How many times have you sat down for a quiet moment with God, only to feel like something was missing? You want to be there but yet you can’t get yourself still and the peace you associate with God, is nowhere to be found. This is what happened to me this morning; I wasn’t getting up from my chair until I heard from God!
I opened to my daily reading which came from Romans 12:1-21. I managed to make it through the Scripture but felt like one eye was on God and the other was on irrelevant junk! All of it unnecessary and fruitless! I diligently worked my way through half of the study notes for this assigned reading but ultimately gave up. I questioned God:
“What am I missing?”
I put on Dr. Charles Stanley and his message was called, “Life’s Number One Priority.” Interesting! My last post was on this very subject! As the message came to a close, a conversation started to form within me.
“Lord, I am not leaving this desk until I’ve heard from You. Help me understand where this disconnect is coming from. Show me what it is that I’ve done to cause this. Why am I feeling so distracted and far from You?
I went back to Romans 12 and began to read again; the Peace of God was beginning to fill me!
God wants us to offer ourselves as living sacrifices–daily laying aside our own desires to follow Him, putting all our energy and resources at His disposal and trusting Him to guide us (NLT Study Notes from Romans 12:1)
Next, the Lord showed me 1 Samuel 15:22 (Study Notes):
…was Samuel saying that sacrifice is unimportant? No, he was urging Saul to look at his reason for making the sacrifice rather than at the sacrifice itself. A sacrifice was a ritual transaction between a person and God that physically demonstrated a relationship between them. But if a person’s heart was not truly repentant or if he did not truly love God, the sacrifice was a hollow ritual. Religious ceremonies or rituals are empty unless they are performed with an attitude of love and obedience. “Being religious” (going to church, serving on a committee, giving to charity) is not enough if we do not act out of devotion and obedience to God.
When sitting down this morning, I did not lay all of my desires down as I should. I knew there were ulterior motives in my time with God. I had all sorts of things on my mind that I wanted to come to God with. I was in need of renovations on my blog as well as a blog post, a Bible Study Outline for Sunday’s gathering at the assisted living community, and on top of all of that, I was seeking a relationship with Him. Yes, I wanted to be with Him, but my reasons were not in the order that they should have been if He were truly my first priority.
“Why am I feeling so crowded this morning?”
The Lord said:
Let’s go back to the beginning of your morning. What did you do when you first opened your eyes?
I grabbed my phone and checked my email, text messages, Facebook notifications and then scrolled.
What did you see?
How to improve your blog, which platforms to switch to, friends and family posts and pictures, and worldly events.
How did all of this information make you feel?
Then what did you do?
I got up, walked the dog in the dark, came home, made a cup of coffee, and then sat down to spend time with You.
Where was your mind when you sat down with Me?
How to build a better blog, recognition, comparison, Bible Study, Facebook notifications…
Could you hear me at all?
Sit back and take all of this in and let’s see what you can come up with!
To which I did, and this is what I came up with…
Facebook on my phone has got to go!
I find myself mindlessly scrolling when I could be doing other things. I enjoy listening to my favorite Pastors, reading God’s Word or a spiritual book. Why not choose one of these activities instead of watching and reading Facebook?
When I first woke this morning, I should have thanked God for waking me up. There is so much that I’m grateful for. Why not share that with Him. Pray for spiritual wisdom so that I can walk in His Will as the day unfolds. Thank Him for His unconditional love, His faithfulness and what He did at the cross.
Starting the morning this way would be much more productive than reading chatter!
As soon as this realization hit me, I felt complete peace as only God can give. I knew that I was back on track and for this, I was pleased.
“Thank you, Jesus, for your patience. You just never give up!!”
It is a terrible feeling to sit down and feel all alone in the spot where God is normally met.
I encourage you, don’t give up in your time with Him. If you don’t feel Him right away. Tell Him:
I don’t feel close to you! I feel disconnected! Reveal to me what it is that is causing this lonely feeling?
Wait on Him! It is totally worth it! You will be rewarded for your faithfulness!! There is no better prize than sitting at the feet of Jesus!
He will answer and when He does, run with it! If He tells you Scripture, find it in the Bible and read it over and over until the meaning presents itself. And, if you feel lost, tell Him! He is your Helper!
If He reminds you of a time in the past, close your eyes and meditate on it. Quietly ask Him to show you His will in this!
He will guide you along and remind you where you strayed so that you can be wise to the detour when it comes up again because it will! If this underhanded tactic worked the first time, it will be thrown at you again!
Romans 12:1, 2 (Study Notes)
God has good, pleasing, and perfect plans for His children. He wants us to be transformed people with renewed minds, living to honor and obey Him. Because He wants only what is best for us, and because He gave His Son to make our new life possible, we should joyfully give ourselves as living sacrifices for His service.
When coming to God for prayer, meditation, conversation, and Scripture, come with an open heart! Be willing to let Him guide your time alone. I sat down this morning with my mind already full of outside distractions. I had my own agenda but God doesn’t work that way which is good. Imagine if we were the ones in charge!! Be willing to bend to what He has for you. He will nudge you in the direction that He needs you to go. Remember, we aren’t here for ourselves. This life that we have been blessed with is not ours. We are hand-picked! We are marked with a greater purpose. We won’t achieve anything if we don’t listen to God.
He knows where we are before we even make the intentional decision to spend time with Him. He hears our thoughts! He knows where our heart is. We have to give it all to Him and ask Him in faith!
“Lord, what is it that you want to show me today. I don’t want this time to be selfish. How can I make a difference today?”
The other morning, I was in visiting a resident at the assisted living community. This woman hardly ever comes out of her room. She is unhappy and extremely lonely. She believes in God and was quite frustrated that she didn’t feel close to Him. She calls out to Him but gets no response. She tells him her frustrations and challenges and only hears silence!
I said to her:
“How about praising Him for all the wonderful things that He’s done in your life. Think of all your past blessings and tell Him how awesome He is. Tell Him how much you love Him. Adore and praise Him for dying on the cross for you.”
In telling her this, I felt the Holy Spirit come alive within me, and I could see her facial expressions change from misery to joy. She was shouting “Hallelujah” as if she were looking directly into the face of God.
As I listened to her, the Lord spoke to me:
“This is one sure way to connect with Me! Thankfulness, Worship and Praise!”
If you feel disconnected, ask Him why?
Always thank Him for who He is and for what He’s done at the cross and in your life.
God isn’t our servant.
We don’t get to come to Him with our own time schedule and a list of our wants.
We come to Him because we love Him and we want to be with Him.
Psalm 37:4, 5
Take delight in the Lord,
and he will give you your heart’s desires.
Commit everything you do to the Lord.
Trust him, and he will help you.
Don’t give up on Him if He doesn’t answer when you feel enough time has passed.
He is worth fighting for.
He will show up!
Give Him control!
Clear out your heart and listen!
Whatever He brings to mind, don’t toss it to the side thinking that it is not important or that you didn’t hear right. Go with it and before you know it, you will be able to fit everything all together and see just what He intended you to see.
Isaiah 55: 8, 9
My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the Lord.
And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine.
For just as the heavens are higher than the earth,
so my ways are higher than your ways
and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.