Formulas pop up everywhere. Yes, they obviously show up in chemistry and math but take a closer look and you will see them in things like recipes, conflict resolution and conversations. For example, when my kids are in a conflict the formula involves: revealing the problem + an apology + forgiveness = resolution (usually).
But what do you do when there is no formula?
I heard a pastor say, “With God, there is not formula.” I thought, “I know, He’s God, He can do whatever He want’s” but as his words sunk in, I realized that I try to make more of my relationship with God like a formula than a free, out of the box, relationship.
For example, I have been guilty of entering into a fast with the formula: I will not eat for x amount of days + prayer = God will give me what I’m praying for. I am also guilty of making my quiet times so methodical that I feared if I did’t follow my certain formula, God wouldn’t speak to me. I am also guilty of reading a book about someones amazing encounter with God and then trying to do exactly what the author did to recreate the same experience?
Fasting and quiet times are great- I encourage you to do them. Following someones example is not bad, but when we approach our relationship with God with a formula, expecting him to “preform” because we have done all the “steps,” then we have tried to shove the God of the universe in to a tiny little box. It’s not about you preforming, to get Him to preform for you. In short – they are not about you.
Fasting, quite times, going to church, praying and worshiping serve the purpose of seeking the presence of God, not to fulfill our end of the bargain.
His presence is the source of the of joy you are looking for. The peace you need, is in His presence. The love you desire, is found in His presence. The direction you are seeking, is found in His presence. The energy you are craving, is found in His presence.
When we try to make these presence seeking moments a formula we hinder and limit our relationship with God. Here are some tips for next time you have your quiet time, by the way this is not a formula. 🙂
- Don’t come with an agenda, just come seeking His presence. Come with a hunger for more of Him and more of His presence. He will give you what your heart needs.
- Spend time listening to what’s on His heart and come expecting to hear Him- you will be amazed.
- Continually seek out His presence during the day. I do this by singing worship songs and short prayers.
When we take God out of the box and stop using formulas we position ourselves to encounter a vibrant relationship with Him.