It is interesting how we, mostly me, can complicate an offer of our love and affection. When I am in search of a present I don't just get wrapped up in the paper. There have been so many times that I have found myself straining to think of the perfect gift. I really enjoy giving presents, but often I have become wrapped up in the present itself. Over the years God has reminded me that I am not my present.....but I am His.
Gifts are a special token of our love represented in a tangible object and too many, including myself, we enjoy receiving them. From God's point of view a present does not get more tangible than you or I. God is not just sitting around waiting for us to offer him a perfect score, our finest hour, or a finished project. His desire is for us to come to Him unwrapped, just as we are.
I laugh at myself, because upon waking up many times I have immediately made my bed, picked up clothes off the floor, or even gone into the bathroom and washed my face, all before I sat down to pray. I went through a phase, (If it takes a phase you know you just weren't being obedient), of my prep/clean dance before morning prayer. Even now, sometimes I will catch myself in mid bed making mode and immediately stop to spend time with the Lord. Now, God is not shaking His finger at me, trying to guilt me into spending my first minutes with Him. He only reminded me that I did not need to clean-up before our time together.
God is not a person. This revelation has freed me. There are a few who see us first thing in the morning when we do not look our best, and there are special circumstances that lend us to visit with those close to us when some thing unexpected has happened. But for the most part we clean-up and put our best foot forward when we visit a friend. Not only do we clean up before we connect with others, but generally when we come to a dinner party we bring a little something out of respect for the host. We must remember that God is not a host.
If we want to get technical we are the host. What I mean is that God sent His Holy Spirit to dwell in us, therefore once we invite Jesus into our hearts He takes up permanent residence, (Eph. 4:6, 1 Cor. 3:16). So, it is really laughable when I get up and try to clean-up for a house guest that has been with me the whole time.
I believe that sums up what God wants from us. The Lord Almighty has everything, but the greatest present we can give Him, is to choose Him. Coming to God in fellowship gives back to Him the gift of us. God planned it that way. He gave us the freedom to choose and when we choose Him we are the ones who are truly blessed. It is the ultimate "re-gift".
In my days of preparing for parties, trips, and visits I still will look for a present that is best suited for the occasion, but as for my time with God, I will arrive just as I am, "A Work in Progress". God did not tell us to come clean He simply requested us to come and follow Him. This is such a wonderful invitation, because we do not have to think of what to bring. He loves us so much that we are the gift of His choice with all of our imperfections. Only to Him, could we be His perfect gift.
"Come, follow me,"
(Mark 1:17 NIV)