“Come now, and let us reason together,” says the Lord. Isaiah 1:18
Delivered by the prophet Isaiah, this simple statement serves as a lead-in of sorts to the promise that through Jesus’ life, death and resurrection our sins will be forgiven, forgotten, made “white as snow.” I often wonder if the directive bears an additional point; simply to “come now” and spend time “just being” in relationship with Him.
In the day-to-day living of life, perhaps we can be tempted to think that because we’re “Christians,” read our Bibles regularly and through study strive to know a great deal about God, we therefore actually know God. In reality, that’s just not the true picture. The only way we can really, truly know our Lord is to invest the one-on-one time with Him that’s necessary for any friend- or relationship to flourish. With Jesus, many of these experiences come in the form of dedicated prayer or a request for the Holy Spirit to indwell us completely. Submissions like these give us the tools to converse with God as He whispers softly into our hearts.
Despite our intentions, however, to “come now and reason together” as Jesus calls us is not always an easily-established routine because, let’s face it, patience can be about as misplaced in today’s culture as horse-drawn buggies on the freeway. One author attributes the issue to the pace of our society.
“We might consider an appointment with a hairdresser to be inviolable, but when God lays claim to our time, we balk.” Squirming yet? Because as I retrace the steps of my past – even to last weekend’s mad-dash to meet the ACC schedule – I am. And the conviction gets worse. “Rather than spend time with God and allow ourselves to bask in His presence and soak up His love,” she says, “we manufacture substitutes – things to do to take the place of simply being with Him.” The specifics are brutal and include offering praise, worshiping through music, doing good works, memorizing Scripture – “all good activities, but unequal to resting quietly before Him.”
The highest value of “being with” Jesus rests firmly in developing a personal relationship with Him. True, it requires time and willingness on our part, but our meager efforts will never touch the time and willingness required on the other side of this relationship. In His life, death and resurrection lies the truth that the Savior gave us fully His “up” time as well as His “down” time. How, then, can we offer Him any less than our own?