Here in Esther: The Beauty of Courageous Submission, Mrs. Schacht asks us the following question…it is a biggie…ready?
“…is there anything that draws you away
from your relationship with God,
or distracts you from serving Him?”
“Anything.” I don’t like to admit it…to you or even to myself, honestly. But ‘yes’ is my answer. How about you? Please take a few moments, right now, and consider this question. Perhaps ask God to reveal this to you.
As we consider that we allow circumstances and situations to distract us from the One Who we should be seeking, I am sure your heart is saddened as mine is. Actually,…no…not saddened! My heart is sorrowful. But, rather than just be depressed, my next thought should be/is “What am I going to do about that!?!” Our heavenly Father doesn’t want us to remain in our sorrowful state of mind…He wants us to mourn our sin (of course), repent and CHANGE. And then to live our lives to His honor and glory!
As we each experience daily, there is much to distract us from focusing on our relationship with our God. From the moment our eyes open each morning, it can be a struggle to maintain the right perspective—God first. But we CAN rise above this challenge and choose where our hearts and minds go. For me the impetus must be to seek Him above, before, and instead of anything else. He comes first before anything else. And so I need to purposefully, willfully seek Him.
We have such joy and privilege of having direct access to His throne of grace! At any time during the day (or night!) we can seek our heavenly Father—and enjoy quiet time alone with Him. David wrote about his ‘quiet time’ in the following verse. Does God hear you expressing your heart to Him in the same way?
In the morning You hear my voice, O Lord;
In the morning I prepare [a prayer, a sacrifice] for You
And watch and wait [for You to speak to my heart].
Now, of course, that time you spend alone with Your Lord—your quiet, devotional time—is certainly not the only time to pray! Actually, I think, being intentional…seeking Him first and foremost…our hearts are prepared so that the rest of our day is filled with continual little prayers and petitions directed to our God.
Be encouraged! I am sure that you already seek Him throughout your day…. How often do we go along through our day accomplishing the normal even mundane tasks talking with our Father? Or driving (yet again) to school to pickup your children; isn’t that a great time to pray? Or waiting for them at dance/soccer/baseball practice or music lessons/cub scout meeting/Awana time/_______ (you fill in the blank); yet another small amount of time that can be eked out of our day to pray and seek Him.
Paul wrote a number of times in his letters to the Christian believers about the importance of praying. Listen to this encouragement:
Pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
1 Thessalonians 5:17-18
So we see by seeking God first and foremost, by being intentional to have a ‘quiet time’ early in our day, by seeking Him in our prayers and petitions, we will be better prepared to pray at all times, and, keep alert and watch, and, pray without ceasing. We will be continually seeking Him throughout each day—thus carrying out His will!
Here is a great example of seeking Him:
Be earnest and unwearied and steadfast in your prayer [life],
Being [both] alert and intent in [your praying] with thanksgiving.
Those are some very intentional words used at the beginning of that verse, yes? Other versions use similar words such as devote, persevere, continue….
Do not fret or have any anxiety about anything,
but in every circumstance and in everything,
by prayer and petition,
continue to make your wants known to God.
And God’s peace [shall be yours, that peace]
which transcends all understanding
shall garrison and mount guard
over your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.
“In every circumstance and in everything by prayer and petition…with thanksgiving” …that is how we make sure we are seeking Him in spite of the myriad of distractions in our lives. Keep seeking Him and enjoy your quiet time with your Lord! As you seek Him, He will be found…He promises!
Then you will call upon Me, and you will come and pray to Me,
and I will hear and heed you.
Then you will seek Me, inquire for, and require Me [as a vital necessity]
and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.
* * * * *
Lord, You know our desire to seek You! We need Your help, Lord, in everything…even in turning from distraction and seeking You! We have Your promise that if we ask anything according to Your will, You hear us. And since we know that You hear us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of You (1 John 5:14, 15). Thank You, Lord! We know that You will answer our heart’s cry as we are seeking You with all our heart!