Ever wish you could see God work in your life?
The problem is that we’re so used to seeing life as ordinary that we don’t recognize when extraordinary things happen.
One of my favorite Old Testament stories is the story of Elisha and his frightened teenage servant. The Syrian army was coming up against Samaria, and the teen was quacking in his sandals when he saw that they were surrounded by chariots and soldiers. Elisha, on the other hand, was calm and confident that God would take care of them. “Those who are with us are more than those who are against us,” Elisha said. But the teen servant saw only a rag-tag handful of Israelite soldiers.
Then Elisha prayed, “O LORD, please open his eyes that he may see,” and suddenly the teen saw “the mountain […] full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.” (2 Kings 6:15-19)
The heavenly armies were there all along. So why didn’t Elisha’s teen servant see them when Elisha clearly did?
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If we want to heighten our awareness of God’s work in our lives and His presence all around us, we must ask the Holy Spirit to open our eyes to see Him.
We can also begin recognizing God’s presence by practicing the following three actions:
1. Read the Gospels
We often don’t read the gospels because we feel like we already know the stories. I vividly recall the flannelgraph lesson of Jesus walking on water. What more is there to know?
But in skipping the Gospels, we shortchange ourselves because we miss out on one of the best ways to learn who Jesus is and how He acts.
Read the Gospels as if this is the first time you come to the passage, and be prepared to be surprised by what Jesus says and how He acts. In reading the Gospels and familiarizing ourselves with His life, we will learn to recognize Jesus at work in our own lives.
2. Obey what God clearly told you
If you’re waiting for guidance or direction in a certain decision, just obey what He’s already shown you to do, even if it’s not related. Love. Serve. Be humble. Give.
Act in obedience to what you know. The rest will follow as our hearts become sensitive to His voice.
3. Remember and celebrate what God has already done
The Israelites built altars to remember important events; they also gave God new names to recall how He had revealed Himself in certain situations, and celebrated feasts throughout the year to remember how God had delivered them in the past.
Sometimes we can only recognize God’s fingerprint in retrospect. But when we get caught up in the rush of life and forget to reflect how God has been faithful in the past, we miss out on some of the biggest testimonies to His faithfulness. Take time to journal, look through photos, or share stories of God’s faithfulness with one another. (In fact, I’d LOVE to hear your story! Email me your testimony here.)
In practicing mindful reading, obedience, and remembering, we will begin to see that God is present and active all around us and in us. God is bringing His Kingdom here on earth, and our ordinary will become filled with new meaning and wonder at what God is doing.
Day 14 Challenge: Today ask the Holy Spirit to open your eyes as you read, obey, or remember. Repeat this discipline every day this week, asking God to make you sensitive to His work in your life and those around your.
Oh Father, if I’d only see the spiritual realm as clearly as the teenage servant! I’m tired of living life in the endless shuffle of errands, meals, sleep, and repeat. I long for open eyes to be astonished by the brilliance of Your presence and majesty all around me. I KNOW you are at work. Help me to see You and glorify You for all that You’re doing. Open my eyes and my mouth that I may praise You for all You’re doing.
This post was inspired by Mike Erre’s book Astonished: Recapturing the Wonder, Awe, and Mystery of Life with God. For more information about this book or to purchase your own copy, click here