09 Aug THE SPIRITUAL RHYTHMS OF GOD – FINDING OUR WAY BACK TO THE GARDEN
“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth…” Genesis 1:1
It’s often hard to imagine in our fallen world that there was a time when everything was perfect. The curse of sin had not yet brought about death and destruction, chaos and unrest. Instead, God’s creation was in perfect order in the perfect Garden He had created.
God created…and He saw that it was good.
And in that seemingly short period of history, humanity – Adam and Eve – walked in complete, uninhibited fellowship with their Creator – and their greatest joy was just to be with God.
Until it wasn’t.
Until they were tricked into believing that perhaps there was more than God – perhaps they could be like God.
And we all know how that story ends. (If not, check out Genesis 2-3!)
But since that fateful day, God has been working to draw us back into fellowship with Himself. He sent judges, kings, and prophets, and finally, His own Son, to show us the way back to Him. When we really study the scriptures, seeing the whole story of God’s masterfully woven plan playing out, we can see that God is, and has always been, after our hearts. He wants a relationship with us.
When we put our faith in Christ, our sins are atoned for, our debt is paid, and we will live with Him in eternal fellowship. Yet right now, in our fallen broken world, we can experience deeper fellowship with God through the practice of spiritual disciplines – or as we will be calling them, Spiritual Rhythms. Webster’s dictionary defines rhythm as “a regularly recurring sequence of events, actions, or processes.” As we look at the world God created, isn’t that just what we see? Day turns into night and night into day. Spring becomes summer, summer turns to fall, and after fall we have the stillness of winter, only to be followed again by the vibrancy and beauty of spring. It’s clear from creation that our God is a God of order. He designed things to run, and function, and develop, and progress according to His plan and His purpose. Paul writes to the Corinthians that “God is not a God of disorder but of peace.” (1 Corinthians 14:33)
So whether we are increasing our fervency and frequency in prayer, challenging ourselves to expand our memory bank of scriptures, learning about what it means to study to show ourselves approved, or discovering the peace of solitude, or the joy of fellowship, these “regularly recurring actions” become personal pursuits of holiness – of set apartness. The Lord says, “Be holy as I am holy.” (Leviticus 20:26, 1 Peter 1:16) Living set apart lives increases our intimacy and likeness to Christ, while allowing others to observe our set apart ways and perhaps desire to know more about the God we love and serve.
As we dive into some of these Spiritual Rhythms over the next several months, our prayer is not that you would feel obligated to add “another thing” to your to do list, but that you would perhaps be encouraged and spurred on to pursue and experience God in new ways that will deepen your fellowship with Him. As King David nears the end of his life, he says to his son Solomon, “As for you, Solomon my son, know the God of your father. Serve him wholeheartedly and with desire in your being; for the LORD searches all hearts and understands all the inclinations of people’s thoughts. If you seek him, he will let himself be found by you…” (1 Chronicles 28:9)
So let us know, let us strive to know the Lord – draw near to God and He will draw near to you! (Hosea 6:3 & James 4:8)