This post is by Shari Gabourel.
The question was asked, “What do you focus on in your God time?
Initially, I thought, that’s easy. I get out of bed before my husband and kiddos, grab my mobile phone, softly walk downstairs, grab a box of tissue (in case there are tears) and head towards the multipurpose room. Once I’m barricaded inside, I begin reading select passages from one of my various Bibles or a specific Bible app. The reading is usually influenced by my internal spiritual climate. I’m either in a pleasant state of contentment or in a confined place of distress.
Because I tend to obsess over the meanings of specific words, I regularly employ the aid of various Bible word study guides to rightly interpret the text and to thoroughly understand it (at least that’s what I’m endeavoring to do). After I finish reading, I converse with the Lord about a number of topics and concerns. I offer words of appreciation and gratitude, though it’s not nearly enough. Eventually, the meeting is adjourned and I’m left with a tear-stained face.
But then I realized, the preceding describes what I do before, during, and after my time with the Lord. It does not identify what my focus is.
So what do I focus on when I’m having personal time with God?
In order to carefully answer the question, I repeated my usual morning routine the following day, this time giving special attention to what my aim was during and after reading God’s Word.
Then I had a Eureka moment. It would appear during my fleeting time with the Lord, amidst the Bibles and study guides, my primary focus is to obtain understanding.
Isn’t that what we all want—a true understanding of God’s Word?
But understanding should not be an end unto itself.
To tell my husband and kids after perusing through a number of cookbooks, I have an understanding of how to prepare homemade pancakes, may, at first, elate them. However, if I don’t apply such understanding and start combining a bit of flour, sugar, baking powder, eggs, melted butter, and whatever else the recipe demands, I’m simply theoretically speaking and my unapplied understanding is useless.
Each time you and I come to the Holy Scriptures, we should ask and expect “the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, to give us the spirit of wisdom and revelation...”
“...so that you may know Him better (Ephesians. 4:17 New International Version).”
We should ask and expect to be completely filled with the knowledge of the Lord’s will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding.(Colossians 1:9 NIV)
Now to be sure, such a communicable virtue is not dispensed like candy from a vending machine. It is not to be acquired “quick and dirty.” To the contrary, understanding is given to those who apply their heart towards it, cries for it, and searches for it like hidden treasure (Proverbs 2:2-4).
So when I come to my time with the Lord— happy or disgusted…
I’m looking to be informed.
I’m longing to grasp what is being stated.
I’m pining for insight.
I’m looking to know-how...so I can apply my heart to do what He says.
And I encourage you to do the same.
Come as you are...but do come and ask for and expect understanding.
For wisdom will come into your heart, and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul; discretion will watch over you, understanding will guard you (Prov. 2:10-11 NIV).
As so eloquently stated by the 18th century scholar Matthew Henry, “We must be convinced that the words of God are the fountain and standard of wisdom and understanding, and that we need not desire to be wiser than they will make us.”
Shari Gabourel retired from a 26-year career in public safety where she conducted diverse investigations involving state regulatory enforcement and child and elder abuse. She now spends her time as an inexperienced homeschooler to her two adolescent daughters all while composing blogs, articles and short stories. Shari enjoys foraging through the Word of God, watching Murdoch Mysteries with her husband and baking and eating carrot cake.
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