Mindful of God

Are you mindful of God? Do you stand in awe of His creation? Are you mindful of Him as you stand on the summit of the mountains? Are you mindful of Him as you gaze at a rainbow or watch the sun set over the lake?

Yes, yes, yes, you most likely answer to all those questions. It is an incredible moment when you’re standing in awe of God’s creation, 100% mindful of God in every little detail you see. Maybe it’s the great outdoors that brings you speechless or full of praise. Perhaps it’s holding a newborn baby, examining their fingers and toes, and thinking about their tiny hearts beating. How wonderful it is to feel God’s presence and know that all things are created God.

“And God saw everything that he had made, and, behold, it was very good” (Gen. 1:31).

But let us always be mindful of God. Not only when earthly emotions stir up feelings of love toward our Lord. Be mindful of his glory, mindful of his power. Mindful of his love, and that we are His people. Mindful that he created us to love Him and serve Him, and that we are loved by Him. Mindful that He is always watching, and mindful that He is always with us. Mindful even when nothing seems majestic and beautiful. Mindful even when we don’t see any reason to be thinking of God. Mindful during our prayers and devotions… or mindful when we don’t do our prayers and devotions. Be mindful in our thoughts, and be mindful when nobody is looking.

It is easy to be mindful of God while you’re in the Rocky Mountains, and it’s hard to be mindful of God when we’re with our friends. But is either more important?

“That ye may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us the apostles of the Lord and Saviour” (II Pet. 3:2).

Averly Kikkert

The Command to Delight Ourselves in God

Delight thyself also in the Lord: and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. – Psalm 37:4

My soul longeth, yea, even fainteth for the courts of the Lord: my heart and my flesh crieth out for the living God. – Psalm 84:2

I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the Lord. – Psalm 122:1

Yea, in the way of thy judgments, O Lord, have we waited for thee; the desire of our soul is to thy name, and to the remembrance of thee. – Isaiah 26:8

I have my moments throughout the week, but these are not thoughts that take up a lot of my brain space, sadly. My Saturday nights are too often spent staying up too late with all the things I’m so busy with, setting my alarm, and getting disappointed at the amount of sleep I’ll get before I have to wake up. Very few Saturday nights or even Sunday mornings are filled with these thoughts of delight, desire, joy, and longing.

Why don’t our lives overflow with these thoughts? Our lives have undergone incredible transformation through Christ, and we exist every moment only by his sovereign, life-giving power. He gives us life and breath, but He also gives us hope and a future because we are His children. That’s kind of a big deal and deserves some ponder time!

That’s a really big deal, actually, and I think we so easily lose sight of the awesomeness of God and the gift of salvation. There are a lot of ways we can remind ourselves of how amazing God is.

One way that I put myself and my life into perspective compared to God is by considering the magnitude of the universe and remembering that it is a creation of the God who calls me His child. It’s worth remembering how big God is compared to us. Look at a diagram of the universe and comparisons of earth to our sun and our sun to other stars. We are nothing in comparison to the vast cosmos! Take some time to watch Louie Giglio’s How Great is our God speech on YouTube (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EAzCP8SEKwc&feature=youtu.be). It’s not a short video, but it’s the most worthwhile 40 minutes I’ve probably ever spent on YouTube. I’ve watched the video probably ten times, and each time, I’m left speechless and in awe.

What makes your jaw drop in awe of who God is? Maybe it isn’t astronomy or science. Maybe looking back through history and seeing His faithfulness in preserving His church leaves you speechless. Maybe it’s the beauty of language that reminds you of the intricacies and beauty of the God we serve. Maybe, if you’re anything like me, it’s numbers and math that repeatedly show you how incredible God is. e^(i*pi) anyone? Whatever it is, take some time to think on those things, and make of habit of seeing God in the beautiful and complex things of the world.

Another way we can delight ourselves in God is to consider what God has done in our own lives in the last year, month, or week. Recently, I was prompted to consider what God has done in my life in past year. Taking the time to do that, I was completely overwhelmed by the goodness of God and the beautiful story He was writing in my life. We sometimes marvel at the testimonies of others and at the amazing things God has done in other people’s lives, but we understand so much more intimately what God has done when we look in our own lives. My story might not seem to be so amazing to others, but when I consider my story, I know exactly where I was, what I’ve come through, and how I’ve been held by God the entire way through.

History is filled with stories besides our own that can leave us longing for our Lord. It’s good to consider the stories of martyrs and church fathers, and once in a while, we should try to read the stories in the Bible as if we had never heard them before. I can so easily read the Bible stories I heard as a child and forget the wonder because I’ve heard it so many times. We serve an awesome God, though!

