Be Still and Notice God
I often rush around doing so many things—hurry, scurry, hurry, scurry. Once however, while in this state, I glanced out the window and saw a beautiful, jaw-dropping sunrise. It occurred to me that the movements of God are very much like a spectacular sunrise. God does amazing things all the time, but rarely does He demand that we notice them. So when I am constantly preoccupied with the "important" details of my daily life, I fail to notice the many beautiful acts of God.
If we presume to call ourselves disciples—followers of Jesus—then we need to seek out God and pay attention to His presence. Because, unless we make an intentional effort to look for God, and what He is doing in our lives, we will most likely miss His best work!
So what do we do?
We must take the initiative to create space in our lives for God. He will not compete for our attention. In a sense, God could easily warn us, “If you snooze, you lose!” However, He leaves the choice of seeking Him to us. Here are three specific things you can do to be nearer to Him in the new year:
- Name our desire—Often, Jesus’ first response to anyone approaching him was, “What do you want from me?” Thoughtfully asking ourselves what we long for from God and Jesus is one of the most important questions we will ever ask. In her book, Sacred Rhythms, Ruth Haley Barton writes, “Your desire for more of God than you have right now, your longing for love, your need for deeper levels of spiritual transformation than you have experienced so far is the truest thing about you.” So be sure to carefully consider what you need from God. Don't rush!
- Intentionally make space for God—Most Christians try to cram God into an already packed schedule. But we must remember that spiritual growth will not happen by just going to church on Sunday, or even regularly attending a Life Group. According to Dallas Willard, we have to “ruthlessly eliminate hurry from our lives.” Otherwise, we will miss out on God’s amazing work, just as we often miss beautiful sunrises. Make time for God in your daily life—even if it is just ten minutes a day—and faithfully do that every day.
- Solitude, God’s Word, and Prayer—Faithfully pursuing Jesus and our Father through regular times of solitude is the #1 best place to start. In this time of being alone with Jesus and God, we can read the Bible and think about its message and pray (simply talking with God and Jesus in an honest and heart-felt way is a way to be certain that your prayers are heard).
Only by seeking God with all our hearts can we grow and mature in our faith. And then we can experience the abundant life that Jesus longs to give us! Let each of us make this our most important goal for 2020.