If you had a chance to go on a date with God would you?
I mean, what if you could have a one-on-one, by yourself, no distractions date with God. You could ask Him anything, talk about anything, or even just sit and eat with Him, but it was your time with Him and only Him.
Would you do it?
The only requirement is that you were fully there with Him. This would mean you couldn’t have your TV, cellphone, laptop, music, kids, spouse, or any other attention grabber so you He could have your full attention. You and your Creator, no barriers, no pressure, and no where else to be except in the moment.
Would you do it?
Now a seemingly cosmic date with the Almighty may make you feel like you were stranded on a deserted island talking to a volleyball crazy, but in reality it is the heart desire of God for this to happen. He desperately wants time with us just one-on-one and the time you do spend with Him will be the best return on investment you’ve ever had.
A time of retreat with God is an important part of my spiritual life. Beyond my daily quiet times, I try to get 2-3 24-hour retreats away from the world. The cell phone gets closed, the Bible gets opened, my TV goes missing, my music is ringing, my car gets parked, and my legs are my vehicle. It’s a sacrifice and a commitment both for me and my family, but it’s become vital to my spiritual balance.
So what do I when I go? Do I sit Indian style on a log in the middle of woods and wait for animals to come and sing with me? Perhaps I drink decaf coffee and memorize Lamentations?
The reality is I come with no agenda, but try to do 5 things.
Rest – I come to find rest not just in the physical “I need a nap” sense, but also in the spiritual sense. I allow my spirit to relax and find comfort in being with God and not trying to be anything other than plain old Brian the one God created. I allow my spiritual shoulders to release the tension the world has placed on them.
Bible - I spend time simply reading God’s word and allowing the words to convict, challenge, heal, and inspire me. I may come with a Book of the Bible I feel God needs me to read or I may just land in the Psalms and Proverbs to let the wisdom and poetic truths teach me. When I read I don’t try to push back on what I’m reading I simply let it soak into my spirit.
Song – I love to sing so I find myself just singing or writing songs. I find that allowing a moment of musical worship in these times of retreat really connect me to God in a very personal way. For me, the guitar and a blank sheet of paper allows me to see God handwriting on my life in action.
Walk - I enjoy finding places of retreat where I can be in God’s creation. Walking trails with water by them are my favorite. I often find myself getting overwhelmed with the majesty of God’s creation when I take the time to take in all that is around me. There’s something breathing clean air that just awakens my spirit.
Pray - Finally the most important part of my time away is in prayer. I will usually combine my walks with prayer to allow for my need to multitask to be fulfilled, but I spend time asking and listening, thanking and listening, seeking and listening, and then just listening more. It’s in the silences of prayer that I find God speaks the loudest.
To be clear. That’s my retreat. This may not look anything like your retreat with God at all, but I do pray you have a time of retreat. God is truly seeking that time with you.
Jesus says in Matthew 11:28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” The part we so often miss in this passage is the action word “come”. Finding rest in God requires an action by us to want it, to desire it, to come to Him. Only then will we receive the rest we desire.
I pray you take the opportunity to go on a date with God often. You may have to sacrifice to make it happen, but in the end He’s already paid the Ultimate Bill.
And believe me, that’s no cheap date.
So…will you do it?