THE INVITATION

You have said, “Seek my face.” My heart says to you, “Your face, Lord, do I seek” (Psalm 27:8, ESV)

After I started having my children we would drive a few hours to go to my parents’ house. The kids could hardly wait to get there and be in my parent’s presence. As familiar landmarks appeared that told them we were getting closer their impatience grew. My parents would also be impatiently waiting. As we walked in the door they both jumped up and stated there is our kids and there would be hugs all around. It was clear that there was joy at seeing us.

That’s how God responds to you every time you turn His way. Arms outstretched, ready to hug with complete joy.

In our relationship wo the Father, He is always the initiator and we are always the responder. The Father is always reaching out for us, wooing us, drawing us. We never have to engage in an activity or ritual to get His attention. His attention has never wandered from any one of us. Before time began, He had already settled His heart on you and laid the groundwork for your salvation.

When you and I feel drawn in God’s direction it might feel like our own instinct. When we decide to call to Him, it might feel like our idea. When we find ourselves inclined toward Him, it might feel as if we are seeking Him out. However, in reality, every time we have any impulse to pursue the things of God, we are responding to His invitation.

We often complicate prayer, thinking we need to find a way to convince Him to care about our needs, or to notice our plight. We imagine there is a certain format He demands or a particular emotion He expects before we can come to Him in prayer.

Might it take the burden off you if you know that you don’t have to woo God because He is wooing you? Would it lessen your anxiety to know that God is calling you to pray, and that He is inviting you because He loves you and wants you to delight in Him rather than feeling anxious about whether you measure up? He pulls you into His presence and invites you into His activity through prayer because of His exuberant, lavish joyous pleasure He takes in you.

The inclination you feel toward God right now, in this very minute, is God calling you? Right now, God is saying, “Child, come talk with Me. I’m here for you.” All y ou have to do is respond.

Just say yes. You will find His open arms waiting.

Prayer:

FAther, I respond to Your love. Here I am. I want to live in the fullness of Your love for me. I accept Your invitation to be face to face and heart to heart with You. I rejoice in the astounding reality that You find in my presence. Remind me of Your truth when my emotions try to tell me something else.

In Jesus’ Powerful name, Amen

Next Step:

What is your initial reaction to hearing that God delights in you? Do feelings of shame or a sense of not being good enough color your times of prayer? What would change if you believed that God has invited you to His presence because He adores you?

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