(Photo by Natalie Reed)
A Invitation to Come Away
By Michelle Ochen
There are two types of communications for events in life, the kind that come in invitations, welcoming you to come if you so desire, and the kind that come in the form of statement, that you must appear at a certain place at a certain time. Parties, showers, weddings, these are the things that come in invitation. In contrast jury duty, immigration, or legal activity will commonly come in the form of statements. Which do you prefer? I feel warm inside when I receive an invitation, but I feel differently when I receive an official document.
Scripture is filled with “come away invitations”. Moments where a individual chose to respond and walk away from the hustle and bustle of life and find a quiet spot to be with the Lord. Jesus gave many examples throughout the gospels of Him choosing to get alone with the Father. I’ve heard it said that if Jesus needed to find time alone with the Father than how much more do you and I need to find that time with the Father!
The book of James tells us that if we draw near to God, He will draw near to us (James 4:8). Have you ever heard people say that God feels far away from them? Certainly we all have seasons where we may not feel Him as near as in other times, but the reality is that God does not come closer or further from us, He is constant, it is when our hearts are seeking Him and drawing near to Him that His nearness is felt. We are not to be people who sit and wait for the Lord to come to us, but that we would be actively pursuing Him and we would find Him near to us.
I am convinced that the more we invite God into the small details of our lives, the more He will show up and show Himself to us in the small things.
There is a wonderful short book by Robert Boyd Munger called “My Heart Christ’s Home”. Within he paints a picture of our hearts being like a home that the Lord desires to come into and help us clean out, He sees a closet that is disorganized and desires to help us make things right but He will never force Himself into any areas of our lives that we are not willing to open up. In summary the book shows that to the degree that we are willing to allow Jesus to have Lordship in our lives, He will.
I love the phrase, “come away” because it shows a decision and effort on our behalf, it isn’t a forced thing, the Lord invites us to come away with Him, to come to Him when we are weak and weary and find in Him strength and hope. Things with our God are more beautiful because they are of choosing, never force. Invitations never obligations, offers never declarations. He desires to be apart of all things in our lives but He stands at the door of our hearts and knocks, He will never tear down the door, our God gives freewill and relationship. Thus the question lies in our lap, how often will we choose to come? To come away with the Lord and invite Him into the details of our lives? In this season of life when things have slowed, I believe we have been given the gift of more time to choose who we will spend it with. His voice calls out to come away, will you respond to his invitation today?