September 21. There were so many opportunities today to walk with God. It was an amazing day—and pleasantly tiring.
When I got home around eleven p.m. I decided to go for a walk, and almost immediately I felt God. It wasn’t just the gorgeous moon, the clear night, or the fresh breeze… It was much more. It was a realization in my Spirit that He was right there with me and always has been. You know, I think we walk with God all the time and just don’t recognize it—caught up in the false worries and fears and illusions in our days.
There are two things I think our generation really has trouble with. The first is asking—we have been taught to pray and ask and then run in our own power. We ask God to fix us, help us, and then hurry up and study the Bible and pray and work to fix ourselves… We don’t truly ask in a spirit of patient submission, waiting for and having enough trust in Him and His nature to answer… Instead we quickly disengage and do things in our own forever limited power, hoping and forcing ourselves to believe that in some magical way God will also be working with us to help tip our efforts over the edge this time—never realizing that in choosing to use our own power instead of trusting in God that we are sacrificing the very answer and power that could help us. We don’t really ask or let God’s power flow through us but instead use our own. (I’m not saying that He doesn’t answer prayers in spite of this, but I am saying that I think we often accidentally work against Him and His very answers to our prayers).
The second thing is that many in our generation don’t often really listen. I don’t mean this to say that we don’t try or discipline ourselves to meditate or hear… but just like we ask and then do it ourselves we ask and don’t listen. It’s interesting because I find that when I TRY to listen I’m so busy trying that I’m not listening. It’s also funny, because I honestly think the reason we don’t listen well is that we don’t ASK God to help us listen and then wait for His answer. I have asked God and seriously sat and listened or tried to meditate and hear or prayed and prayed and prayed… but I was so busy trying that I wasn’t actually listening in faith, trusting that He’d answer. I have to admit that only recently have I asked God to help me listen and then waited, trusting that He really will help me to listen and hear (and He has).
I think we listen sometimes but by accident—it’s those moments when we see the stars in the sky as the moon lights up the clouds slowly gliding across our vision… when we can smell the night in the air and feel the cool breeze brush our skin… we come alive and our souls sing as we listen to everything around… Or maybe it’s when we see a beautiful thunderstorm across the horizon and feel the pressure and the temperature drop as it nears… or when we see that certain smile and joy in a child that forces us to laugh… or any number of other times when God’s presence and magnitude are just so blatantly apparent that we forget what we’ve learned and listen like we did more naturally when we were children. Sometimes I think we’ve learned so many lies and wrong perspectives from this world that we’ve educated ourselves to the point we’ve forgotten some simple and very necessary things… You know those moments I just mentioned when we can feel God’s presence?—how can a person discipline themselves into something like that? We can try and get better at it, but without the release of control to God and His spirit, it misses… Those moments when we feel God’s presence are seldom if ever brought about by our efforts, but they hit us in our soul… I think that we NEED those moments—that our spirit is built to listen and be refreshed by God’s presence all around us but that we now have to ASK Him to help us do just that….
Tonight I enjoyed some of that—I walked and heard and felt and smelled and was refreshed by His presence… I heard a motorcycle across town rev like mad and felt joy for its rider, listened to the music of the crickets and walked through some sprinklers at the park, feeling their drops hit my skin… I relaxed and enjoyed the night air and the moon and stars… and most of all felt the presence of the Lord and thanked God DEEPLY in my Spirit for His love, presence, and refreshment. This little time, remembering His magnitude and praying thanks, KNOWING that it ALL is in His hands… gave me so much peace. I was able to walk and enjoy truly in the peace of the Lord—a peace I all too seldom ask and listen to walk in.
That God help me ask, listen, and abide in His peace… trusting in Him and that all is in His hands
That God help me not fear or become prideful and be thankful and have trust in Him…