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Be Present

“Wherever you are, be all there.” – Jim Elliot

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Being present. Mindfulness. Living in the moment. Ignoring all else to be physically, emotionally and spiritually here, now. Our minds are not naturally quiet places. Thousands of distractions vie for our attention every day, tearing us in multiple directions. When we’re distracted, we don’t take the moments we need to pause. To be quiet. To listen. To connect.

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Selah. Listen. The Bible talks a lot about listening (Psalm 116:2, Hebrews 2:1, Proverbs 16:20, James 1:19, 1 John 5:14, Psalm 45:10, Job 37:14, Proverbs 23:19, Jeremiah 33:3). Whether listening to God for instruction, or Him bending to hear our cries, it requires communication, and an active relationship. Did you know that every relationship is healthier when you LISTEN to each other? You learn more about each other, and have better communication. Listening is about being present, and being present with the Lord looks like prayer. Stopping to listen to God as He speaks, having a conversation with Him.

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Elijah had to be quiet to hear God whisper to him (1 Kings 19:11-13). Jesus often escaped to quiet places to pray (Luke 5:16). God speaks to us daily in a multitude of ways, but if we’re not intentional in our priorities and finding space to listen,we may not always hear His voice. How will we know God is speaking to us? It will align with scripture, for God doesn’t contradict Himself. What are some ways we can be still and listen to God’s voice, whether it comes audibly or not? He speaks to us through His Word. Communicate to Him as you read through the Bible. Don’t try to focus on long passages you might struggle through, but rather choose short passages you can digest slowly (2 Timothy 3:16). Allow time for prayer (Matthew 7:7-8 MSG). Choose small moments to slow down and listen (Psalm 62:5). Choose atmospheres that allow you to listen and focus, as well as consistent times if at all possible (early mornings, driving in the car, afternoons, evenings). Fasting is another way to build our communication with the Father. Fasting is about sacrificing something important in order to strengthen our prayer life. Among other purposes, we can fast as an expression of grief, to worship God, to seek guidance and answers. It puts God first, in a present state of prayer. It grows us closer to Him.

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Learning to slow down and be quiet will make you a better listener. Not only with your Jesus, but with those around you. You will find more joyful moments throughout your day. Learn to savor things you’ve been too busy or distracted to notice. Spend time in your Bible this week learning about how you can be a better listener. Spend time in prayer, even if it’s in short, 5 minute increments. Pray that you will learn to be present, mindful, and listen to God’s voice. God doesn’t require a specific amount of time with us, He just wants time with us! In all of this, you will discover reduced anxiety and stress, stronger and deeper relationships, and a joy that only Christ will bring you.

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“When we are still, we are powerful… full of the very breath of God because we breathe Him in.” – Dr. Michelle Bengtson, Hope Prevails

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Breathe Him in. Be intentional. Be present. Be thankful, prayerful, mindful. Listen for the whisper, and take moments to whisper back. He hears our prayers, and He is there with us and for us.


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