Today’s church service was powerful – in pretty much every sense of the word. First, however, I should rewind. When I got to church this morning, I was not at ease. I was frustrated, and feeling pulled in about a thousand different directions. I was not depressed, angry or even happy really. I was just there, seemingly going through the motions. I was frustrated about a particular situation, and was letting that get in my head. I was allowing it to take my focus off of Him. Each time a friend spoke to me, I was fairly noncommittal, and probably seemed uninterested. Simply put, I was just not at peace. That, however, would soon change.
Our praise and worship team started the service beautifully. Unfortunately, my heart just wasn’t in it at first. Then, as I stood there, I made a conscious decision to forgive some people involved in the situation that had been frustrating me. I asked God to help me. Right then and there, it was as if God’s presence dropped right into the room. He was already there, but became real to me as I was standing there. As I was listening to the music, and letting the words speak to my heart and bring peace. As I stood there, in full surrender to Him, I began to pray. I prayed for the upcoming service, our pastor, the praise team, as well as every person in the service – and all those not in attendance even. I had a sense of urgency for people, all of the sudden. Had I not made the conscious decision to get my heart in the right place, and to forgive a situation I didn’t feel needed forgiving, I would not have followed His direction to pray. I would have remained not at peace.
Today, we started a new series, Soul Detox – which is loosely based on Pastor Craig Groeschel’s book “Soul Detox.” Today our pastor spoke about the restless soul. We do not take the time to simply rest – to be still before God. It is paramount that we learn to just be still before God. Pastor Lance spoke about having been challenged to take five minutes to just rest his thoughts, and to just focus on God, and Him alone. At the initial glance, it looks like that would be so easy. However, think about it. If I’m being honest, I’d have to realize that it’s harder than you’d imagine to just sit and be still. I realize that I’d likely approach the five minute challenge with the best of intentions. However, when it came down to it, I think I’d be like many people. I’d start, then think about all those other things I should, could or would be doing if not sitting right there, right then. Just to sit and think about God shouldn’t be difficult. You (and by you, I mean me) should allow yourself to just think on His goodness. Dwell on Him, and listen for anything He might put on your heart. God loves us with a crazy, and passionate love. I’m going to try this challenge (later, because of course I have something to do right now! Ironic, isn’t it!?) and just allow my focus to be on Him – to just spend time in His presence. At the end of today’s church service, we took a moment of silence to just allow our hearts and minds to focus on Him. What a sweet presence filled the room. His love was real, and was with each and every person in there. Talk about life change becoming possible for so many people – week after week.
Whatever you do, just don’t allow life to get you so busy, that you are unable to make God a priority, and take any time for Him. He is the best friend you’ll ever have, and the most loving father you’ll ever know. Make it a priority to just be still in His presence, and to rest in Him. Just as so many things in life are the result of a conscious decision, so is this. You have to take the time, make it a priority or it won’t get done. I have been living proof of this in action — or rather NOT in action sometimes! Take the time – your life will be blessed as a result.