Spending Time with The Father.
My boys like Star Wars and will sometimes quote lines from the movies. My favorite line I quote to them is “I am your father” in a Darth Vader voice, just before I try to use the force to command obedience. It is probably good I do not have Vader’s power 😊.
God is our Father. He is the only God who relates to people as Father (as well as savior, friend, counselor, helper…). God so desperately wanted to have a relationship with us, He provided a way for us to relate to Him through the sacrifice and resurrection of His Son.
God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8
I want to know my Father. But to know the Father, just as with any relationship, it takes the investment of time and effort to have greater closeness and intimacy.
Jesus made the relationship investment with His Father and had a powerful ministry. Since Jesus spent much time with the Father, He only did what the Father had for him.
So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of his own accord, but only what he sees the Father doing. For whatever the Father does, that the Son does likewise. John 5:19
But now even more the report about him went abroad, and great crowds gathered to hear him and to be healed of their infirmities. But he would withdraw to desolate places and pray. Luke 5:15-16
In these days he went out to the mountain to pray, and all night he continued in prayer to God. Luke 6:12
And he came out and went, as was his custom, to the Mount of Olives, and the disciples followed him… And he withdrew from them about a stone's throw, and knelt down and prayed saying, “Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done.” Luke 22:39-42
In following Jesus’ example, I try to schedule time with the Father. In my best scheduling, I put on my calendar times to connect to the Father. I do so because I like to work and I am easily distracted. When I get distracted from the Father’s presence, my work, my life is less Kingdom oriented. So I try to schedule the following:
Daily communion with the Father, practicing His presence, time in the Word.
Weekly sabbath (It is one of the 10 Commandments).
Monthly prayer day. Because sometimes it takes time to settle the mind enough to hear from the Father.
Yearly prayer retreat. To go deeper with God and His Word.
Even with scheduling, I am still far from perfect at keeping these times of prayer and fellowship with the Father. Imagine how little I would meet with the Father if I did not schedule it. A Christian research group once revealed that the average time a pastor spends in prayer is 12 minutes per day. Let’s be above average in spending time with our Father, our Creator, our Redeemer, who loves us and wants the best for us.
"Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” -- Jesus