that wealth, we are able to minister to and encourage others. What we put in is what comes out. If I FILL my heart and mind with the Bible, there is not any room for negativity. We can strengthen our relationship with God by communication and observation otherwise it won’t grow. With our friends we listen and find out as much about them as we can. This is how our relationship with God should be; sharing and communicating, finding out everything we possibly can about Him (getting to know God). Satisfied living comes through knowing God. Matthew 5:6 (Amplified) “Blessed and fortunate and happy and spiritually prosperous are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness for they shall be completely satisfied.”
R – Refusing self:
Just as we should ask about our relationships “What can I do to make this relationship better?” we should ask about our relationship with God. When we focus on what we do rather than what we can get, we become selfless instead of selfish. When we put our own self first we are giving into our weaknesses. In Galatians 5:20-21, the Bible speaks of idolatry. The definition of idolatry is “excessive devotion.” This could mean loving ourselves more than others. Jesus’ example was to put the needs of others first by being a servant. Luke 22:27 “Who is more important, the one who sits at the table or the one who serves? The one who sits at the table, of course. But not here! For I am among you as one who serves.”
A – Asking:
Asking for wisdom and making our petitions known before God is how we should pray, simplicity is the best approach. Our time should begin with prayer. “Never stop praying.” 1 Thessalonians 5:17 We should have confidence in our prayers just as Abraham did. When Abraham prayed that Lot would be spared from the destruction of Sodom, obviously he had confidence in that prayer because we read he had slept that night. Genesis 19:27 “Abraham got up early that morning and hurried out to the place where he had stood in the Lord’s presence.” If Abraham didn’t believe Lot would be spared, I don’t think he would have slept.
C – Charging
Letting God be the one that charges us up. Most people don’t try to withstand a trial or problem without running to God in prayer. But why not just be hooked up to God all the time? Think of yourself as a three-prong electrical plug. The bottom prong is for “Grounding!” That grounding should plug into the Bible. Notice how it is fatter than the other two and relate that to how much we should draw on the Bible. Then take a look at the other two prongs. Notice how they are wider at the tip? Those prongs represent our outstretched hands in worship. Once they are ‘plugged into’ the socket they are harder to pull out. Now, take a look at the holes in these prongs, relate these to ears. These two prongs make the circuit complete and if we are not listening to God along with praying, worshiping, and reading the Bible, then our circuitry is incomplete. I know people who cut off the third prong because it doesn’t fit. They take a risk of getting shocked. We need to be careful that we don’t cut off our relationship with God by only praying and not reading the Bible, which makes a one-way relationship. Also, if we were to tape up the holes on the prongs, and we only went to God in prayer, then how can we hear? In Romans 10:17 the Bible says, “So faith comes from hearing, that is, hearing the Good News about Christ.”
E – Exalting:
When we hear from God, how can we help but exalt or worship Him by praising Him in spirit and song? Exalt means to raise in rank, honor, power or character. We should exalt God far above everything and everyone. I love the song “How Can I Keep from Singing?” by Chris Tomlin. This is how I feel about God. I cannot keep quiet about all the things he has done for me. Worship is so important in our daily walk, it isn’t just for Sunday, and God loves to hear our praises! “But the time is coming—indeed it’s here now—when true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth. The Father is looking for those who will worship him that way.” John 4:23
We live in such a “give me” society that it’s no wonder we expect God to do everything while we just carry on until we ‘need’ Him. Grace is freely given, unmerited favor, the Love of God, and the influence of the Holy Spirit in us to strengthen us. God gave us his best through Jesus Christ and his death on the cross, a perfect sacrifice, his resurrection, and the Holy Spirit. He graced us with the Bible, but what have we given in return? Sometimes we offer a mere pittance of a prayer before our meals or a ritualistic prayer before bed when God deserves our best! The very least we can do is give of our time to communicate with Him. I encourage you to show God honor for the grace he has shown you, he loves you and wants to bless you by communicating with you. Have some time alone with God today and every day. Your life will be better because of the time you spend.