Monday, September 8, 2008

Mindfulness of God

"Mindfulness of God arises slowly, a thought at a time. Suddenly, we are there." (Man's Quest for God, by Abraham Joshua Heschel)

That may not always be true. The Bible gives some pictures of people who are JOLTED by an immediate awareness of the Immanent God. (Saul on the Road to Damascus and Moses at the burning bush are two that come to mind.)

But much of human experience and Scripture suggest "mindfulness of God" often does "arise slowly" and need continual nurturing on our part as we cooperate with the Spirit.

In Psalm 139 the Psalmist reminds himself (and us):

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.
You discern my going out and my lying down...
If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. (139:1-3, 8 NIV)

He asks "Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence?" (v7)

Of course the implied answer is "NOWHERE!"

Yesterday we talked about the commitment our church wants to make to the growth of people in our congregation. At the end of the service, several people made commitments to their own growth and to the growth of those within their sphere of influence.

If you were one of those, I want to encourage you to make today the first day of fulfilling your commitment. You were in my prayers this morning. I asked God to send His Spirit to you and help you carry out your promise to Him.

May God continually bombard us with thoughts that make us "mindful" of Him.

May we nurture those mindful thoughts through faithfully setting aside time for windows and doors where we welcome God into our lives. Windows like

- reading scripture
- spending time in prayer
- getting together with other believers
- giving ourselves to God in times of worship
- blocking out all noise and distractions in times of silence
- filling our ears and hearts with music that draws us to Him
- giving up for God things that we value through fasting
- journaling our thoughts and impressions

These are a few of the "means of grace" that saints who have come before us have found to be valuable as they draw closer to Him.

Let us commit this Fall to times and acts that help us be "mindful of God".

Grace & peace

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