We’ve been living in our home in Virginia now for about three months. I’ve spent more time on Pinterest in the past few months than I have in the past year, trying to get ideas for decorating and creating a home that we love. My mind has been busy with paint colors, curtain options, gallery walls and throw pillows. And it’s been fun; I love creating a home and always look forward to decorating.
But do you know what I realized? I don’t need gallery walls and throw pillows right now, I just need clean bathrooms and organized closets.
It’s easy to work on the stuff that I’ll see every day–the pretty decorations, cozy nooks, and painted walls.
Scrubbing toilets and keeping my drawers tidy? That’s the stuff that I put off because it takes work and time that I’d rather spend on creating something lovely to look at.
Sometimes it’s like this in my spiritual life too.
I desire growth and power in my walk with the Lord. And so I turn to the newest Christian book by a well-known author, or a book that I see everyone else reading and raving about. I look forward to singing in church and being moved by the mix of deep theology and well-crafted music. I love a good well-exegeted sermon. I enjoy conversations about theological matters and what’s happening in the church around the world.
All of these things are great and certainly deepen my walk with the Lord. But I think sometimes I put too much emphasis on these to increase my faith or awaken my spirit to know God more.
In his book, The Knowledge of the Holy, A. W. Tozer says, “If we would bring back spiritual power to our lives, we must begin to think of God more nearly as He is.”
Thinking of God. And thinking of Him accurately.
This takes place when I come to know God as He is explained and portrayed in the Word.
My soul gets nourishment, satisfaction and awakening when I consider God.
“My soul will be satisfied as with fat and rich food, and my mouth will praise you with joyful lips, when I remember you upon my bed, and meditate on you in the watches of the night.” Psalm 63:5-6
What brings satisfaction to my soul? Meditating on God.
This takes time. Sometimes time that I would rather spend looking for ways to live my life–be kind, forgive, speak gently, clothe yourself with humility–all commands that I’m to follow as I seek to emulate Christ.
But maybe I’ve missed the point? Perhaps my greatest power to live comes when I seek God earnestly, and behold God.
“O God, you are my God, earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water. So I have looked upon you in the sanctuary, beholding your power and glory.” Psalm 63:1-2
Considering God, beholding who He is and then praising God.
“Because your steadfast love is better than life, my lips will praise you.” Psalm 63:3
Not His gifts, but praising God for who He is.
In his book, Prayer: Experiencing Awe and Intimacy with God, Tim Keller says, “To behold the glory of Jesus means that we begin to find Christ beautiful for who he is in himself. It means a kind of prayer in which we are not simply coming to him to get his forgiveness, his help for our needs, his favor and blessing. Rather, the consideration of his character, words, and work on our behalf becomes inherently satisfying, enjoyable, comforting and strengthening.”
There are certainly evidences of growth in the Lord as we see God giving us victory over sin and as we watch the power of the Spirit at work in us to obey God’s commands in how we live and relate to those around us.
Lately, I’ve come to discover that it is the unseen work of rooting my faith in the character and glory of God that the Holy Spirit is using to empower my soul to glorify God through my life. As I think on His character throughout the day, the Holy Spirit brings to my remembrance who it is that I am following and who I am to be imitating.
“Therefore, be imitators of God, as beloved children.” Ephesians 5:1
So when I feel like yelling at my kids I remember that God is slow to anger (Psalm 145:8). And when I worry over the issues of life, I remember that He sustains me (Psalm 55:22). When I struggle with being discouraged and downcast, I remember that He is my hope and my salvation (Psalm 42:11-12). If I don’t feel joyful, I remind myself that God is my exceeding joy (Psalm 43:4).
Consider God. Behold God. Praise God. Imitate God.
Having a clean home and organized drawers can sometimes go unnoticed. But it is the unseen routine homemaking duties that make the beautiful decorations possible, and hold our home together in order.
It’s the same with my soul. Learning about who God is and taking time to think on His character, and respond in praise holds my soul together so that I might live in a manner that glorifies God.