I was having the best conversation with a dear friend on her sofa last night where we were discussing the topic of online and virtual friendships.
We reminisced of those awkward friendships we have had or known where one would have a very unhealthy amount of virtual communication with your friends; the kind where you would text them back and forth all day, or have deep and meaningful online chat conversations all evening. However, when you met those same friends face-to-face, in spite of the intensive texting or online messaging, you didn’t know what to say to them when they’re hanging out in front of you, or how to behave and struggled to find something to talk about.
I think it’s impossible or rare that you can truly know someone through a string of intense texts or messages, but there are so many parallels to how we do it with God.
Our encounters with God on your average day can look like: – a sleepy devotion in the morning followed by a podcast on the commute to work, a deep conversation with a friend about the Lord midday, then community group in the evening. However, you can not substitute to being on your knees in prayer and meeting face to face with your Saviour through His Word, knowing God intimately, personally and relationally. It’s almost like the difference between interacting with your spouse with just post-it notes and text messages but completely neglecting to ‘date’ and spend regular one-on-one time with them. You need both.
You need both
I come to know my closest friends sitting with them and talking with them face-to-face, and there is no difference with God. As well, those relationships are enriched by the little texts, messages and post-it notes I leave in my day to day. If we intend to live a fruitful and satisfying life, we ought to go to the source, the person who made it all. It will not do to simply know of Him, we must seek to know Him face-to-face.
The only way we can come to know Him is to set aside time to know Him, to sit with Him, to talk and to listen, to have regular ‘dates’ with Him, to sit in His presence face-to-face.