As the dogs and I were walking along, I noticed that Marci was walking differently. I picked her up and found something on the bottom of her foot that I quickly removed.
Observation – paying attention – requires us to be intentional. It is necessary to be intentional to understand the needs of the people around you. In this busy world, we often don’t listen when someone is talking with us, because we are trying to contemplate the best answer to the conversation or even thinking about the next task we must accomplish, looking beyond the current interaction. Many times, we are so stuck on ourselves and our goal is to be heard instead of to listen. Also, we are rarely present in the moment, and yet this presence is what is needed to show love and compassion to others. Time is precious, and how you use time is a choice. Do you choose to run around on empty and allow the situations around you to dictate your actions? Do you attempt to be in the moment wherever you are at, being at attention, and calmly following the leading of your Father?
Notice that Jesus was always intentional—always present – and able to understand the needs of those around Him. He spent much time in prayer. He spent much time interacting with people, whereby He invested in their lives, actively listening and engaging in conversation. Conversation, such a lost art today.
Today, be mindful of what is happening around you. Wherever you go, be there. Slow down. Listen for His still small voice. Invest in those before you. Enjoy the people God has put before you, and ask God how you can bless them today to bring Him glory.
“Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger.” – James 1:19 [ESV]
“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves.” – Philippians 2:3 [NIV]
In Psalm 142, we read a statement that some people really couldn’t truthfully speak if saying what was truly on the heart. It is a statement that makes a decision that we each have to make. Some people will never reach this prayer.
First, the Psalmist prays, “You are my place of refuge.” We often will embrace this. We often will pray for this refuge. We will claim God is the One who provides safety and protection. But the Psalmist continues, “You are all I really want in life.” This separates people. This divides families. This causes chaos at work and school. This bold statement overflows from the heart of one who truly desires God. This is the desire we should all have.
Can you today say God is all you really want in life? Or is your life still the “God and … life”? Can you pray this prayer or is there something still between you and God? Is He all you really want? Ask the Spirit to reveal anything that may be keeping you from this prayer. Ask Him to remove anything that hinders this desire. May He be all you really want.
“Then I pray to you, O LORD. I say, ‘You are my place of refuge. You are all I really want in life.’” – Psalm 142:5 [NLT]
There are moments in life that certainly cannot be described as calm. Because of my intense energy issues, I invest a lot in an attempt to stay calm. I cannot have a lot of noise and light stimulation due to my diagnosis. I cannot have a lot of sugar or caffeine. Along with the removal of some items, I also have things I do in my life to help remove that extra crazy energy. I drink calming herbal teas like teas with chamomile and tension taming tea. I exercise, taking daily walks and using my Fit Board. I put on calming music. I use candles. Above all, I read God’s Word.
The Psalmist wrote about calming and quieting himself. This means that he slowed down and quieted his mind. As the Psalmist wrote, “My soul waits in silence for my God only” (62:1 NASB). This is something that we have to be intentional with to accomplish. We don’t naturally walk around calmed and quieted. In the age of social media and handheld technology, the world doesn’t really allow us to walk around like this because it’s wild and busy 24/7. As well, even if our minds have not been rewired from the new tech advancements, our minds have wandered for many years prior.
Today, take some time to calm yourself so that you can hear God speak. Find a quiet place to sit with God’s Word. Don’t feel pressured to speak. Open His Word. Read. Allow yourself to sit in silence with God. It is during these moments when we are able to hear the whisper of the One with the still small voice.
“Instead, I have calmed and quieted myself, like a weaned child who no longer cries for its mother’s milk. Yes, like a weaned child is my soul within me.” – Psalm 131:2 [NLT]
We spend a lot of time trying to label sin and rate sin. We will list certain sins as worse than others. We group some sins together. Some sin is more acceptable than other sin to some people.
The truth is that sin is far stretching. Some sin we overlook because we don’t have a label for it. We forget that sin is anything that goes against what God says. Sin is desiring something more than God. Even knowing what you should do and not doing it is a sin! Yes, if you know the right thing to do, but you don’t do it, that is a sin.
Today, recognize that you are a sinner. Through Christ alone are you made right with God. Consider if there is any sin lurking in your life. Pray for the Holy Spirit to reveal anything that you need to address. Remember, it is a sin to know what you should do that you fail to accomplish.
“Remember, it is sin to know what you ought to do and then not do it.” – James 4:17 [NLT]
Come and talk with me. We hear this often from friends and family. Since I can remember, I have heard this invitation. I love a nice chat. It’s nice that someone wants to spend time with you and just talk. The Psalmist is referencing this invitation that God gives to each of us: “Come and talk with Me.” Yes, the God of the universe wants to talk with you. God Almighty, wants to talk with you.
This invitation from God is a 24/7 invitation. It’s not like the invitations we get from friends and family. You know how life gets everyone busy and you have that moment of panic. You try to get in touch with your closest friend. Your friend is at work with a phone on silent. Maybe you have something on your mind and you cannot sleep. It’s 2am. It would not be so kind to call at that hour. But God doesn’t say, “I’m busy.” He doesn’t have a time when He is unable or unwilling to listen to you.
Today, He extends this invitation to you. “Come and talk with Me.” You have a choice. You can make time. You can answer the invitation. You do not even have to set out a specific time or schedule an appointment. You can speak with Him all day, through the day. Are you saying, “LORD, I am coming” in response to His invitation?
“My heart has heard You say, ‘Come and talk with Me.’ And my heart responds, ‘LORD, I am coming.’” – Psalm 27:8 [NLT]