I always feel a little twinge of disappointment about this time every December. You see when the calendar flips to December 1. I am 100% all in on this Christmas thing. I dream and plan! I can’t wait to settle into my daily advent devotional, bake and serve cookies to my neighbors, and be extra kind and Christmas cheery. Well, it’s already 12/14. I’ve done 3 days of an advent devo and zero baking for neighbors, and probably zero extra Christmas cheer. The days fly. One after another, so fast. and here we are 11 days til Christmas. ahh.
But I can’t escape the reminder that this season brings. God came near. God is near. He is with us. at all times. Even in our non-advent devotional reading times and non-baking time and all the other things that life brings. He is near and wants to be near to us.
He entered this life to be with us(through a girl named Mary). He came to heal, mend, and restore us. He came to weep with us and walk with us. He came to Save. He is Incredible. Truly.
And yet this December I feel so distracted. I want to be available to His nearness, His presence. But I keep myself too “busy”.
So this Monday I am re-surrendering my December. I am praying God would help me be WAY MORE aware of His presence.
Here are three ways that I am going to try to be more aware of His presence over the next 11 days[and prayerfully onward]:
1.Be Still, s l o w down. This will be a fight–but the very best best thing! It is essential to let the Word wash over your heart and mind each day. It will really change our perspectives. Praise God.
2. Actively remember that He is here. With me. “And surely I am with you always til the end of the Age.” Matthew 28:20. If you are a believer in Jesus Christ–the Spirit of Christ lives in you. Isn’t that a miracle in and of itself. God in us. He softens our hearts and prompts us to love and good deeds. He is the best best best part about us. You can go nowhere over the next 11 days (and beyond) where you can escape Him. He is with you always. I want to remember He is with me and invite Him into all the parts of my day. If I did this I would live with much more courage, bravery, and purpose.
3. Respond quickly to His promptings. Since Christ lives in us and is with us, He whispers gently to our spirit to do things, to remember things. I am praying to respond quickly to those whispers. What a wonderful, more fulfilling life that would be. “Spiritual maturity is when you hear God and respond quickly. Spiritual immaturity is hearing from God and making excuses.” –Steve Carter, pastor at Willow Creek Community Church in Chicago. I couldn’t agree more.
Thank you for sending Jesus. It’s truly made all the difference in my life. Please forgive me for not valuing stillness and for filling my days with a lot of extra busyness and idleness. I desperately want to slow down over these next two weeks and remember you. Help me to delight in stillness and delight in your Word. I pray I would remember that you are indeed with me no matter what joy or heartache or mundane moment happens. And God speak to my heart. I want to obey your promptings and walk in the power of your Spirit, full of faith. You are good and kind and full of grace. Thanks for wanting to be with us. Thanks for being constant. In your Sons name, Amen
[for more thoughts on this listen to this talk by Steve Carter
, so good]