Basically, recently I've been getting frustrated in quiet time because I felt like every day I wasn't getting to know God any better at all. And I kept asking Him why it felt like He wasn't listening when I prayed or even there when I was seeking Him. I kept thinking of the all the verses where God says, "Seek and you will find," which discouraged me even more because I felt like I was seeking Him but still never truly finding Him. Well, ever since I kept asking Him why it felt like my relationship with Him was going nowhere even when I was daily spending time with Him, He's been answering me in different ways.
1) The first way was through Hebrews 11:6, which says, "...without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him." The first couple of times I had quiet time, I remember feeling like my prayers were just bouncing off the wall. And even though I've been a Christian all my life, for the first time I was truly doubting God's existence because He had never been very real to me. And obviously if you really want to know God you have to believe at the bottom of your heart and without a doubt that He actually exists.
2) Second of all, I ended up looking for some of the seek and find verses and realized that I had it wrong. God doesn't just say, "Seek and you will find." He says in Jeremiah 29:13, "You will seek Me and find Me when you seek Me with all your heart." And Deuteronomy 4:29 says, "But if from there you seek the LORD your God, you will find him if you look for him with all your heart and with all your soul." That made me realize that even an hour a day in quiet time isn't enough to truly seek Him, and that if I really want to find Him I need to seek Him with all my heart and with all my soul, because that's not just one way to seek Him, it's the only way to seek Him if I truly want to find Him. And that's what's really hard for me because in reality I'm seeking too many things to count that completely distract not just my mind, but my soul from truly seeking God and making Him my ultimate focus in life. A lot of the times I feel like I have a divided heart because there's so much in life to go after. That's why I like Psalm 86:11. It says, "Teach me Your way, O LORD, and I will walk in Your truth; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear Your name." But by seeking God with all your heart I don't mean that you need to spend 24 hours a day in quiet time. You should definitely have quiet time every day because the most important ways to seek Him are by reading the Bible and praying. But You can seek Him too throughout the day just by keeping your thoughts on Him, talking to Him, talking about Him, trusting Him, praising Him in your heart every time you catch a glimpse of His glory in a sunrise or sunset, a bird singing, people laughing, kids playing, things like that, and taking every oppertunity you can to learn from the easy and hard situations He puts you through. Just treat Him as if He's your best friend walking right next to You all the time, because He is.
3) The third thing I've learned is that God hides Himself. Isaiah 45:15 says, "Truly You are a God who hides Himself, O God and Savior of Israel." God doesn't always make Himself easy to find because He wants us to keep seeking Him even when we feel like He isn't there. That's when true faith takes place. But even though God does hide Himself, sometimes we can't seem to find Him because we don't have eyes to see Him or ears to hear Him. God is always revealing Himself to us, that's why it is so important to truly have eyes to see Him. I'm reading a book called Shine where the author writes, "The silence felt incredibly peaceful. There was no music playing, no televison, no human voices. It was just God. And God is in the silence. I recently read a verse in 1st Kings that talks about God's gentle whisper. Elijah was waiting for the presence of the Lord, and there was a powerful wind and an incredible earthquake. Then the verse says, 'After the earthquake came a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper.' That's how God speaks to us. Just in that gentle whisper. But we have to be able to hear it." Later the book says, "The only way we can learn to know [God's] voice is by knowing what He has already said in His Word." And that's why reading the Bible is so important. It helps us distinguish God's voice from our own ideas. It's just like knowing one friend's voice from another's. The more you spend time talking to them and listening to them, the more you get to know the things they would and wouldn't say. Like in our secret santa game. The reason most of us found out who our secret santa was before we told each other was because we had "ears to hear" our friend's certain voice and we knew it well enough to tell it apart from the others. But if we didn't know each other at all it would've been impossible to try to figure out who was giving the presents and notes to who. It's the same with God, each time you spend time talking and listening to Him, you are able to hear His voice better and distiguish His voice from others' better because you know Him better.
4) The fourth way God answered me was in a song. I was listening to Tim Hughes and his lyrics say, "Bigger than the air I breathe, Deeper than the ocean deep, Higher than the stars above You are. Brighter than the blazing sun, Louder than the screaming crowd, Stronger than the power of death You are. In the heavens, on the earth, There is no one like You God, And these words are not enough, to tell of who You are. Who can know the mind of God? Who can understand Your ways? And these words are not enough, To tell of Your great name. Awesome God, humble King, You terrify yet welcome in, Your glory echos all around the world." The whole song answered my question, but the chorus did most of all because it says, "Who can know the mind of God? Who can understand Your ways?" That made me realize that who am I to just expect to be able to understand the God of the universe in a lifetime, much less a month, when I'm just like a particle of dust compared to Him. And it made me see that I wouldn't be able to even comprehend Him even if He did fully reveal Himself to me. I've learned that He reveals Himself to me little by little, and the more I see of Him the more I become like Him. Because, as 2nd Corinthians 3:18 says, "But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord." (KJV) The rest of Tim Hughe's song made me realize what an awesome mystery God truly is and how prideful I am to actually get frustrated with Him for not being able to fully know Him.
5) Finally, I've learned that having a relationship with God is just like any other relationship in the way that it takes a lot of effort and time. You can't just talk to God and spend 15 minutes with Him once a month, or even once a week, and then expect to get to know Him deeply. Just like if you want to have a deep relationship with a new friend, you both have to want the relationship enough to sacrifice a lot of time for it or it will never get deeper than the surface. And God was obviously willing enough to not just sacrifice time to have a relationship with you, but His life. But it takes two to make the relationship worth anything. He already did everything possible to have the deepest relationship with you that He could, and now He's just waiting for you to respond.
But... what if you aren't motivated at all to deepen your relationship with God? What if you're just happy with life how it is and you'd rather not have quiet time every day, or at all for that matter? In fact, what if you truly just wish God didn't demand your time, much less your life, because you've been getting along fine with having Him as just an addition to your life and you don't really want to consider Him as anything more because He's just not that important to you. And finally, what if when you are being completely honest with yourself you know you really don't believe that you need Him to get you through the day. Afterall, you feel like you've gotten this far without too much of His help in the past, so why are you really going to need Him in the future, especially on a daily basis? If that person sounds a lot like you, chances are you probably don't realize how much you actually do need Him.
1st of all, every breath you take depends on whether He wants you to take it or not. And as a Christian the only reason you're still living on earth is to glorify Him through your relationship with Him and bring as many other people as you possibly can to know Him. That's your purpose in life, and calling yourself a Christian means you're daily living that purpose. The only problem is that so many Christians, including myself, get so distracted with the things that the world has to offer that we forget our true purpose in life. And it's not just things of the world that pull us away from God. A lot of the time it's good things school, guys, friends, etc. that keep us from having a deeper relationship with Him. And they can distract us for so long that we start to think we need all of it to be satisfied, when really Satan's just using them as tools to keep us from focusing on God. Because his only goal in life is to distract us and keep us away from reaching ours.
So basically, if God isn't your number 1 focus in life, then you are giving into Satan's distractions. And until you make Him your number 1 focus and desire in life, you're always going to feel empty at the end of the day because everything the world and Satan have to offer are just substitutes for what God will give you if you just seek Him first. Money can't satisfy you; friends can't satisfy you; guys can't satisfy you; looking better can't satisfy you, and anything else you can think of aside from God, because He made you so only He could satisfy all of your needs. And going after anything else in the world instead of God is just like eating candy instead of food all the time. You're never going to be truly satisfied until you look to God instead of the world to fill the emptiness in your soul.
by Leah Blatt