In our desperate pursuit of God there is a certain protocol (rules of behavior) that prepares us for entering his personal presence. If we pay attention to the details of this protocol, we position ourselves to fully enjoy the maximum benefits of this heart-to-heart relationship. These are far more than rules etched in stone; they are, in essence, the etiquette of the heart.
Relationship is in many ways a dance with steps that move the partners involved around the floor. I like to think about this protocol, not as rule, but rather as dance steps. The sharper I am in my steps the more beautiful and satisfying is the dance.
It is critical as you begin this dance that the placement of your first step is correct and precise. Everything else rises or falls here. If you’re off balanced, out of step, or out of sync with the music, the dance is doomed and you will be forced to start over at some point. Relationally speaking, if you get it correct here you will likely have little problem with the rest of the protocol.
Please hear this—this is not about a “method.” These are not steps or rules to follow to get you what you want. These are movements of the heart—dance steps your soul must take. We love “method’’—we want “method” but the sterility of “method” will not work if you desire a fertile relationship. Don’t get me wrong—how you do things is important. But…why you do them is the real crux of the issue. Motive is infinitely more important than method. “Why” trumps “how” at this moment in your pursuit of God.
Why do you want to be in God’s intimate presence? Why do you hunger for relationship with him? In other words, what motivates you? Only you can answer this and your motive will either help or hinder depending on your honesty at this point.
Most people want something from God. They want more power or provision or peace in some area of their life. Too often we come to God like he’s a genie in a bottle or a Coke machine. We want to rub his lamp a little in prayer and poof! get what we asked for. We think we can drop a coin in the slot through intercession or good works, mash the button, and wham! watch our provision drop like a pop bottle through the slot. It just doesn’t work that way, and is likely why most of our prayers go unanswered.
If you pursue God for any other reason than to spend time with him—to be in his presence—you motive is all messed up. A rule of the kingdom is this—wherever God’s presence rests, so too does his power. If you gain his presence you will see his power—you can count on that!
So—you have to answer the question of motive. You have to determine your inner desire. What is it you really want? Do you want God for what he can do for you or simply for who he is? Your motive will determine where this dance of relationship ends up and it’s up to you to take the first step.