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To Know Him

January 5, 2013

Most Christians have read Philippians 2:5-8: “Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.” From this verse we understand that Jesus left heaven and came to earth to be like us in every way. Jesus actually gave up being God for a time to come to earth and be like us.

Now the above by itself is enough.  It is a sacrifice we can’t begin to fathom. But there is more. When Jesus left heaven to become one of us, He gave up a constant, intimate and loving fellowship with the other members of the Trinity. It was surely a sacrifice to give up being God, but to give up that fellowship and become a solitary fellow, separated from the Father for the first time ever, well, that had to be harder. He’d never been alone before. And for 30+ years He lived in a human body, cut off from the Father except through prayer.

I always wondered how Jesus could spend an entire night in prayer. But now I understand. Jesus longed to get back into that intimate bond that He’d had before. Prayer was the closest thing He had. It’s like a husband and wife who spend all the time together, just enjoying each other’s company, getting to know each other’s nuances and emotions, etc… Suddenly one of them is ripped away for a while. You can see how they would want to be on the phone every minute talking to each other, or writing letters or just thinking about each other, longing for the day when they will be together again.

This is what prayer should be like for us. We should be growing such a deep bond with our Heavenly Father that when life’s activities “rip” us away for a while, we long to get back into that intimate bond. Prayer should not just be shooting requests at God. Of course those requests need to be made. Bur prayer should be so much more than that. How about prayer being just spending time with God, even if you don’t talk? How about browsing through the Bible and commenting here and there, listening, sharing your feelings, asking questions, waiting, praising and just enjoying?

I confess that up till now my prayer life has not been like this. But I really want it to be. God has so much more for me than I have been willing to take. But as I deepen my commitment to be like Jesus in every way my prayer life needs to deepen as well. And because of what Jesus did for me I can have that same relationship with the Father. The Trinity is not some closed group that I’m not allowed into. The Father, Son and Holy Spirit are opening their arms wide to invite me in. I can go as deep as I am able to handle.

The Bible is our window into God’s personality. It is there that we find the reasons to love and worship Him. As we read and come to know God and all His nuances, we can sink into a deeper and more intimate relationship with Him. Like Jesus we can long to be with Him every moment.

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