Do you need to respond better to challenges, temptations, and opportunities? If so, the place to begin is learning to respond better to the one in charge of all these things – God, Himself. If you feel your need for change, I challenge you to spend an hour in prayer reading the Scriptures below, asking God to teach you more of himself and His wisdom. You can do this alone or with Lowcountry Biblical Counseling Center at the upcoming Half-Day of Prayer.
If You Would Know God in a Life-Transforming Way You Must…
- …See the Importance of Knowing God (On three dimensions: a knowledge of God Himself, a Heart for God, and obedience to God)- John 17:3
- …Continuing in Prayer, Asking to Behold His Glory (hungering to more fully know and respond to the Lord and His glory) – Ps 27:4;8; Ex 33:18; Matt 11:27
- ….Put Away that Which Grieves the Spirit of the Lord (for transforming knowledge of God is a gift from the Spirit of the Lord) – 2 Cor 3:18; Eph 4:29-30; 1 Cor 2:9-12; Rom 5:5
- …Discipline Yourself in the Pursuit – It Must Be the Priority of Your Life – Ps 27:4
- The Discipline of Study– Growing in the Knowledge of God through Biblical, Contemplation on God – 2 Cor 3:18
- The Discipline of Worship – Exercising Spiritual Affections for God through Worship of God – Ps 145:4-7; Col 3:1-2
- The Discipline of Fellowship – Feasting Together on God by Talking Together About God’s Glories and Callings – Malachi 3:16; Philemon 1:6
- The Discipline of Obedience – Reflecting the Glory to Others which You, Yourself, Are Beholding in Him – Jn 14:21; 2 Cor 3:18
As we approach God for such a great gift of life-transforming comprehension of him, we do so affirming that apart from Christ’s righteousness being yours by faith, you could not approach the throne of sovereign grace so confident – confident of God’s willingness to help you “see” and respond more clearly to him in a life-transforming way.
Early on during this hour of prayer, identify a few glories of God and related passages of Scriptures that describe or illustrate an aspect of who God is or what he has done that interests you most at this time. Seek to memorize a key passage as you ask God to, in the coming days, “show you His glory” more fully so that you may respond to Him more heartily. This is not a waste of time; if you sense your need for greater progression in the process of transformation in Christ, this is your most important use of time at this time. Take time, don’t rush in His presence as you ask; work to memorize the related Scriptures as you quiet your thoughts.
As you seek to identify what “glories” of God to focus on, consider where you see areas in your life and relationships with others that are unresponsive to God and His will. You might ask yourself, “Where do my current behaviors, time use, emotions, and desires reveal that I am deficient in a vital affection for God.” It could be a deficiency of trust in him that needs to replace sinful fears, worries, and anxieties. It could be a deficiency of humility before him, evidenced by your lack of compassion for others or critical thoughts and bitterness toward others. Maybe you find yourself falling into temptation because you lack proper fear of a loving father – so you need to behold his love of righteousness or behold justice in the Word combined with his love for you as Father that is “beyond comprehension.” Whatever your need, a deeper comprehension of one or more “glories” (i,e, attributes) of God is the basis for a progressive and real change.
To aid in finding passages that declare the attributes of God to prayerfully meditate on, utilize brief sections in books on the attributes of God, or look through Behold Your God Hopework from LCBCC. You need Scriptural contemplation on who God is in light of your hunger to know him and be more responsive to him.
By spending such a holy hour with God, you can be reoriented in your approach to the coming year with all its challenges, temptations, and opportunities. This is one of the things we will be doing together at the upcoming Half-Day of Prayer.