Bible Studies for Life lesson for July 5- Getting to Know the Father
June 22 2009 by Catherine Painter, Author, speaker, Trinity Baptist Church, Raleigh

Focal Passage: Exodus 33:18-23, 34:5-8; Micah 6:6-8; John 4:21-24

Following Discipleship Training, a young man asked, “Do you know God as well as you know your husband?”

I answered, “I know God better because I spend more time with Him.

“With God’s Spirit within me, we commune throughout the day.”

Then I shared a story.

Vacationing at the beach, Craig, our son-in-love, remained inside the resort the first day.

I asked our daughter Melanie why he didn’t come out. As if it made all the sense in the world, she said, “He’s spending the day with God.”

I thundered, “At the beach? Can’t he spend time with God after he goes home?”

I was curious, even a bit jealous. Just what would he and God do together all day?  

I began seeking God in earnest.

Soon I realized that I’d traded the best for the good, so busy doing good things “in His name” that I forgot my need for Him. My soul was dry and thirsty.

“Can I know God?” the young man insisted.

“How much time do you spend with Him?” I responded.

He named prayer before meals, time at Sunday School, church, and weekly Bible study.

“That’s admirable,” I said, “but you won’t get to know God that way.

“You’ll learn about God, but you won’t know Him until you spend time alone with Him. Moses grew hungry for God and begged to see Him (Exodus 33:18-23).”

I believe when we ask with open arms, God pulls us to Himself.

Until we really know God, we can develop content with a religion based on two hours a week, often lacking commitment or lifestyle change, and find ourselves filling the void with religious activity.

God sometimes uses despair, illness, fear, loss, or other ways to reveal our need for Him. In Micah 6:6-8, God demanded more from us than external acts of piety.

Jesus said that God wants us to worship Him “in spirit and in truth” (John 4:21-24).

Ritual, worship, praise, and teaching become meaningful only after we’ve been with Him.

Then everything from sweeping the floor to cruising the world takes on significance because it’s bathed in God’s presence.

George Trumbull said, “Our hope is not Christ plus our efforts, but Christ plus our receiving. It isn’t Christ and us, but Christ in us.”  

Which do we crave — a theologically correct outline, or the opportunity to sit at His feet?

6/22/2009 3:37:00 AM by Catherine Painter, Author, speaker, Trinity Baptist Church, Raleigh | with 0 comments

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