God has a way of using things that happen to us in our normal day to day lives to increase our understanding of a spiritual truth. Sometimes it is a revelation highlighted for the first time, completely new to our thinking. When this happens, I find myself excitedly doing Google searches to find Scripture to validate my thought process while simultaneously making a note to share this new finding with my husband. Putting a “new for us” revelation through the screening process of the Word is crucial. Without this step, we can easily be led astray and start to develop a warped theology. When we find confirmation in the Word, however, we can rejoice knowing this is truly a gift. It is a personal word from Father to help guide us, shape us, or encourage us.
Often, it is a truth we have heard before, even one we may feel we live out fairly well, (stated with an appropriate level of “Christian humility”). My current thought on these “old is new” revelation moments is that God always has a reason. Father and Jesus are not daily debating in Heaven what truths to share with us. “Well Jesus, I’m thinking we haven’t reminded Beth about the importance of loving the unlovely in 7,884,008.64 seconds, so let’s do that today!!”
Slight digression here, but I love the thought that Father God could as easily speak about time in seconds or minutes as He could in centuries! For those of you with inquiring minds, the above referenced time is 3 months.
My personal thought is if Holy Spirit brings something to our minds, it has a purpose! This purpose may be for us personally or for someone we will soon find ourselves face to face with.
My most recent experience like this happened early one morning while in my bathroom getting ready for the day. As I was adjusting my shirt, I saw a clump of hair in my peripheral vision. It was seemingly sticking to my face in an odd way. When I looked directly in the mirror to correct the problem, I could not see anything out of place. Despite not finding the issue, my vision was still impaired by this wayward tangle of hair. When I moved to my makeup mirror to take a closer look, I was able to locate the problem. What I was seeing was not my hair out of place but a tiny clump of mascara nestled on top of my eyelashes. To my mind’s eye, this pin size piece of matter looked like a significant amount of hair!
My brain had computed the information received from my optic nerve incorrectly. The proximity of the object affected the data calculations in my thought process. Almost immediately, Father began to remind me of the spiritual truth applicable here. Proximity changes perspective.
I began to consider if I was being intentional to stay close to Father God in my day to day life? And does this proximity in fact change my perspective and, therefore, my thoughts, words, and actions?
Soon after this incident, God gave me the image of a lamb on the shepherd’s shoulders. This is a position of very close proximity! A lamb on the shepherd’s shoulders can hear his breathing and feel his heartbeat. It is a place of intimacy. Positioned on our Shepherd’s shoulders, we are able to see things from a higher perspective, His perspective. We will see a larger view of our world and not be limited by our own way of processing things. Upon His shoulders, we will take on His fragrance, the essence of I Am. Faithfulness, Goodness, and Love! In this position of close proximity with our Shepherd, we are kept safe from our enemies. In this place of security, we are able to rest on His strength. This is a place for those the Father loves, a chosen position of favor. It is open for you.
As I contemplated these questions further, the answer was yes! Proximity to my Father does make a difference in my life –– if I allow it to do so.
Practically, what does this look like? The short answer is time. The long answer is there is a myriad of ways this can be accomplished. We can talk to God out loud and often. We can listen to Him quietly and as long as we are able; He is not short on time. We can read His Word and allow ourselves to really digest it and receive nourishment from it. Opening ourselves up to be changed by it. We can pray in our prayer language; no amount of prayer is too much. Most likely, none of these encouragements are new to you, and I imagine you could add many more things to this list. The key, however, is not only to stay close but to allow that closeness to change our thoughts, words, and actions. We must allow this proximity with Him to not only change our perspective but to change us!
“So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you” (Romans 2-12:1, MSG).
Featured Image by Aaron Burden