Once a girl has reached her twenties, most people think it strange if she has never dated a man. I was one of those girls. Intuitively I recognized that I would be wasting my time and energy on someone I knew I could never marry. I was focused on my relationship with God and where He was taking me in life. I held my standard for a guy to the same standard I held for myself – Proverbs 31:30. Change the “beautiful” to “handsome, and “woman” to “man” and that’s the kind of man I required. Of course, that narrowed down the options rather quickly. But when I met Michael, I found that “man who fears the Lord.” From then on, I no longer held the title of “never dated.” The season of dating for the purpose of potential marriage began!
What I found while on dates with Michael is that we gave each other our full attention. Long conversations with other people on our cell phones never happened. We looked each other in the eye when we were talking. The moments at a restaurant or taking walks in the park were about us with few interruptions. It was a time of getting to know each other, and sharing what was most important to us.
I’d hate to think what would have happened to our relationship if the opposite had been true. We plan the date and for a week look forward to it. We get dressed up and meet each other at our decided date location, but find ourselves distracted and disinterested. We don’t respond to shallow conversation topics, much less initiate serious ones. Our eyes stray off to the corner somewhere or to our cell phone screens. We aren’t focused on the date at all, but wish we could be somewhere else. Had this scenario happened, I’m certain our relationship would not have been a long one!
As pointless as such a date may seem, we often do the same thing to God. Many times I’ve set aside time in the mornings or afternoons to spend time with Him, only to find my mind wandering off in a million directions. The result is an unfocused conversation. It leaves me – and God – feeling dissatisfied.
Our times in the Secret Place with our Abba Father should be no different than a date we have arranged with our friends. If we are to expect our significant other to pay attention to us, how much more should God expect us to pay attention to Him? Our relationship with Him is infinitely more important.
Psalm 27:8 says, “When You said, ‘Seek My face,’ my heart said to You, ‘Your face, Lord, I will seek.'”
The word “seek” means to search out or to strive after. When we seek someone, we focus on them. We look them in the eye and study them. We want to know and understand what they’re saying and absorb everything we can. We search out things about them that they would want us to know. It is our goal to become as acquainted with them as possible in the time we have with them. They have become our full focus.
The key is to do it all from our hearts. It’s easy to put on a show and pretend to listen. We can nod, smile, and keep eye contact. We can ask questions and even participate in the conversation, yet our hearts be far from what we’re doing. But the moment we choose to connect our hearts with His, He’s able to download information that only He can give. Could you imagine what kind of things God could communicate to us if we gave Him that kind of attention? It would be life-changing!
A date with God doesn’t have to be frustrating or legalistic. God is always attentive and never leaves us (Psalm 34:15, I Peter 3:12, Deuteronomy 31:6). The moment we need Him or want to communicate, He is right there, ready to speak and ready to listen. He is perfect in His communication skills and never gets distracted, even when called upon by another one of His children. The challenge is with us keeping our priorities in line with God’s desires. It is our responsibility to maintain our “seeking” status, striving to give Him the focus He deserves. When we do, we can anticipate the ultimate date, one that only a child of God could enjoy.