The Glow Of God’s Grace

The glow of my smart phone lights up my face as I lay in bed, I even drop it on my chest a few times before finally falling asleep; but not without my phone being within arms reach. I wake up in the middle of the night and reach over and grab it, scrolling through social media as if people have said anything important ever or at all in the wee hours of the morning. I wake up and grab it again checking to see if Jamie has texted me or if I have any pertinent e-mails. And so it goes evening after evening. I wonder if you struggle with the same things?

Yet it has not always been this way. In my life before a phone bedtime was one of the best times for me and for my relationship with God. I would lay in bed and read, feeling watched over by the Lord of all. I would be at peace with Him and would rest in His presence. I wouldn’t be reading a book about theology or doctrine or singing praises to Him but in those quiet evening moments I was worshiping Him. My peace and stillness and quietness was an act of worship. Sure I thought about things other than Him. Sure I wasn’t actively listening. But I had allowed myself to be free of distractions for just a few moments to close the day and to start the day.

It’s the close of the year and as I’ve thought about 2016 I realize that while God has changed a whole lot about my life (oh how glorious his mercies are), there are some things I haven’t matured in as much as I would have hoped. Part of me wonders if that is because I haven’t given Him my undivided and quiet attention as I once did.

I was reading the Psalms earlier this week and it amped up my thought process on the subject.

Tremble and do not sin; when you are on your beds, search your hearts and be silent. – Psalm 4:4

In the morning, Lord, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my request before you and wait expectantly. – Psalm 5:3

The spiritual discipline of solitude and silence is one that I’m pretty atrocious at. Yet it is seen throughout the Scriptures and even modeled by the Lord Jesus Christ Himself. Here we have David encouraging the people of God to search their hearts and be silent when in their beds. We then have David testify to the reality that in the mornings he calls out to the Lord and lays his requests before Him. What a way to end the day and begin the day.

How much of my spiritual growth do I shortchange because I fail to sit in silence before the Lord of my life? How can I refer to Him as Lord of my life if I don’t heed His Word and instruction and seek to rest in His fully accomplished work?

The glow of my smart phone is distracting me from the glow of God’s grace.

Internet Addiction

Right thinking leads to right actions. Yet there are snippets of my life where I’m not acting in line with God’s grace because I’m not operating in the mindset that coincides with God’s grace. And these seasons of not operating in the mindset that coincides with God’s grace usually are lengthened because I don’t take the time to search my heart and be silent. I don’t take the time to lay my requests before the Lord in the mornings. And I’m thus not expecting to see God show up in my life that day.

What about you? Do you practice times of solitude and quietness before the Lord? Do you have moments set aside where you just simply be? Do you give yourself moments where your mind is at peace and you trust the Lord in the midst of deadlines and responsibilities? Or is your mind constantly running and distracted by the things of earth.

This is definitely not the intention of the hymn Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus, but a verse in this song took on a brand new implication or thought in my mind.

Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His glory and grace.

The glow of my smart phone pales in comparison to the glow of God’s grace.

To you this may seem cliche and over-thinking my life, but to me I miss those moments of bedtime peace with the Lord of all.

So tonight I’m going to leave my phone in the kitchen. Tonight I’m going to meditate on and be silent in the light of God’s grace.

In His Name,

Nate Roach

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