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Daily Devotion

The God Where You Are

By Laura J. Bagby

OK. I need to hear from God now. Let's see. How do I do that? Oh yeah, a daily quiet time. I know what that is. That is the time that God speaks to me while I read His Word and pray, usually first thing in the morning or late at night.

And if I want an extended time with the Lord, I can either take a three-hour chunk of an evening ponderously praying and doing serious Bible reading, or I can just block off a weekend for a spiritual retreat so that I can hear Him. Maybe I should throw in a 40-day fast, too.

The above activities are what we often refer to in Christiandom as spiritual disciplines. It is good that we practice the presence of God and schedule purposeful times with the Lord.

But what if God wants to talk to you right NOW, right where you are in the middle of your messy, mortal microcosm when you don't have Bible in hand and you aren't in fervent prayer? Is that acceptable to you? Are you going to recognize Him in the everyday?

We always think we have to put forth great effort to get God to speak to us, when in actuality He speaks many times when we believe we are doing the unspiritual, the ordinary, the menial. Why? Perhaps God is trying to tell us that He is more down-to-earth than we think. We want to box Him and put Him on some pedestal and yell, "Speak, O Wise One!" and decide where and when and how He greets us.

But God might choose to interrupt your perfectly penciled in day with a prompting to go pray for someone or a nugget of wisdom from the Bible or a "well done" pat on the back smack in the middle of your hey-I-didn’t-expect-You-to-show-up-now day.

We want to pigeonhole God, and then we get upset when He doesn’t do miracles. Well, God might have wanted to do a miracle in your life at 8:30 p.m., but you had resigned that He could only show up between 7:00 and 8:00 p.m. during your group Bible study. So where is there time for Him to operate?

Sounds shocking, but if you let Him, God can and will show up with a spiritual revelation while you are changing dirty diapers, cleaning your room, fixing a leaky faucet, driving your car, even in the middle of a shopping trip to the mall.

The reason is God wants to be a part of your entire life, not just an hour here and there. He wants to be able to be so intimately familiar with you that He can show up anytime and anywhere unannounced and you aren’t going to freak out or put up a fuss or throw some pharisaical rules at Him. He wants to know the you that others don't see. Like a best friend, God wants to count on you to take Him inside when He comes by, to hear Him out, to offer Him a chair and something nice to drink as He explains what He wants to tell you.

Why doesn’t God wait for us to act all holy and sweet before He lands a big one on us? Because if He did, it would seem like we conjured Him up. It would seem like our appearances of holiness really worked.

But God doesn’t get into appearances much. God isn’t really that concerned with propriety or manmade rules or religious overtones. He cares about truth and our character. And character happens right where we are living it, friends. Character is what happens in the moment – either we yell and scream and pout and stomp our feet, or we willingly hand over the reigns of our lives.

As much as we would love to be able to ring a bell and call God like some heavenly vending machine, God is not at our beck and call; we are to be at His beck and call. We aren’t the ones calling the shots; He is.

God speaks when He speaks and exactly where He speaks for a reason. If we need to hear something from Him, then He will show up. If we aren’t ready for the details, He might stay silent. But since we are meant to do His will, we need to pay attention to God when He drops in and not shoo him away like some figment of our imagination or irritating distraction. After all, there are cases when God might just speak but once. And it might be incredibly important. If He happens to speak into your ear right in the middle of your favorite movie, are you going to hear Him? If you expect Him to enter your world at a moment's notice, then you will attune your ears to pick up God's signal.

I have gotten words of direction and love from God while standing alone in the kitchen looking out the window, while making my bed, while working at my office, while in the middle of a conference. What freedom and blessing those personal encounters from the Lord gave! They completely changed my perspective on God, my life, and myself. I wouldn’t have exchanged those moments for anything.

Perhaps you need a touch from God where you are. Then take time to remember God in your natural world. Don't be surprised if God wants to do something extraordinary in your ordinary day. Allow Him to make the natural supernatural and the mundane majestic.

Lord, I give You permission to enter my world whenever You wish, to do whatever You wish to do in me and through me. Make my ears sensitive to Your Voice and my eyes sensitive to heavenly things even as I go about my day. In Jesus Christ's name, Amen.

Related Bible in a Year Scripture:

Whenever Moses went into the Tabernacle to speak with the LORD, he heard the voice speaking to him from between the two cherubim above the Ark's cover, the place of atonement that rests on the Ark of the Covenant. The LORD spoke to him from there. (Numbers 7:89)

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