We serve a God, the ONE and ONLY God, that craves for our attention… He wants an intimate relationship with us, behind closed doors.
We said good bye to my Sister-in-Law a while ago… we live more than 1000km apart, and it was not possible for me to attend the funeral in person. Their church did a live stream on YouTube of the service.
I made arrangements at work to be home in this time so that I could “attend” in the privacy of my own home. As I drove home from work to attend, I thought to myself how impersonal it is to go and sit, home alone, behind closed doors to say good bye to a gem of a person, with no one to share the moment with…
I got home, switched the kettle on… logged on to my laptop and waited for the service to start… and there were complete silence, an uncomfortable silence…
I have basically been living by myself for close to 3 years now, and I am quite okay with being alone, actually at times I want to be alone, I get agitated if there are long durations of time going past that I am not alone. But this moment was very uncomfortable… I closed my eyes in silent prayer… sitting alone, with no intention to seek our Creator’s presence at that point in time, it was not planned, but He showed up as soon as I gave Him my attention; and I am reminded once again of the complete comfort and peace we find in Him.
I didn’t know what to expect from myself during this time I have put aside to say good bye to a dear friend, a sister… will I sit and cry, will I mourn, will I find peace? How will I respond? Usually we get influenced by the surroundings in times like these… If you see a little girl start crying for her mommy, or a husband trying to be strong and withhold his emotions… this time it was raw, my true emotions had free reigns and I could let go of whatever wanted to come out… without trying to contain emotions, or being influenced by the outward.
The past few months I got to know the rawness of God’s presence… We are a small group of friends, the one is more hungry for God than the other. We meet at least once a week to pray together, and at times we just sit in silence, savoring His presence… in these times I was taught how to seek God’s presence, His raw presence.
I really love and enjoy our church’s sermons and the praise & worship, it is absolutely powerful and God shows up every single time in splendor, it is so amazing to praise our God at the gathering of His saints, and I will never stay away from it… However our small gathering of friends has taught me something else… it taught me the “raw” presence of God, and man oh man, it is special. It taught me to step into His presence without influences or a set atmosphere, it taught me to set aside distractions that would try and hinder my focus from God… most importantly it taught me to experience God behind closed doors, in intimacy.
I got to know God on another level, a personal level, where He meets me, where I let go and let be… cry if I want to, laugh if I want to… jump up and down if I want to… not led by anyone or anything except for my willingness to seek Him and lay my hunger out before Him. And that is exactly what God wants; a personal relationship.
The Message Bible states it so beautifully in Matthew 6:6; ‘Here’s what I want you to do: Find a quiet, secluded place so you won’t be tempted to role-play before God. Just be there as simply and honestly as you can manage. The focus will shift from you to God, and you will begin to sense His grace.’ And that is exactly what it is, setting your mind on things above, with no external influences…
As mentioned in one of my previous posts, Be True to Yourself … “Be true to Yourself, it will reveal the deficit, and bring you to surrender, bringing true transformation.” And how special is it to do that in the privacy of your home, or bedroom… It gets real behind closed doors, it is raw behind closed doors… only, and only, if you allow it.
So, as much as I thought it would be impersonal to be alone to bid farewell to my sister-in-law; and no one to share the moment with, behind closed doors… it was a funeral I felt most connected of any other I ever attended, it turned out to bring peace… I had a calmness I can not explain.
One thing is necessary…
No matter where I found myself, whether alone or not, married or yet to get married, separated or divorced… I have been through all of these; and in the past 2 years I have come to the realization that life is empty outside the shelter of the Almighty God, it is a very lonely place if God is not present, no matter your physical surroundings. Our hunger will never be truly fed outside of His presence.
In Luke 10:38-42 Jesus and His disciples were hosted by Martha and her younger sister, Mary. Martha was running around, making food, probably doing the dishes and mopping the floors (13+ people is a lot of people to host for), and after sometime Martha got frustrated with Mary as she was just sitting at Jesus’ feet listening to His teachings.
Martha said with boldness and courage “Lord, don’t you think it’s unfair that my sister left me to do all the work by myself? You should tell her to get up and help me.”
Jesus replied by saying “Martha, my beloved Martha. Why are you upset and troubled, pulled away by all these many distractions? Mary has discovered the one thing most important by choosing to sit at my feet. She is undistracted, and I won’t take this privilege from her.”
The Amplified says it sooo beautifully… “but only one thing is necessary, for Mary has chosen the good part [that which is to her advantage], which will not be taken away from her’
Dear friend, we get very quickly and easily distracted by nothingness… we get caught up with being busy when the only thing that is necessary is to sit at His feet.
Yes, we have a life to live and have things to do, I mean how awesome would it have been to just sit in His presence 24/7 and let life carry on without us… but there need to be a time in your daily routine to just sit down and spend time with God, just you and Him, the more the better, it is to your advantage.
Clear your mind, focus on Him and Him only… “Go to that secret place, that sacred place, the trueness and deepness of your heart, lay it down at His feet, that is where God meets you; true transformation takes place in His presence.”