Tidbits and Blessings Blog
by Jeanie Malone
I’d love for you to join the conversation. Please share your thoughts in the comments section under each entry.
When I am exercising on my indoor trampoline, or rebounding, I must focus on one stationary item nearby; otherwise my vision is distorted and I see nothing clearly. Looking out the window at something far away is not sufficient to keep my vision clear. I must focus on a near, stationary object.
In life, if we don’t focus on God, we don’t see anything clearly. In order to focus on God as we need, we must be close to Him. Psalm 141:8 sums up our desperate need to focus on God, “But mine eyes are unto thee, O God the Lord: in thee is my trust; leave not my soul destitute.” We must focus on God, trusting Him, desiring Him and His wisdom, knowing we are destitute without Him. I love the bold declaration of David when he fled from Saul in the cave:
“My heart is fixed, O God, my heart is fixed: I will sing and give praise. Awake up, my glory; awake, psaltery and harp: I myself will awake early. I will praise thee, O Lord, among the people: I will sing unto thee anong the nations. For thy mercy is great unto the heavens, And thy truth unto the clouds. Be thou exalted, O God, above the heavens: Let thy glory be above all the earth.” (Psalm 57:7-11)
Though David is hiding in a cave to stay alive, he is determined to praise God. His praise did not stop when life got hard. What is our response when our life gets hard? Do we praise God or shrink back in worry, feeling overwhelmed?
God promises us in James 4:8 that if we draw near to Him that He will draw near to us. We need a close focus on God to have a clear, correct perspective and understanding. He is never too far away for us to focus on because He promises to be near to those who seek Him with their whole hearts. If our desire is to honor God, He will show us how to do so.
In 2 Samuel 7, David considered that he lived in a sturdy house but the covenant of the Lord resided in a tabernacle, a temporary tent. The prophet Nathan told King David to do all that was in his heart to do, that God was with him. David desired to honor and love God. God’s response was to acknowledge that He had never dwelt in a house “since the time [He] brought up the children of Israel out of Egypt…but walked in a tent and in a tabernacle” (2 Samuel 7:6).
David’s heart of worship fixed on God impacted himself, others, and God. God’s heart was so moved by David’s love for Him that God promised to appoint a place for His people in Israel, “to plant them, that they may dwell in a place of their own, and move no more; neither shall the children of wickedness afflict them any more, as beforetime” (verse 10).
David’s love for God was returned not only for himself but also for the people of God more than they could have imagined to ask. David went to God seeking nothing for himself but wanted to bless God who already had shown Himself mighty in David’s life.
God has already been better to us than we could ever ask, whether you agree and acknowledge it or not. What has been your response to God’s grace and mercy toward you?
After the short time and exchange which established so much between God and David that would bless King David, his kingdom, and his lineage and would provide a permanent place of worship in an established land for God’s people, David went into the tabernacle to be with God, to meditate. Verses 18-19 say, “Then went Kind David in, and sat before the LORD, and he said, Who am I, O Lord GOD? and what is my house, that thou hast brought me hitherto? And this was yet a small thing in thy sight, O Lord GOD; but thou hast spoken also of they servant’s house for a great while to come. And is this the manner of man, O Lord GOD?”
David’s desire was to bless God, and after the prophet Nathan told David how God intended to bless him in return, he simply wanted to thank God and speak personally with Him. He wanted the intimacy of talking directly to God. David’s desire to focus on God despite any circumstance and his desire to bless God was always rewarded greatly. It was this strong focus on God that gave David peace of mind and supernatural protection many times in his life.
God knows the desires of our heart, and He knows if He is our number one desire. The most important lesson I think we can learn from David is to have a continual focus on God, seeking Him, desiring to bless Him, and praising Him no matter what.
According to one of my all-time favorite preachers, Dr. Charles Stanley, “There is nothing that you and I do that is equal to or as important as spending time alone with God, and we call that meditation.”
It’s hard to get alone and quiet with God in our world that is so loud, but private, personal meditation is vital for our peace of mind and wisdom for living. We must control our environment as much as possible to have a quiet place for a few minutes. We can adjust our focus settings on our phones and devices, so we aren’t interrupted by notifications.
Even more within our control yet harder to do is to get our minds quiet, so we are able to hear God. We must stop the noise in our busy brains, so our thoughts can truly be centered on God and attentive to hear what He says to us.
It’s important that we not only speak to God but also be ready to hear what He says. We must pray for a receptive heart that is willing to receive whatever God says. We may meditate upon scripture, but our minds and hearts must be prepared. Each time we begin meditation, let us first pray.
Jesus showed us how we should pray, and in that model prayer we see certain components well-remembered by using the acronym PRAY:
P— praise for who God is, including but not limited to all the ways He blesses you, others, and His creation
R—repent of known sins and ask God to search your heart for unrealized sins
A—ask God for what you need and ask Him to show you what you did not know you have need of
Y—yield to God; surrender to His will, desiring His impact in every detail of your life, desiring His heart
Just as King David had many eyes on him, some supporting him and some seeking to see him fall, we have many eyes on us. People judge God by what we do and say or don’t do and say. People are encouraged or discouraged from a close relationship with God by our lives and our response to God.
Hebrews 12:1-2 says, “Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.”
When David entered the tabernacle, he entered with a heart of worship and with a humble question basically asking God why him. Then he sincerely praised God for who He is: “Wherefore thou art great, O LORD God: for there is none like thee, neither is there any God beside thee” (verse 22). David continued to praise God for the many miracles and great works He had done over Israel’s history. Then he thanked God for His personal blessings on David, even those yet to come, and asked God to bless the blessings he had promised.
This is similar to our asking God to bless our family with which He has promised or already blessed us with. When God blesses us with work to do for Him, it is good to ask Him to bless that work, our efforts, and our focus on Him to accomplish the work. When God blesses us with a job opportunity, it is good for us to seek to honor God in how we work and conduct ourselves, and we should ask His blessings on the work.
It is important for us to get alone with God, with our minds fixed on Him to talk to Him and listen to Him, just as David did when he made plans to build the temple. God blessed David beyond human imagination that day. The blessings would unfold over many years, and in fact continue to us today as we enjoy the blessings of our relationship with Jesus Christ, God who came in the flesh in the lineage of King David.
Get alone with God. Don’t be afraid of the silence. Remember the PRAY acronym to guide your quiet time. I pray for your patience and boldness to come before your Creator acknowledging Who He is, asking forgiveness and turning away from your sins, and surrendering every desire and every detail of your life to the One who has your best interest at heart and can do more for you than you ever could on your own.
I'm tired of running from God and am trying to learn to run to Him instead.