It has come to my attention that there are many Christians out there beating themselves up because they are not following their regimens for reading the Word and spending time in prayer. I would just like to say that God is not mad at you. He just wants to spend time with you because He loves you and delights in you.
It is not good to allow condemnation to take hold of you because it just takes you further away from God. Do you think God is saying, “Oh you slept in today and didn’t do your Bible reading before work, you better not even look my way until you get that taken care of.”? No, He’s not. He’s saying, “Look up; I’m right here and I love you very much. Put your heart and mind on Me and we’ll walk together through your day.”
Of course it is good to have set times to do devotions or to pray and read God’s Word, and it always makes the day go better when you start it off with praise and thanksgiving. However it is even better to let your life be a prayer by just loving God and staying focused on Him through all your daily tasks, and when you miss a beat or two, don’t dwell on it, just go right back.
God doesn’t want His children going around with their heads down feeling bad about what was missed. God wants us to come boldly to the throne of grace. He wants us to enter His gates with thanksgiving in our hearts and enter His courts with praise. When we spend time thinking about how bad we are, we are not spending time thinking about how good God is.
God is always standing there with open arms of love for us. Just put your heart and mind on God and His peace will flow to you and through you and His love will envelop you. You will see that it is not about anything that you can do for Him, it is about appreciating what He does for you.
If you give your child a gift that you think they will love, but it takes them a week before they use it and appreciate how wonderful it is, are you upset about the week missed, or joyful about the day they finally use and appreciate it? How would you feel if they then went back and started moping around feeling bad about the week they didn’t appreciate it? You want that gift to bring joy any time they pick it up, use it or think about it, not remorse about the times they are not using it.
In the same way God always wants us to experience the joy of His love and His presence in our lives, which brings comfort, peace, wisdom and every good thing. God does not bring condemnation upon us. He may gently urge us to spend time with Him because He wants us to experience the peace and blessings that He provides, but He absolutely does not want us to feel bad about what we missed. Guilt and condemnation are not from God. Peace and love are from God.
If your child does something wrong, do you want them to go around feeling miserable about it or would you rather them come to you, admit their fault, and receive the gift of your forgiveness and unconditional love which brings peace back to their heart and mind? God does not beat us into submission, He loves us into abundant life.
God doesn’t want us to read His Word or pray out of duty, He wants us to love Him with all that we are. He wants us to seek Him and know Him. He wants us to have a relationship with Him. The pharisees kept every prayer time, every church time, every law and every rule; but God was not happy with them because their hearts were far from Him. Spending time with God is not about the action, it is about the heart. Right actions will flow from a pure and loving heart.
When we truly understand how much God loves us, we will not be able to stop the praises from flowing forth.