By Rachel Shover
There is a common misconception that we have to come to the Lord with everything figured out. We believe that we have to sit alone and ready ourselves to enter into His presence. That we have to make sure our emotions are running high and the “ability to surrender” to Him is present. I have no idea where we learned this, but it wasn’t from scripture.
I spent a lot of my Christian walk with this mindset. Up until my sophomore year of college, I really didn’t know scripture. If I had an impending question in life, I would flippantly open my bible and land my eyes on a random verse and count it as God answering me through Divine Revelation. I was never honest before the Lord. There would be mornings where I only read my Bible to check it off a list, and I would put on an act to try to fool God into believing that I really wanted and desired to be sitting before Him.
What I’ve learned since then is that you don’t have to have it all figured out. You don’t have to crave and desire to spend time with the Lord in order to do it. You don’t have to disguise your apathy before Him. He knows what you’re feeling, He knows that you’re human, and He knows that your flesh is unwilling and weak.
What He wants from you, from me, is for us to be honest with Him and dependent on Him. Psalm 142:2 says, “I pour out my complaint before him; I tell my trouble before Him.”
“The true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship Him.”
Do not put the burden of always having to “feel” the presence of the Lord on yourself. You don’t have to be perfect, and you don’t have to feel that pressure. Christ lived a perfect life and died for our inadequacy. Go to the Lord with the knowledge that you have absolutely nothing to prove.
2 Corinthians 3:4-5
“Such is the confidence that we have through Christ towards God. Not that we are sufficient in ourselves to claim anything as coming from us, but our sufficiency is from God.”
Maybe when you sit before the Lord you don’t desire to be there, you don’t feel His presence, and you don’t feel the draw to read scripture. It’s in these times where you can practice your spiritual discipline. Speak scripture over these apathetic moments. Push through the emotional dryness and worship God for who He is, not what He can do for you. Read scripture to know it intimately and deeply, not just to find a quick solution in life.
Tell Him you don’t feel like sitting before Him. Tell Him you don’t feel His presence. It’s okay to be honest before the Lord. After you pour out your heart, ask Him to lead you in truth and teach you (Psalm 25:5). Ask Him to give you the strength to combat your flesh. Know that scripture promises He will never leave you nor forsake you (Hebrews 13:5) and believe it.
This short life on earth is all about believing that truth is ALWAYS greater than emotion and God’s word is ALWAYS greater than our apathy.
If you don’t know what to do now, get before the Lord, preferably with your bible outspread before you, and READ. If you don’t feel like it, ask Him to give you an insatiable desire for scripture and to know Him (Psalm 42), and trust that He hears you. If the emotions don’t come, that’s okay. Keep reading. Keep praying. Truth is greater.
“You who seek God, let your hearts revive”
“Incline my heart to your testimonies, and not to selfish gain.”
“And after [Jesus] dismissed the crowds, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray. When evening came, He was there alone.”
“The mountaintop is an exceptional kind of experience but we have to live down in the valley, where things are neither beautiful nor poetic nor spiritual nor thrilling .. the height of the mountaintop is measured by the drab and drudgery of the valley. We never LIVE for His glory on the mount: we SEE His glory there, but it is in the valley that we LIVE for the glory of God”
– Oswald Chambers