How easy or difficult is it to be still before God? Were you able to take the time to try? Did you find that more distractions came your way as you sought stillness before God? Satan will do everything he can to destroy our closeness with God. You must actively focus on God and not on external distractions.
The Bible is filled with story after story of prayers and speeches which recalled the goodness of God. Israel was very good at remembering. It’s time for us to take time to remember God’s goodness to us.
Look back to specific times that God has protected you. Possibly you were ready to actively sin, and you felt that conscience – the Holy Spirit – telling you that you were in the wrong place. This happened to me just a few days ago. I was ready to walk into a deliberate sin, but the Holy Spirit kept after me. The chances of a human discovering the sin were small, but if it had been discovered, the consequences would have been great. God protected me from myself!
Look back to specific times when God has provided for you. Did you need a new job, and one came to you? Has He provided you with a spouse, a place to live, a church family?
Look back to specific times when He has blessed and cared for you. If you are the journaling sort, use this as a time to journal your blessings. You will be astounded at what God has done if you take the time to remember.
Reflect on God’s promises. During that moment of extreme temptation I mentioned, I recalled this promise:
No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it. 1 Cor 10:13 (ESV)
Without the remembrance of that promise, I would absolutely have fallen into the trap of sin. This is why it’s so important to continually read God’s Word – if you don’t know what His promises are, then how can you reflect on them when you’re having quiet time with God? And how can you recall them when you’re in time of distress?
Think about God Himself. How great is He? How does His grace affect you? How does His goodness manifest itself in your life?
For the Lord your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great, the mighty, and the awesome God, who is not partial and takes no bribe. Deut 10:17 (ESV)
Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. Romans 5:2 (ESV)
Can you take some time to list, in writing so you can refer to it during your quiet times, several times when you have personally seen God’s goodness? Then, sit quietly and talk over your list with God. Make time to praise Him for Who He is. Acknowledge the times that He has helped you. Be like Israel! Recount His mighty deeds in your life.
On Friday we will wrap up the study and discuss making your requests and waiting for His answer! Between now and then,