It has often been said that our contemporary society is a “why” society.  People used to be interested in “what” questions.  They now want to know “why.” Understanding this phenomenon, the pundits say, is critical to success in business, parenting, marriage, leading, and all forms of relationships.  I believe it is also of importance in spiritual matters.  I have often argued that Christianity is logical.  It gives a good explanation for the nature of life, and it offers plausible solutions to our biggest concerns.  In addition, all of its commands and warnings make sense.   I believe this can be applied to our personal worship.  The Bible offers several convictions as to “why” we should spend daily time with God.  The rationale God gives goes counterculture to our world’s value system.

I do not exist for myself. 

Frank Sinatra is known for singing “I did it my way.”  His lyrics made it sound like he was the sum of his own existence.  According to the Bible, such a premise is false at best.  It is tragic at worst.  Men and women are made for so much more than themselves.   Scripture says, “None of us lives to himself, and no one dies to himself.  If we live, we live for the Lord; and if we die, we die for the Lord. Therefore, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord” (Romans 14:7-8).  Given this truth, we ought to have a conviction that we are made to spend time with God.

There is a spiritual reality to my life. 

Mankind differs from the animal kingdom in that it has a unique soul-oriented capacity.  We are made to have a spirit-to-spirit connection with our Creator.  Jesus said, “God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth” (John 4:24).  When we are born again (John 3:3), we receive a portion of God’s Spirit living within us (Galatians 3:2).  After this occurs, we have the opportunity to relate to the Lord through this inner reality.  Though some may think we merely live in a material world dominated by material things, there is another side.  We are made for a spiritual relationship with God!

I must make the Lord a priority. 

Every relationship requires a little give and take.  A similar need exists in the spiritual realm.  To progress in godliness, we must personally pursue the Lord.  The book of Genesis describes the way in which the earliest humans “began to call on the name of the Lord” (Genesis 4:26).  If one wants to get close to God, he or she must take some initiative.  Spirituality doesn’t come by osmosis or passive reception.  The book of James says, “Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you” (James 4:8).  Jesus said, “Keep asking, and it will be given to you. Keep searching, and you will find. Keep knocking, and the door will be opened to you” (Matthew 7:7).    

I must exercise discipline. 

One of my Christian mentors used to compare praying to jogging.  His anecdote may seem misguided, as if he viewed prayer as a drudgery.  However, I believe there was some wisdom in His words.  To spend time with God, usually requires personal discipline.  I’ve found that I have to make room for time with the Lord in my schedule.  Paul seemed to champion this very thing in 1 Timothy 4:7.

Dr. Patrick Latham

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