With the holiday season upon us, chances are you will be receiving some invitations. Now if you lay the invitation aside and don’t respond, you will miss the engagement. The hostess may prepare a sumptuous meal, decorate a beautiful table, arrange delightful entertainment and initiate meaningful conversation, but if you ignore or reject the invitation, you miss the blessing.
Why do we reject some invitations and accept others? Sometimes our schedules conflict with the date that has been set. Maybe we feel we don’t have the appropriate attire or we don’t know the people who will be there. Sometimes we are too tired to add another thing to our week. Maybe we feel there are strings attached and we will have to purchase something we don’t need, listen to a night of bragging or complaining or some other undesirable activity.
However, if the invitation comes from someone we love and who loves us, we usually do what we can to make it happen. That is especially true when it involves a few intimate friends.
Did you know that God sent you a personal invitation? He invites us in Zechariah 1:1-6, “return to Me that I may return to you.” James 4:8 echos the invitation, “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.” In both cases, God sends the invitation. He initiates the connection. But like any invitation, we must respond if the connection is to take place.
Sometimes we realize we have become distracted by the worries and cares of this life and God has been lost in the shuffle. We didn’t mean to stray. In those times God invites, “Return to Me.” Sometimes the leaving is deliberate. We want our way and intentionally turn away from God. His invitation still comes, “Return to Me.” Other times we are angry, hurt, disappointed. God still whispers, “Return to Me.”
God longs to be closely connected with you and me! But His desire is not the only one at work here. We have a personal responsibility to respond to His invitation. We can refuse it. He warns us not to be like those who ignored His invitation in the past and suffered for their choice.
One of my friends last week received an invitation to join someone for a meal in another part of the state. She regretfully declined because she didn’t have the time to drive four to five hours round trip for the dinner. The host said, “No problem, I’ll send my private jet.” So Lisa got her work done here and made the dinner that night. When God issues an invitation, He provides what we need to respond. But we still have to do our part. Lisa still had to say yes and drive to the airport.
Passivity won’t give us a close relationship with God. How will you respond to His invitation? He is waiting for your RSVP.