Be still and know that I am God: Before you read this article, may I ask you to take a few moments off and – just be still… really still… quieten your mind… the feverish activities of the body… now close your eyes and focus on God, His majesty and splendour, His glory and the beauty of His holiness. Let your mind dwell on the wonder of our God to whom we belong!
Ah! How difficult this is, isn’t it? Did you find it is easy to be still? Were you able to be quiet enough to think of God? Or did other anxious thoughts of problems you are facing, keep chasing round in your mind? Did you find that thoughts of God kept fading out and your mind kept filling up with your worries instead?
Take a d-e-e-p breath! Consciously, open yourself to Jesus… Ask the Spirit of God to breathe into you, His freshness and fullness! When you do this exercise, it is important that you specifically use the Name of Jesus – not just ‘God’ or ‘Lord’! Now… slowly breathe out! As you breathe out, exhale consciously things that worry you and weigh heavily on your mind – breathe out all the anger bottled inside of you, the frustrations… the hurts… Do this a few times and R…E…L…A…X… your face muscles… your shoulders… hands… your whole body…
Battle is in our Mind:
Our mind is like a computer! Through the day, all that we see, hear, think, read, talk, touch – every one of these things are ‘keyed’ into our mind. Say in a day, we have half an hour of ‘Quiet Time’? And what of the rest of the day? Thoughts of God or what he says in His Word seldom recur, except perhaps in passing. God has given us 24 hours a day. That makes 1440 minutes. Out of this we spend about 6 hours for sleeping. That leaves us 18 hours for all that we do in the day i.e. 1,080 minutes. We spend about 30 minutes with God (approx.) and the remaining 1,050 minutes on everything else in the world around us!
It is only what you ‘key in’ that comes out! That is why it is so difficult for us to concentrate on God in prayer, without the loud clamour of our own restless thoughts pushing themselves to the front of our minds, demanding attention and time!
God designed us for Happy and Wholesome Relationships:
God has created and designed us for relationships primarily with Him and with one another. However, today we find that there are many things, like the TV, computer, our work, etc., which destroy our relationships. So much of our time is spent on these things that we have no time or little time for God.
Men and women allow love of other things, pleasures of this world etc. to replace God and are empty within! But my friends there can be no substitutes. That’s why we have so many suicides.
Do we continually allow the Holy Sprit to spring within us, overflowing into rivers of living water in a dry and thirsty land? Or is that ‘spring of living water’ clogged – by sin and disobedience to His Word? Are we preoccupied with maintaining a polished ‘image’ outside, at the cost of our inner relationship and ‘identity’ with Christ? Unconsciously are we beginning to put the emphasis on ‘doing’ instead of ‘being’; ‘service’ instead of ‘character’; and our ‘work for the Lord’ instead of ‘our walk before the Lord’? Have we substituted ACTIVITY for INTIMACY with God?
A Searching Question:
Imagine Jesus is standing before you. With deep love and compassion in His eyes, He is asking YOU a question. Do you love me more…? What will you answer Him? He is insistent… He awaits your answer…
In his last letter to Timothy, Paul warns: “People will be lovers of themselves… of money… of pleasure rather than lovers of God. Therefore they will be boastful… proud… abusive… disobedient to parents… ungrateful… unholy… without love… unforgiving…” 2 Timothy 3:1-5 (NIV)
In Rev. 2:1-5 the risen Lord Jesus is talking to the Church in Ephesus on the importance of first love. This is the kind of ‘bridal love’ that longs for each other’s presence, delights in whispering attestations of love, willing to sacrifice just anything for the pleasure and approval of the loved one.
May our prayer be one of longing for a closer walk with the Lord rather than the blessings we can receive from Him. Moses the man of God, at the end of His life was never satisfied with all that he knew and saw of God. He prayed this passionate desire: “Lord, show me your glory!”
A few simple suggestions:
Review your life, your goals, your occupations, and your activities. Take yesterday, last month, last year.
Remember your promises to God when you first knew Him as your own personal Saviour. Remember the burning love you had for Jesus.
Repent that you have allowed that love to grow ‘cold’ over months and years, by letting your work, pleasure and leisure, squeeze out your time in God’s presence – so that you are no longer able to enjoy God.
Re-prioritise that which is really important – and stick to it. Don’t let yourself become a victim of ‘the tyranny of the ‘urgent.’
Reschedule your activities through the day. Cut off anything that does not contribute to what you believe God wants you to do. Be focused.
Resist any inroad the devil will make into your life through the ‘deeds of the flesh’ e.g. unforgiveness, critical spirit etc. Confess and receive forgiveness of God and of one another.
Renew your mind by practicing the presence of Jesus with you not just at your ‘Quiet time’, but also continually through the day. Practise the truth of Philippians 4:8. Let your mind think only of good and lovely things. Reject negative thoughts!
Revive your spirit by being filled with the Holy Spirit moment by moment. Experience what it means to spill over with Jesus – and your cup will overflow!
Reflect and mirror Jesus by disciplining yourself to ‘crucify the flesh’ daily, so that Christ may be magnified in your body in life or death. Be Christ-like!
Represent Jesus wherever you are! What will Jesus do – is what you and I should also be doing! Stand up and speak out for the Truth and Values of Jesus.
May you experience the life and love of Jesus in such a way that you will thrill and be amazed as you develop the intimacy of your love – journey with the Lord Jesus!