Note: This is the sixth in a series.
One of the great pleasures in life is spending time with a close friend or family member. Conversations take deep, wonderful plunges below surface topics as you search out treasure together and compare journeys. In this place of vulnerability and trust, you’re free to laugh or cry. Or simply sit in silence. Perhaps this gift of our time and focus is the most precious gift we can give one another.
In Luke 14:16-24, Jesus tells of a master who invites his friends to a feast. He had given the invitation earlier, but when he sent his servants to tell them everything was ready, one by one they gave excuses why they weren’t able to attend. One by one they missed out on receiving more than they could have imagined.
This story is heartbreaking for many reasons. I see our world in this place of distraction and busyness. We can feel its tug and weight even when we’re trying to rest. It often steals the joy of relationship, the joy of quiet moments, the unexpected laughter, the beauty of color and light and life.
But Jesus wasn’t only talking about going to a friend’s home for dinner in this story. He was relating to us God’s passionate desire for us to come and feast at a banquet He has prepared — for eternity, and today!
Varied and Marvelous Ways
As I’ve been learning to receive from God in new ways, my understanding of time and focus has also expanded. Because receiving from God comes through relationship, it requires our time and focus. You and I have personal invitations only each of us can fill. But accepting your invitation is just the beginning.
The more we give our time and focus to God, the more our relationships, decisions, family, work, and recreation are formed by the heart of God. Jesus is no longer someone we talk about, but the One living through us. As you position yourself to see and listen to God’s heart first, you’ll find yourself walking far, far beyond yourself.
I could write about this for days — and have! — but I’m going to try and be concise for this space. Giving the Almighty the gift of your time and focus comes in many varied forms.
- Daily dates: time to read, meditate, listen, worship, walk, and laugh together. Ten minutes — or 2 hours — of focused time each day. To align your thoughts and heart to His, receive understanding for next steps, and build and enjoy relationship.
- Weekly and seasonal Sabbaths: longer periods of time — to remember, receive His refreshing, dream together, and be commissioned.
- Vine and branch lifestyle: living in the constant flow of Jesus’ life and provision, like sap flowing from a vine to a branch. Here, you experience a oneness and being so in sync with God, you receive before you ask. (See John 15:1-8.)
- Receiving a new perception of time and focus: coming to peace with time. Resting in the wisdom of God. Letting the Holy Spirit teach you how to make time your servant, not your master.
This I know:
We can all draw close to him with the veil removed from our faces. And with no veil we all become like mirrors who brightly reflect the glory of the Lord Jesus. We are being transfigured into his very image as we move from one brighter level of glory to another. And this glorious transfiguration comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.” (2 Corinthians 3:18 TPT)
If you feel like you’ve been doing a lot of asking but not much receiving lately… perhaps it’s time to slow down and refocus. Papa-God loves to see the wonder and joy in your eyes when He speaks to you! Draw close. Linger. Allow His provision and life to flow freely as you rest in His gaze.
I’d love to hear about your special ways of taking time away with God. What is He whispering to you?