Looking for God in Every Moment

Last week we looked at being receptive to what God would like to give us.
We saw how our pride can hinder God from giving (not that He ceases from giving, but that we reject what He offers.)
This week, I’d like to consider the second aspect that Sarah Young in her devotional Jesus Calling: Enjoying Peace in His Presence, March 28 presented:

I am a God Who gives and gives and gives. When I died for you on the cross, I held back nothing. I poured out My Life like a drink offering. Because giving is inherent in My nature, I search for people who are able to receive in full measure. To increase your intimacy with Me, the two traits you need the most are receptivity and attentiveness. Receptivity is opening up your innermost being to be filled with My abundant riches. Attentiveness is directing your gaze to Me: searching for Me in all your moments. 

Attentiveness—Looking for God in every moment.

As our Pastor preached on Nehemiah 2, he told how Nehemiah (the cupbearer to the king) approached the king, he would not show a sad face.
That could bring instant execution if the king so deemed.

But Nehemiah had been told by family how those left in Jerusalem were struggling without a wall around the city to protect them.
It broke his heart.
The king did notice Nehemiah’s sadness, much as he tried to hide it.

When Nehemiah presented his request to the king, he beseeched the king to listen and help.
Though he held a high-ranking position (a confidant to the king), he was not at liberty to leave whenever he wanted, nor do what he wanted.
He was a slave to the king.
Without the king’s permission, he could do nothing to help his fellow Jews.

How much more should we consider ourselves slaves to the King of Kings and Lord of Lords?
I started to offer myself as His slave for the day.
Sure I had dedicated my life to His service back in high school, but I still controlled my day.
And had made efforts to submit to His will, but I had never visually become His servant.
Now, I make a conscious effort to present my day to Him as if I was truly His servant. But not just my day, my moments.
I was God's slave.

What happened when I did?
The day became His to plan, to finance, to control.
If there were things to be done, He must sanction them.
If there were interruptions, He must have brought them.

Know what happened when I kept my focus on doing all that He asked throughout the day?
I became attentive to what He wanted, not just when I was reading the Bible in the morning.
I became attentive to Him.
I saw little gifts that He gave throughout the day.
It became a constant conversation with Him. 
I began to thank Him for every little thing.

My problems did not go away. 
But they weren’t my focus.

I may have heard some snippets of news—how hard it was to get certain supplies, price of gas going up, beef at $12.50/pound, not to mention the kings of this earth and what they were doing.
Yes, they were concerning, but I’d redirect that news to the King.
He already knew and will do what is best for me.

I merely had to do what He wanted today.
The King knew. 
That was enough.

Sometimes, my mind had trouble focusing and my body didn’t have the energy to do what I thought I should do, I could feel my frustration build, but then I’d look to the King.
He already knew that today would be hard for me. 
He planned something that I could do.

You see, like Nehemiah, when he asked the king for his request, the king granted it,
But not only approved, but financed the entire operation.
So when God wants me to do something, He gives the resources even down to my strength and energy to do it.
That’s what Philipians 2:13 says, For it is God Who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.

How do I know what to do for the day?
Often it is just doing the next thing.
Everyone must eat. I fix dinner.
Laundry must be done so work clothes are ready for tomorrow.
Towels are wet. They won’t dry here. I must wash another load.
But they aren't drudgery. They are done in service to the great King.

Other times it’s adding beauty and working with my hands.
My son and I have been working on a stream bed to channel water from the back yard through the front yard to the road.
Not just want a ditch, although we made ditches other places, but something calming, to soften the landscape, add color, and give refreshment.
As we dug out the boulders, used to edge between our property and our neighbors, I found more boulders to use for the stream bed. 

I priced river rock, trying to find it in bulk locally.
There was too many other needs this month to buy gravel.
But by picking up all the gravel in the back yard (from all our ditches), we were able to supply all the needed river rock in the stream bed. 
Tedious, but I thanked God for the rocks!

Our neighbor contributed to our stream bed’s boulders.
We did not have to purchase any.
We had just enough.
Just enough—because the King supplied, just enough. 
He knew.
It is reason to give thanks.

I researched for plants that would thrive in shade, love wet roots and clay soil.
We went to my sisters for a weekend.
She gifted plants that needed thinning that loved shade, wet roots and clay soil.
I was overwhelmed by her gift!
And the King provided.

Of course, these plants will have to become established and spread to fill in the spaces.
But that, too, is the King’s job. 
I merely plant and water.
He makes them grow.
Another gift I must thank Him for.
He’s been doing a lot of watering, so I don’t even have to do that!

As we dig holes and push dirt around, the earthworms are the size of small snakes to me—who are used to seeing no earthworms.
Another reason to give thanks—good dirt.

You see by directing my thoughts throughout the day on how I should be serving God, I become in-tuned to His gifts, His desires, and His pleasure.
He delights to show me His gifts.
I thrill to see what He will have for me next.
It becomes a communion that pleases Him.

When the day is over, the stream bed may not be finished.
But we have made progress.
The King is in charge of progress.

I did not get frustrated with my son, who helps me dig and move boulders.
It seems with the King’s presence, an overwhelming peace coats the things that normally would have irritated me with how my son did this or that.
I don’t have to struggle to control my irrigations, the King has prepared the atmosphere with a peace that allows me not to be irritated.
It is not I who controls, it is He.

By listening to the King’s directives, I don’t rush a project, like I normally would do.
I enjoy the process not just the finished project.

It is an attentiveness that sparks thankfulness, communion. 
It brings an overruling peace, in spite of problems.
And the problems are no longer mine to solve. I wait on the King.

When I find those frustrations and annoyances rising, I must check how I’m serving the King.
Usually I’ve moved away from Him.
He is no longer directing my steps.
I’m ignoring His gifts.
I repent of my negligence and move back to serve Him.
All is fine.

Submit to His service.
Look for God in every moment.
He'll be there.
And He will bring delight.


*Just a note. This doesn't happen without a conscious effort to look to God.
As I write, I realized what days I was able to stay focused and those days that I did not. They are definitely different. And it is worth it!

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I write about what you---
women, wives and moms---
about your family, faith and future.
I write about what's hard, what helps and what heals.
I show you how it's done. And not done.
I hold your hand as you find what matters to the Savior.
And let go of those things that mattered to you, but not to Him.
I write about what Him.
               Sonya Contreras

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Author of Biblical fiction, married to my best friend, and challenged by eight sons’ growing pains as I write about what matters.

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