Alone With God

But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you. Matthew 6:6 ESV

Maybe the hardest part about real prayer is that no one knows about it except God. Jesus told us to be alone with God, but I hate to be alone. Didn’t God say, “It is not good for man to be alone.” But then God reminds me that Adam wasn’t lonely, and he wasn’t ever really alone. In fact, before he sinned, Adam was able to walk in the garden every day with God. But as God watched Adam sleeping, He decided that Adam needed another person to be with Him.  So that night, God performed the first surgery and He removed one of Adam’s ribs to form Eve as a helper who was made just for him.

Imagine Adam’s surprise in the morning when he woke up and there she was! Prayer that is alone with God is not lonely because in it we draw closer to God. He wants us to learn that we can be closer to Him than anyone else in the world. He wants to be our most intimate friend. Jesus tells us to spend time alone in our prayer closet so that when we open the door and step out, we can walk with Him all through the day. That special fellowship was made possible by another surgery that God performed. That surgery happened one Friday on the cross. There a Roman soldier thrust His spear into Jesus’ side, and blood and water poured down. In that moment God forgave our sins, then while Jesus slept, God began to fashion for Him a people who would be made just for Him and to be with Him forever.

Enjoying the Sabbath

In Mark’s Gospel Jesus pointed out that the opposition he was facing over what He was doing on the Sabbath was from a basic misunderstanding of the command to rest on the seventh day. The Pharisees were acting as if the 4th commandment began when Moses received it on the mountain. But in reality the concept of Sabbath was woven into the very fabric of God’s creation. Genesis tells us that on the seventh day God rested (P.S. he wasn’t tired!). 

Here was God at the end of His creation process, creating one more thing as a gift for man. He created a day to rest together with Adam and Eve. Maybe Adam and Eve just walked through the garden in delighted wonderment saying things like, “Wow that waterfall is amazing God!” or “That giraffe has the longest neck I’ve ever seen!”. God wasn’t interested in their doing something to impress Him. He simply wanted to share that day with them. Later on maybe they sat down by a brook and kicked their feet in the cool water, then lay down on the soft grassy bank and took a nap and there was God right beside them, resting and blessing that first Sabbath day.

When was the last time any of us really took time to receive the gift of Sabbath that God made for us? Does that mean we should just sit around the house afraid to go out? Not at all! In fact Jesus constantly got into trouble by going around helping people on the Sabbath. It was His way of sharing His day with God. Why do we allow the worries of life or the expectations of other people rob from us that joy? We are each unique and in our own way why not celebrate a Sabbath as God intended and simply delight in sharing one day entirely with Him?