From Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever. Amen.

Romans 11: 36

There are many things that come to mind as the day begins. Some things may be urgent today, or there are issues and concerns that are weighty and complex that demand attention. Some of this even involves the work of the Lord; yet, above all of the rest there seems to be one thing that stands out as most important for me to focus my attention upon. So, here is a truly worthy calling for the day. I should look to God, and listen to His voice in every situation and in all circumstances. Thus, the strength of His truth will overcome all of the wisdom of the world and will redirect my own self-generated logic.

In all of the noise and the clutter of the world around me, Christ is the source that is worth seeking out, and His Spirit is the filter for what I need to know. The Spirit leads me to the truth that is found by listening well to God’s voice as He speaks to my mind and into my heart. He guides me into the center of the Word of Life so that what is true and holy and righteous overwhelms all the other voices that attempt to distract me from God’s purpose. Even the smallest of my activities and the simplest of interaction with others can be carried out in the wisdom of the Lord and for Him. All that I think, say, and do constitutes an act of worship that is consecrated to the Lord.

My prayer is that this day will be lived in a manner that demonstrates my relationship to Christ. Each person that I encounter is precious to Him, and every interaction that I have is one whereby that love, care, and understanding can become central if I subordinate my will to His as I engage with others. During this day I desire to touch the world and in a manner that leaves the fragrance of Christ behind and that leads people to seek out the source of that heady perfume for themselves. I widh to know nothing that He has not given to me; yet, I also know and recognize that the Lord has already given me everything that I will need to take me through this day. O Lord, let this day be one where my thoughts and what I do and say are pleasing to You. So, Lord, I surrender my all to You in the desire that who I am will bring glory to Your name. Amen. 

For to set the mind on flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace.

Romans 8: 6

 

God made a choice; He wants to be with us. He desires our companionship and our worship. He could leave us in our lost states, and He could walk away when we start to live like the lost again; but then He wouldn’t be the one true God. For the Lord has made promises to us, and through His Word and by His Spirit He shows us a clear picture of who He is and of how He behaves. God has been demonstrating His faithful love and His unending involvement with people through all of history, and as a personal example of this, He has been holding onto me for as long as I can remember.

 

Yet, I have made a lot of choices in my life that were not so good. I continue to make choices that are clearly not in God’s plan for me, and in these sorts of thoughts and actions I have a lot of company. Everyone faces struggles like this; for, we all make the decision to sin, and it is easy to rationalize and to say that I was just caught off-guard or that it was the bad behavior of someone else that sent me over the edge. But, speaking truth, the sinful things that we do are the result of personal choice. And that choice leads to a form of death, for it separates us from God’s will and from the intimate, close relationship that we can have with Him. Isaiah said it this way,

“But your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden his face from you” (Isaiah 59: 2)

 

Thus, when we choose to think, to act, and to live like someone who does not know Christ, we are making a decision to live in a state like that of death; yet, climbing into the coffin and pulling the lid shut simply makes no sense. God tells us that there are alternatives, and He provides us with a better way to approach life. We are instructed to set our minds so that we are steering a course that has the purpose and the precision of piloting a ship or a plane. Thus, we need to go through life focused very clearly and specifically on the presence of the Spirit of Christ and on listening to His voice. It is important to actively and purposefully do this, for it won’t just happen all of the time.

 

Each of us is different, and what works best for me may not do the same for you. So here are some of the methods that I use to set my mind on the Spirit. I can start every day by pointing my heart and mind into the center of God’s will through prayer and reading Scripture. Then, throughout the day, by entering into prayer and listening to God, I recheck where I am regarding the Lord’s will. Finally, I can choose to end each day by seeking God in prayer with my heart and mind listening attentively to His voice. The life that God wants to lead us to is full of adventure, and it will satisfy us totally. The life that my Lord has planned for me will give me everything that I desire and much more, and it is a life that is characterized by a heart-deep peace that is unbreakable. All of this is there for each of us if we will simply choose to follow the leading of the Spirit.

Day and night they did not cease to say,

“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God, the Almighty, who was and who is and who is to come.”

Revelation 4: 8b

 

Take a moment and call to mind the brightest and most glorious sunrise that you have ever seen. Consider the beauty of it and the feeling of peace that comes as the light fills your eyes and sinks into your heart. There is a sense of awe, wonder, and amazement that comes into my mind as I look on this wonder of God’s creation. Yet, this is nothing; this is as the darkest moment in the blackest of nights in comparison to the scene that John is describing from his visionary visit to the throne room of God in Heaven.

 

Still, in the presence of all that is glorious, those who know and serve God are continually engaged in prayer. They speak their love, understanding, recognition, adoration, and praise for the Lord of the Universe. This is the constant expression of their hearts as they stand before God. I will point out that they do not have any needs, for they reside in the continual presence of God and He has eliminated all needs, worries, and concerns. Sometimes I wonder if we are not missing something in the way that we approach our relationship with God. Consider that, in and through Christ, we, too, do not have any needs that will not be met. Our lives are in the hands of the Almighty Lord of the Universe, and He loves each of us totally. Although I believe completely that God wants us to talk with Him about everything and to take all of our cares and concerns to Him, I do think that most of us don’t spend enough of our prayer time doing what those who are gathered around the throne of God in Heaven are doing. Remember, we are there, too.

 

So, here is a challenge for today. This is a personal challenge as well, for I certainly do not have this handled in my own life. As you pray, focus on God Himself. Speak of His character, attributes, and worthiness. As you do this don’t be concerned about repetition, for those who surround God seem to have reduced it all to a few simple phrases. Let the wonder and the majesty of the King soak in to your being. Quiet matters too. I tend to fill my prayer time with my own words and thoughts when God has so many of His own that He will speak to me when I listen. Try this and see how God speaks back to your heart.