Doesn’t it seem that there is never enough time to do the things we need to do? Funny, I read somewhere that said, you will get more done with less time. I have to agree with that statement. I think having less time we become more disciplined and efficient with our time. The past few months I’ve been experiencing this. I think when we have a lot of leisure time we tend to get a little complacent and idle and end up putting things off. At least that has been the case with me. Whereas, having a set schedule, say working 9 to 5, tends to force you to use the remaining time more wisely.
The past few months, I was waking up at 7am and out the door by 8am. The first thing in the morning, I'd spend 15 to 20 minutes reading my devotional and scriptures for the day. Then, the next hour commuting in my car I'd continue my prayer time with the Lord, or some mornings, the drive is praise and worship time while listening to my gospel music. Waking up at 7am has been a real challenge for me being that I am not a morning person, but I see now, how it has truly disciplined me to set that time aside for the Lord. And, what better way to start off my day than with God! It truly has been a remarkable experience having that consistency of spending time in His presence. It’s now something I look forward to and don’t want to miss out on what God’s Word is for me each day.
I’ve noticed, some mornings as I rise, I usually have a thought on my mind, whether it’s a concern, a worry, thinking about the day and what’s ahead, etc., and as soon as I open up my Bible and read my devotional, it’s as if God already knows my thoughts before I’ve even formed them into a sentence in my head. Of course He knows my every thought! After all, He is our creator and knows all! I love how Psalm 139:4 puts it: For there is not a word in my tongue [still unuttered], but, behold, O Lord, You know it altogether.
When God addresses my thoughts through his Word, I am so utterly in awe at how much he loves me and is mindful of me. He loves us all and is mindful of us all, but I think so often we are not listening or seeking Him. I’m often bewildered when I hear someone say they don’t hear from God, or they are still waiting to hear from Him. God may not always answer our prayers right away, but I assure you, God is always willing to communicate with us, whether it’s through his Word, prayer, a sermon at church, a preacher’s message on TV, etc. But, I believe we have to spend time with God and give Him a chance to speak to us, and also be open to hearing what He has to say. Perhaps if we are not hearing what we want to hear from God, we tune Him out. Or, some may want God to speak to them through a burning bush, like He did with Moses. They want some big supernatural act of God. Not to say that He can’t get our attention that way, but I think for some, even if God used balls of fire coming down from heaven, that person still would not recognize it as the voice of God. In my experience, God’s voice is that still, quiet whisper, as Elijah experienced.
1Kings 19:11&12 Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the LORD, for the LORD is about to pass by. Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper.
A few months back I had one of those days where it seemed everything was crashing down around me and I just broke down in tears and wanted to give up. I was so over it all, and I kid you not, I turned on one of the Christian channels and John Hagee was preaching and he was talking right at me! The words coming out of his mouth were, “I know your sitting there feeling like your life is crashing down and you want to throw in the towel, you are being attacked from every side, but I am here to tell you to get up, stand firm, for you are more than a conqueror in Christ and He will fight your battles!” I couldn’t believe what I was hearing! I was so blown away! God was speaking right to me with the voice of John Hagee. I was so encouraged and strengthened in that moment! And, after I had that God experience, I continued to listen to John Hagee and he was speaking on something totally and completely not related. It was as if God inserted His words just for me to hear! That is just so God! He works in mysterious ways and He will even personalize it, just for you! I love that!
My mother had an amazing and personalized experience of her own! She and my step-dad were driving across country to Iowa to visit my brother who was playing baseball in the minor leagues. They drove through the state of Utah in the evening and my mother was behind the wheel. It was pitch black and she had no idea where they were. All she could see were the massive mountains around her and the stars in the sky. Feeling completely lost, my mother asked God if He knew where she was. They finally reached Sioux City, Iowa and stayed at a small hotel in some remote town for the next few days. They decided to find a local church to attend on Sunday. After they sang a few hymns, the Pastor made his introductions and then asked if there was a Margaret in the building. My step-dad looked at my mother in amazement and said, “That’s you!” Being the only Margaret in the church that morning, my mother raised her hand and the Pastor asked her to come forward. He said to my mother, “ I don’t know what I’m suppose to say to you except that God wants to bless you and tell you that He knows you are here.” Talk about WOW! Every time I hear that story my breath is taken away! God’s voice doesn’t get any clearer than that! My mother, in tears, was so overwhelmed by His love for her and that He truly knew where she was! Again, as the Psalmist puts it so beautifully in Psalm 139: O Lord, you have searched me and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise, you perceive my thoughts from afar…
Some may think that a person who hears from God is extra special or that God must love them more, but that is NOT true at all. God loves us all equally and speaks to us all, but are we listening? Basically, it comes down to our wanting to spend time in His Word and in His presence. He wants to have relationship with all of us, but do we truly desire to have relationship with him?
Matthew 7:7&8 Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.
I wonder, do we even know His voice? Take sheep for instance, they know their master’s voice and will only follow and obey his voice. Can we honestly say that we know our Master’s voice? If we are not reading His Word, then how can we know God’s voice? The Bible is the written Word of God, inspired by God. It’s His voice.
My mother has been telling me for years to get in the Word and that God’s Word brings life! It is the living Word of God! Jesus said to choose life. He wasn’t talking only about actual physical life and death. We will all die at some point, but Jesus was talking about himself. He is the walking, living Word of God that came to bring us life and life more abundantly. I now know the excitement my mother has always felt when reading God’s Word. It really is alive!! These past few months I have truly been experiencing that same excitement!
Psalm 37:4 Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.
I love the word “delight”. It means to take great pleasure or joy in. If we think about those things that give us great pleasure, imagine feeling that same way about our time with the Lord. And when we do, WOW, the windows of heaven will start to open and God will reveal His wonders and mysteries to us, and then we’ll know His great and perfect will for our lives, and we will walk in that abundant life!!!