“You can see God from anywhere if your mind is set to love and obey Him.”
― A.W. Tozer, The Pursuit of God: The Human Thirst for the Divine
Ain’t it the truth!
I seldom share a column about faith that isn’t preaching right back to me. In fact, I took a couple-three weeks off from a column, because my mind was not in it, and I don’t believe in “phoning it in.”
When I say that my mind was not in it, I mean that I felt like I had a full plate. Busyness had once again intruded upon my quality time with my Savior.
In fact, it wasn’t even really busyness. It was distraction. I put off my morning devotions a few days, planning on using that time in the evening. But when the evening came, my head was full of plans for the next day.
I suppose, in a way, it was like I was going on a trip with Jesus but forgot to bring Him. Not being intentional about my time with Him soon led to a “blah” spiritual and physical state.
Because God’s Holy Spirit is with me, fortunately, I knew I couldn’t stay that way. And I didn’t.
Last week I pinched or pulled something that put me in a predicament. I couldn’t sit for long periods, but rising from my chair — even getting out of bed — was painful.
You would think, if I knew how to fix that situation, that I surely would have done it.
But I didn’t. I didn’t get into my devotions. I didn’t talk to God about it. I didn’t ask for prayer. I didn’t even worship along with my favorite gospel singers while driving. I just gritted my teeth and grouched a lot. Drove miles in silence, not liking my thoughts.
Last Sunday morning I even thought about not going to church.
Putting clothes on was painful. But God reminded me that I had already put on clothes and gone to work through a week of pain. So I put on clothes and limped along with a half-grin, half-grimace, to church.
I half convinced myself that I wouldn’t be up for standing up and sitting down and standing up and sitting down during the praise and worship portion of the service. Sure enough, the first time I rose from my seat, I was certain I’d sit the rest of the time.
But then, as I focused on why I was there — to worship my Savior — I felt the pain decrease. Had the Tylenol kicked in? Well, if it did, I wonder why it hadn’t kicked in the rest of the week?
I wasn’t instantly free of pain, but when I grew more intentional in my praise, when I threw off the busyness, my bones felt better. I felt it in my bones.
By the middle of the week, I was bending and moving more freely. But each day of the week, I had also returned to intentional time with Jesus.
I mention the physical healing taking place, but the deeper restoration was the lightness in my spirit. Spending quality time in His Presence was essential to that renewal.
1 Chronicles 16:11 — Look to the Lord and His strength; seek his face always.
Isaiah 26:3 — You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.
James 4:8 — Come close to God, and God will come close to you. Wash your hands, you sinners; purify your hearts, for your loyalty is divided between God and the world.
Ephesians 6:18 (TPT) — Embrace the power of salvation’s full deliverance, like a helmet to protect your thoughts from lies. And take the mighty razor-sharp Spirit-sword of the spoken Word of God. Pray passionately in the Spirit, as you constantly intercede with every form of prayer at all times. Pray the blessings of God upon all his believers.
— Email Andrea Howe at firstname.lastname@example.org