Another story I hear often that should leave me longing after, desiring, and joying in God is the gospel. This, too, I have heard repeatedly. I know the story, but often I forget the wonder. What could leave me longing after the house of the Lord than remembering what He gave for me to have restored fellowship with Him? In whom could I delight any more than in the One who saved my soul from the depths of hell? I can recite the gospel story so easily it makes me wonder sometimes if I really know what I’m saying. The Son of God, being fully and completely God, was willing to leave heaven’s throne to come and suffer for the same people that would spit, mock, ridicule, and crucify Him on a cross. That God of unfathomable magnitude came down to earth to take our punishment for sin. That’s love, completely undeserved. That’s grace. That’s amazing grace.

The psalmist in Psalm 37 says to delight yourself in God the LORD. That’s a command. This command is surrounded by other commands: fret not, trust in God, commit your way unto him, rest in him, cease from anger, and forsake wrath. We aren’t supposed to feel delighted in him once in a while or when circumstances are right, but we have to make ourselves delighted in him, no matter what. With all God has done for us, we have every reason in the world to be delighted in God. Why am I visibly and physically excited to see my friends, for this film to come out, or to do whatever other thing for my entertainment, but I’m not thrilled on Saturday night or Sunday morning to be going to the house of God to worship him?

Let’s take time today, tonight, or tomorrow morning to delight ourselves in the LORD. Let’s talk to God, listen through his Word, and reflect on what He’s done and who He is. Let’s fill our thoughts with these amazing things so that, like the Psalmist says, our hearts and souls long to be near and to worship God as a hart pants for water. Let’s start our Sabbath rest by putting our hearts in a state of worship and awe for the Lord our God.

Kelsey Kuiper

Forget Not the Lord Thy God

“Only take heed to thyself, and keep thy soul diligently, lest thou forget the things which thine eyes have seen, and lest they depart from thy heart all the days of thy life: but teach them thy sons, and thy sons’ sons” – Deuteronomy 4:9

Recently in my psychology class, we were studying the stages of child development.  One idea that we studied was that young infants lack “object permanence,” which is the awareness that an object continues to exist even when it cannot be seen or heard.  This is the main idea behind games like peek-a-boo – babies are amused by quick appearances and disappearances because they do not yet understand that people exist even when they cannot see them.

During class, we watched a short video clip of a baby crawling toward a toy. When the toy was covered by a blanket, the baby stopped crawling and looked around, confused. As far as she was concerned, the toy that she had wanted only seconds ago no longer existed! The toy was uncovered again, and she began to crawl toward it, but when the blanket was thrown over it, she would stop. This was repeated several times until finally the toy was in the baby’s reach – but just as she was reaching her hand out to grab it, it was covered by the blanket again. Of course, she pulled back her hand, sat back, and looked around, completely clueless.  Naturally, the video was quite amusing. The baby had just seen the toy, had nearly touched it, yet somehow, she didn’t understand that it was still there!  How silly it seemed to us!

But as I thought more about it, aren’t we sometimes the same way when it comes to remembering the presence of God?  At times, we see God working so clearly in our lives and in the lives of His people, or we hear His Word preached so powerfully into our hearts. When we are spending time in His Word or taking the time to pray, He is at the forefront of our minds. Like the baby crawling toward the toy, we see God and we want to follow after Him and grow closer to Him.

But just as we begin to do this, Satan appears, ready to “cover God up,” to distract us and make us forget about Him. Maybe the blanket he uses is difficult circumstances in life that make it hard to believe that God is really present and working in our lives. Maybe it’s the distractions of the entertainment of this world or simply the busyness of everyday life that keeps us from focusing our hearts on Him.

And the sad thing is, far too often we fall for Satan’s lies and tricks. We hear God’s Word preached so powerfully on Sunday, but the rest of the week we are distracted and forget that He is even there. We make time for devotions in the morning, but then completely erase God from our thoughts for the rest of the day. Like the baby in the video, we look around, confused about what we should be doing because we have lost sight of our goal of growing nearer to Him.

We must not let this happen! Instead, we must be like the apostles, who were so excited by Jesus and His amazing words and works that they said in Acts 4:20, “We cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard.”  We need to read God’s Word often, and apply it to our lives so that when Satan attempts to distract us from God and make us forget Him, we see right through his plans and keep our minds and hearts focused on the Lord.

Deuteronomy 8:11 – “Beware that thou forget not the Lord thy God, in not keeping his commandments, and his judgments, and his statutes, which I command thee this day.”

Amy Kaiser