“You will make known to me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; In Your right hand there are pleasures forever. “ Psalm 16:11 NIV
Logging on to social media can get overwhelming at times. It’s always fun to see what friends are up to and read interesting articles but there is always the side where our feed gets flooded with tragedy or the craziness of the world just screams from our screens. To make my social media accounts more friendly I loaded it down with follows and likes of my favorite Christian sites and authors so when my news feed comes up there is encouragement threaded through the posts. Recently, while enjoying conversation with a friend we began discussing each of the authors we follow. One particular author draws me into her stories with her attention to detail. She is able to take everyday mundane things and see the miracle and beauty in them. To see things as God created them to be seen. I was commenting on this to my friend and I said, “I don’t know how she sees things this way. It’s a gift.” My friend replied with a laugh, “It’s because she has spent time in HIS presence and is INTENTIONAL about it.” Let that set in for a moment. I had to.
My friend’s statement surprised me. I couldn’t stop thinking about it, and like God does in his perfect timing, He brought this back around full circle. I found myself in a season when it seemed a storm had set and I wondered, thought, and replayed the last few months to God…”I’ve spent hours on my knees praying. I’ve spent time in your presence and I have been very intentional about it. I just seem to be exhausted and still fighting a battle with no end in sight.” In that honest moment with God very gently he said,” Yes, you sought my hand.” Ouch. Honest Truth. He was right. I had sought his hand.
My response to God, “But God, I’m desperate for your hand. I can’t do this without you.”
“Be desperate for ME. Spend time in my presence and be intentional.”
I remembered the conversation with my friend and now this dialogue with God. I asked Him to help me to be intentional and consequently my perspective began to shift. My relationship with God began to transform into something deeper. I took my focus off of the storm, my circumstances, and my worries and remembered who I was praying to. “I keep my eyes always on the Lord. With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken,” Psalm 16:8 NIV. My eyes turned to Him. My normal quiet time became not so normal, my everyday prayers not so routine, chance happenings turned into divine appointments, and there are miracles to be seen every day.
It has brought me to place of understanding that when I am kneeling, praying, and seeking His hand I am doing so in the presence of the Almighty God of the universe. When I raise my hands in worship I am doing so not in a church service or my home but in the presence of the One who made the heavens and earth and everything in between (Psalms 146:6). When I am praying for the impossible and my faith seems weak He bends down to listen to my prayers (Psalms 116:2 NLT). Understanding whose presence I’m in moves me from a place of obedience and routine to a desire to be more like Him and spend more time with Him. Mary sat at Jesus’ feet to simply be in His presence and listen to His word (Luke 10:39). Being intentional about sitting at His feet brings forth renewal, refreshing, restoration of our souls, peace, the list goes on. And He said, “My presence shall go with you, and I will give you rest,” Exodus 33:14 NKJV.
There are many opportunities as we ease into summer to be intentional about seeking Jesus. There are opportunities all around us to spend time with our Savior. Join a small group, start a summer reading list, go on a mission trip, or serve your heart out at a local vacation bible school. Find Jesus in the small joys that only come with summer, fire flies, wild flowers, the long days, or how alive we feel when the sun hits our skin. Here’s a beautiful truth, we can have a life changing experience every day because the One who changes lives is the One whose name we call on. We don’t have to be at a church service or retreat to experience God’s presence and power. We just need to be intentional. He’s waiting on us. “Come close to God, and God will come close to you,” James 4:8 NLT. He calls us by name (Isaiah 43:1). How different would it be if routine devotionals and prayers turned into intentionally sitting with Jesus every day? Sitting in heavenly places (Eph 2:6) at the feet of the one who made me, who walked on water, who calmed the storm with three words, who willingly carried a cross for me?
I pray this would not be a summer where we let God or church go by the wayside but where we slow down and just seek Jesus. Let’s be intentional and just make Him our focus.
Father, I pray you would bless the woman reading this. Prepare her for a life changing summer in Your presence. Help us draw near to You and remember we are daughters of the King. Soften our hearts and turn our everyday routines and prayers into a time where you are the only thing we desire. Thank you for your Son and the seasons you create in life. Amen.